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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A lot of big words of praise are thrust upon Phil K. Dick during the
opening moments of this informative little featurette, and I do mean
big, for they are mostly spoken by fellow authors and admirers. Add to
that the fact that Dick's daughter Isa explains about her dad's severe
agoraphobia and this humble reviewer's mind is spinning like a
futuristic flying cop car before we get to the first archive footage of
the man himself. Luckilly, word-smith Phillip did not feel the need to
express himself quite as elaborate to get his point across, making him
instantly the most likable and attainable figure in this documentary.
After briefly covering his childhood, we soon move onto his most fruitful writing period, the 1960's, Never all that popular in his native country, Dick mostly seemed to have been on a crusade to justify science fiction as serious writing, instead of just children's fantasy and comic book fluff. For most of his life he didn't make very much money, and Phil certainly had no love for Hollywood up until the very end of his life, when Blade Runner was in production. Unfortunately he didn't live long enough to see Ridley Scott's film become a cult classic, leading to more short stories of his to get turned into big Hollywood productions (though none of his longer novels got the treatment as yet).
As an introductionary documentary on the fourth disc (the so called enhancement archive) of the Blade Runner final cut boxed set, this piece sets the tone nicely. The under-appreciated originator of the source material 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?' finally gets a the spotlight. And like all great artists, his work lives on and becomes more and more profitable long after he's left us.
7 out of 10
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