Monday, August 14, 2006

Drugs, criticisms and A Scanner Darkly

Two interesting but not convincing criticisms of Philip K. Dick's A Scanner Darkly, or at least the Richard Linklater movie made from it.

IROSF's Ryder MIller exploration of Phillip K. Dick's message on drugs and Christian Answers movie spotlight with a fundamentalist Christian perspective on the movie.

My own Occam's Razor - PKD and many of his friends used drugs. He was very saddened that many died or harmed themselves and even his own health was affected. To say that he is simplisticly anti-drug is wrong.

Phillip is compassionate about drug victims who he feels need help and he is always fearful about the Evil Dark Empire of the state and the power it abuses. He also has a major plot element about a private non-profit or corporation linked to the government that promoted itself as healing victims but really produced them. There are major religious elements in the movie touched upon in the Christian movie review.

The villains of the movie are the drug "Substance D", the hypocritical treatment institution (believed partially based on Synanon), the drug war itself, and the scanners for the government who monitor nearly everyone. The major character is both the hero and the villain, a victim and a scanner.

Both criticisms I linked to end by tagging their own self-serving morals at the end of their reviews, the pro-marijuana Utopian of the first and the simplistic Christian all you need is love of the second.

A long preview of A Scanner Darkly is available at IGN.

Here is PKD discussing A Scanner Darkly.


I have the feeling I would like the movie better if I see it again. It is much deeper than the original overall doper graphic novel movie surface.

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