I love Richard Linklater -- the director -- mostly from "Slacker," which will always be one of my very favorite movies. And I'm interested in Philip K. Dick enough to care. I also like flat animation a lot, even thought Linklater's watery, flow-y rotoscoped style, which I'd seen in "Waking Life," is not my favorite thing. But that was enough. I finally went to the movies.
I took some folded up notebook paper in case I wanted to write down quotes for a blog post. Here, let me put this through my scanner (darkly):
The word "bigs" is supposed to be "bugs." I wrote that during the first scene, which was harrowing... and involved bugs. I forgot I'd already written on that side of the fold when I wrote down a sentence from a long conversation three hopeless Substance D addicts had about a guy who wanted to be an imposter -- like the guy Leonardo DiCaprio played in "Catch Me If You Can" -- but he figured out he could just be an imposter imposter: "You could just pose as an imposter, it would be a lot easier."
Despite the seeming charm of that, this is not a film that finds drug use cute. It's very hallucinatory, so it's most likely to draw in an audience that is interested in drugs, but it is devastatingly antidrug, to the point where it made me feel guilty for writing that post last week about psilocybin. Just say no, kids, or you will be scrounging around in the dirt of an endless cornfield trying to pick the little blue flowers of death.
The film was quite brilliant, and if you think about it hard you can figure out what happened. Presumably, it helps to have read the book, which I haven't. It would probably be more enjoyable the second time for me, to notice all the details now that I understand the story.
While I've got the scanner fired up and receiving my handwritten notes, here are the (extensive!) notes I made for podcast #55:
They seem hallucinatory in the afterglow of "A Scanner Darkly."