In a totalitarian society in a near future, the undercover detective Bob Archor 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
It is the second motion picture starring Robert Downey Jr. and Woody Harrelson together after Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers (1994). See more »
(at around 10 mins) Arctor's residence, on the computer screen, is shown as Anahiem, California, a misspelling of Anaheim. The associated zip code, 98345 is for Keyport, Washington. 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 »
For some reason I can't get separate the way I feel about Radiohead's Kid A and Amnesiac albums from the way I feel about this movie. If you love adult sci-fi that is complex and strangely moving then this is a must see movie. This captures Philip K. Dick's spirit better than any movie since BLADERUNNER and is even more difficult to pin a reaction on. SCANNER is a more intimate film. Anybody who has seen Richard Linklater's mind boggling WAKING LIFE will be instantly familiar (and comfortable) with the way SCANNER looks. The rotoscoping technique doesn't seem that much further evolved from WAKING except for the scrambler suit whose effect is a continuous wonder to behold. The look beautifully suits the story because they both speak to the large disconnect that has happened in our society via technology. Interpersonal and immediately accessible intercommunication devices have allowed us to avoid real communication and immediate interaction with our surroundings and the people who inhabit them at any moment on a grander scale than ever before. I find it rather depressing and annoying when my current reality in interrupted by a bloody cell phone (unless, of course, it is mine that is ringing). Dick's work often addressed alienation and sinking so far into your own that reality became a liquid element usually washing us up onto the shores paranoia and madness. SCANNER evokes this strangeness in a way few movies ever have.
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