I am preeeetty preeeety sure that I start most posts by saying this.. but this WILL be a quick one as I am bloody shattered and don’t actually have a wealth or words waiting to wash out my worm can. Even that was a struggle and it wasn’t even good/it didn’t work. Also, I have a good feeling I’ve used this subject for a post before?
A film which I enjoy a lot, pretty much only because of the Novel though - A Scanner Darkly
As I JUST said, the reason I like this film is that it actually is pretty much a direct translation of the book onto the cinema screen, which I think makes a good argument for the gimmicky rotoscope delivery, as it would otherwise give readers of the novel a bit of an anticlimactic, “so what, that’s exactly as I imagined it” feeling, and plays with the idea that your imagination, which is never a truely solid, stable and almost touchable image like a movie screen is, is actually coming to life in vivid, viewable clarity, but keeping a touch of your minds eye.
That’s pretty much the only excuse for it I could think of anyway, apart from the fact that Richard Linklater LOVES rotoscope, and fair play, he’s fucking good at it. Also, although the world that the character of A Scanner Darkly inhabit is MUCH closer to our own, compared to the other wild fantasy lands that Philip K. Dick has created, it would still take a hugely inflated (and hardly justifiable, considering the audience/expected return) budget to create, and then you get into the territory of which artistic direction should this world be taken it, when their surroundings play a very minor part in these characters lives. As I said, compared to Dick’s other novels, this is hardly considered science fiction at all, and the fact that it is at least a work of fiction is mostly likely a disguise to protect true people’s identities, and the science comes in from Dick simple not being able to stay away from a fantasy world, no matter how closely it resembles our own. Which of course, brings the blatant metaphors and relatable system of this world (What is substance D?? Who are New Path?? You literally don’t need to ask, it’s clear from the start) close to home.
The story of A Scanner Darkly the film IS the story of A Scanner Darkly the novel, with the obvious exception of time span. Which begs the question what is the point of it? I believe that from the start the film was intended firstly as a cult picture for current and loyal Dick fans (hard (hehe) sentance to type while being serious (or not)), to give them a true interpretation of his novel, rather than take a key element and create an entirely new plot around it, as has been done with all his other novel to movie adaptions. Secondly, I believe the film was a chance to reach out and add to his fan base, to show that his work is very serious, his fantasy worlds are absolutely stuffed with real world issues, and his central premises were not always intended to be the one clever idea inside a summer blockbuster action movie.
I enjoyed the film mainly as I am a fan of Linklater and Dick (haha, fuck sake, reading this back now, in the most childish way, as always), I was able to take this interpretation and go with it. I understand that their will be many fans of the novel that will be insulted by this take, as if it has been simplified and played down (thought they must surely admit, not by much), but I was able to go with it and enjoy it like a child would enjoy illustrations to go with their story. That’s actually not a bad way of looking at it maybe? The illustrated Philip K. Dick novel for the lazy and childish. Obviously I’m joking though, the film is again, a way for non-previous readers to get a go on the story, and not care in what way it related to the novel, or even know that one exists.
Their is certainly some benefit to having read the book of course, nearly every single part is obviously 3/4 times the length, revealing so much more about each character, the revelation of Donna is much bigger, and also the underplay of her in the first place is much more subtle. There’s some cool extra features in the dual life of Robert Arctor/Fred, which we don’t get to see in the film; his regular use of Substance D, his detective work and previous cases, his relationships at work (both jobs) and at home (both houses), the near future world he inhabits, collecting his pay cheques from secret cola machines, and when Bob is finally committed to New Path, the final 10 minutes of the film, this in the novel takes up a good 10-15 chapters, giving us all the inside details we’ve been waiting for and revealing their terrible (and unfortunately very realistic) design.
It’s a good book, and in my opinion it’s been made into a good film.
Life problems – Quit again?
Not sure if I’ve ever done this before, it’s normally the kind of thing I’d keep to the journal – Yes, I have been keeping a journal of the daily adventures moving to Canada has brought me, for now, until it becomes standard, just to look back on this first year in many years time.
Anyway, I now have the opportunity to take pretty much the exact kind of job I have been looking for for a long time, or at least a step in the right direction to it. I say have the chance, this is very early days, I haven’t had my first interview yet, but their is already talk of starting right away. Here’s the problem.
To take the job I really want, it means quitting the pretty sweet job I have right now obviously. I know which one I’d rather have in the long run, but that job requires a trial period. I can’t say to my current employer, “can I go on a trail period with this other company I’d rather work for, then if that doesn’t work out can I come back?” But also I don’t want to miss the opportunity! But if it doesn’t work out, and companies in this area tend to be very arrogant and uncaring towards their employees (at first), then I would have thrown away a job I’m genuinly enjoying at the moment, and would have to go for something I know isn’t going to be as good. Also, I’m currently struggling for cash while I wait for my next pay, and this entire scenario is cropping up in DAYS.
If anyone reads this, and I’m thinking there’s maybe 2/3 people who might, please leave any kind of advice or even a pretty unhelpful comment in the box below, maybe even pass it on. I know all that is very unlikely, but as always with this blog, I am simply thinking out loud. But very quietly, as the loudness is just expressed by tapping keys. Thanks.