Friday, December 28, 2007

Steven Hart Reviews 'A Scanner Darkly'


Author and critic Steven Hart reviews Richard Linklater's adaptation of 'A Scanner Darkly' here.

He doesn't particularly like the movie, and while I disagree with the review, it is well thought out and worth the read. Hart writes,

"The 2006 film adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s novel A Scanner Darkly is the kind of failure that can only be produced by an exceptionally talented and intelligent artist — one who loves his material so deeply that he can’t step back and realize that his approach is fundamentally misguided, and hollows out the core of what drew him to the material in the first place."

Personally, I feel like Hart is too attached to his own vision for Scanner to see how effectively Linklater's vision works, but to each his own, and you can't help but appreciate Hart's love for PKD.

6 comments:

Whatshisface said...

You know, I find myself agreeing a lot with what this guy is saying. I can't say I was particularly enamoured with Linklater's film either.

The positive reaction from many dick-heads to the film struck me as rather odd. Perhaps it's a kind of reverse overreaction to being treated like crap by Hollywood for so long. The moment something comes along that feels relatively true to the source material us dick-heads are willing to let slide the fact that Linklater's effort was sort of flat, never really embracing the uglier parts of the story.

Jerry said...

I think you're right.

It was such a joy to finally see something that felt so close to being done right, that the euphoria smoothed out the parts that weren't actually true to Dick's story.

I enjoyed it even if I disagreed with where Linklater veered away from the novel.

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Pete said...
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Marmalade said...

This is an old post, but I wanted to respond. I read the Hart review and found it dissatisfying. I agree that it felt like Hart was too attached to his own vision.

I saw the movie before the novel. I enjoyed both and was surprised how close the movie followed the novel... even though I don't expect movies to follow novels too closely. I separately enjoy both the works of Linklater and PKD. Combined, it was even better.

I consider Linklater's adaptation to be one of the best movies I've ever watched. That is one extremely complex novel and Linklater captured the essence of it. In my opinion, one of the best parts of the movie was the animation technique.

Sure, Linklater's movie wasn't perfect. Then again, neither was PKD's novel. In creating a more focused story, I feel that Linklater created in some ways an even more enjoyable story.

However, I prefer to just consider the two to be different and leave it at that. If you like PKD's other works, then you'll enjoy this novel. Likewise, if you enjoy Linklater's other works, you'll enjoy the adaptation of the novel.

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