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... See full summary »
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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
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From Philip K. Dick, the mind behind the Terminator, Blade Runner, & Total Recall, (just to name a few) comes one of his most abstract and best reviewed novels, Radio Free Albemuth. Since being released in the early 80's, Science Fiction fans and literary scholars alike have analyzed it over and over again. They seem to think there is a deeper meaning, but to me the meaning of the story is simply that every single person can make a difference and change the world, if they are inspired to do so. Radio Free Albemuth is Philip K. Dick's biography, only in an alternate universe. Dick is a Science Fiction writer and the narrator of the film, who tells the story of his friend Nicholas Brady (Jonathan Scarfe). Brady is an ordinary guy who one day starts receiving visions of the future. Most people think Brody is crazy, especially his wife, until all of his predictions start to come true. Brady moves his family to L.A., where he becomes a record executive and that's where the story really takes off. The world these people live in is a police state, cause by the hysteria brought on by terrorism and The Cold War. Brady comes to realize that he is the key to changing the world for the better. All he has to do is find out how to do it and who or what is instructing him to do so. The alternate Phillip K. Dick, played admirable by Shea Whigham, is a witness to the events and makes it his mission to chronicle the work of his friend. Like most writers, Dick was known for being more than a little eccentric and many have questioned where this story came from, and weather or not Dick believe he was experiencing the same types of messages that Brady was. As for the film, it is just so well done, and I've always love stories that take place in alternate realities. The story is as much political as it is scientific, and when you throw in the inspirational message that anyone can change the world for the better, you've got one hell of a story. From beginning to end, the cast is terrific, especially the mysterious Sylvia, played by Alanis Morrisette of all people. I knew she was in Dogma, but I had no idea just how good and actress she could be, isn't it ironic? Radio Free Albemuth has everything I look for in a movie and then some, and it is written by one of the best there ever was, I can't possibly recommend it enough.
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