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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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
Filmed in October 2007, this movie had been stuck in post-production hell since 2010, only to show a incomplete cut to independent film festivals until a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2013 helped raise the funds to give the film a theatrical release. See more »
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 »
I really enjoyed this film. The performances by Shea Whigham, Jonathan Scarfe, Scott Wilson and Katheryn Winnick are all solid and ring true. Alanis Morisette is captivating as Sylvia (although she is physically different in appearance from the character in the book). Hanna Hall as the young right wing political operative Vivian Kaplan is amusingly subversive. Director/screenwriter John Alan Simon captures the mentality of the times (early 70s) about which Dick writes: The paranoia, drugs, perceived power of pop rock music to effect social change and the left wing politics. Although he moves the setting to the mid 80s, replacing the Nixon Era with that of Reagan, the issues still reverberate. The script allows enough space for Philip K. Dick's fascinating and fantastic ideas to breathe. I recommend this film. If you haven't read Philip K. Dick you will want to after seeing this film!
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