In a totalitarian society in a near future, the undercover detective Bob Arctor is working with a small time group of drug users trying to reach the big distributors of a brain-damaging drug called Substance D. His assignment is promoted by the recovery center New Path Corporation, and when Bob begins to lose his own identity and have schizophrenic behavior, he is submitted to tests to check his mental conditions. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
In 1976, an interview with Philip K. Dick was recorded for California radio station KPFK-FM in which he read a passage from A Scanner Darkly, the scene in which Charles Freck unsuccessfully attempts suicide. Director Richard Linklater remarked in an interview that he wanted to use this recording in the film during this scene, but that it was in such poor condition as to be deemed unusable. The passage, nearly word for word from Dick's novel, is read instead during the scene by Leif Anders. See more »
(at around 10 mins) When Barris is served in the diner, french fries are scattered over his plate. When seen again, the french fries are replaced with vegetable sides. See more »
[on the phone]
I looked them up. They're aphids. They're in my hair, on my skin, in my lungs. And the pain, Barris, it's unreasonable. They're all over the place. Oh, they've completely gotten Millie too.
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At the start of the ending credits, the following text appears: This has been a story about people who were punished entirely too much for what they did. I loved them all. Here is a list, to whom I dedicate my love: To Gaylene, deceased To Ray, deceased To Francy, permanent psychosis To Kathy, permanent brain damage To Jim, deceased To Val, massive permanent brain damage To Nancy, permanent psychosis To Joanne, permanent brain damage To Maren, deceased To Nick, deceased To Terry, deceased To Dennis, deceased To Phil, permanent pancreatic damage To Sue, permanent vascular damage To Jerri, permanent psychosis and vascular damage ...and so forth In memoriam. These were comrades whom I had; There are no better. They remain in my mind, and the enemy will never be forgiven. The "enemy" was their mistake in playing. Let them play again, in some other way, and let them be happy. Philip K. Dick See more »
I love Philip K. Dick's work and was pleased with this adaptation of "A Scanner Darkly." Keanu Reeves does a really good job in the lead - he's in his element here - but he's really upstaged by Robert Downey Jr. and Woody Harrelson who engage in some surreal and hilarious conversations. It's like you're sitting with a bunch of guys tripping. Needless to say, some of the dialogue is hilarious, and I can see this film becoming another cult classic. (When they talk about two hemispheres being separate, I couldn't help but think about "Repo Man.") As for the animation, I found it a bit distracting. I think I would have preferred the use of CGI when it came to the agent suit that continually blends the faces of about 1 million people so that the agent isn't recognized. If you like drug films, then this is a must see. If that's not your bag, then you might have some problems with the film. It's sometimes obtuse and the story a bit convoluted. It's best to sit back and experience the film. It's a drug trip in itself.
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