Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Scanner Darkly special latenight Vancity screening - plus Cockfighter

Dickheads rejoice: by far the best adaptation of a Philip K. Dick novel, A Scanner Darkly - Dick's poignant and painful fictionalization of his ambivalence towards drugs, in part inspired by his experiences drying out in this very city, will get a special late night screening on May 8th and 9th at the Vancity Theatre (Vancouver's nicest theatre by far, in terms of seats, people, and projection technology). The film is a brilliantly Rotoscope'd animation that updates Dick's story - of a burned-out narcotics agent undergoing a drug-induced identity crisis who is given the task of performing surveillance on himself - replacing Dick's 60's and 70's drug culture types with their contemporary slacker equivalents (played brilliantly by Keanu Reeves, Woody Harrelson, Robert Downey Jr, Winona Ryder, and the under-appreciated Rory Cochrane, as Freck). The film doesn't rend you apart quite like the book - which is both extremely touching and very funny - but it's compelling viewing no less. More info on the novel on the PK Dick site, including a kickass cover art gallery (especially check "cover 3," for a French paperback - I've lifted #7!). Anyone interested in Dick or in the backstory behind this novel, which is almost as interesting as the book itself, is directed to Emmanuel Carrere's bio of Dick, I Am Alive And You Are Dead, which I can't recommend highly enough. (The UK edition has a cover - pictured to the right - that kicks butt on the American version, and can be easily bought online, by the way).

Hmmm.... looks like the Vancity is going to play a Warren Oates movie I've never seen, too, as part of their Cinema Salon series: Stan Douglas will be introducing Cockfighter, by Monte Hellman, director of the terrific Two Lane Blacktop. I think I need to check that out - I love Warren Oates, and they're sayin' it's his best performance!

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