Berkeley record store clerk Nick Brady (Jonathan Scarfe) begins to experience strange visions from an entity he calls VALIS that cause him to uproot his family and move to Los Angeles where...
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Andrew David Fisher
Berkeley record store clerk Nick Brady (Jonathan Scarfe) begins to experience strange visions from an entity he calls VALIS that cause him to uproot his family and move to Los Angeles where he becomes a successful music company executive. With the help of best friend, science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick himself (Shea Whigam) and a mysterious woman named Silvia (Alanis Morissette), Nick finds himself drawn into a dangerous political-mystical conspiracy of cosmic proportions. The story is set in an alternate reality America circa 1985 under the authoritarian control of President Fremont, a Nixon-like clone (Scott Wilson). Written by
Radio Free LLC
Early in the film, PKD tells his buddy that he just finished his new novel and it will be published in hardcover (a nice change, since his early SF were all published by cheap paperback houses), then in reply to the question of it's subject he says, it's a what if the Germans won WWll premise. He's obviously referencing PKD's arguably most successful novel (it won the Hugo) published in 1963. The film is set in 1985, but since Dick was dead for three years already in this universe, maybe it was an intentional distortion. See more »
This small independent/low budget film is built on extremely effective uses of science fiction coupled with religion coupled with political resistance to totalitarian power and a weird species of multidimensional autobiography that coalesces to provide a very, very satisfying conclusion and a sharp emotional experience. Shea Whigham carries the film, he's great. Hanna Hall is a most excellent villain. The story reminded me of The Man in the High Castle, another PK Dick novel featuring alternative parallel universes. The story is inspired by real paranormal events that PK Dick and his wife Tessa experienced in Los Angeles in the 1980s. highly recommend this for lovers of cerebral film.
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