Wednesday, October 17, 2007

'Your Name Here' To Be Wildly Inaccurate

Above: Prominent adulterer and ultra-conservative neo-con Pill Bullman with Laci Tords and Damanda Ecker (all of whom are wanted on tax evasion and indecency charges) photographed on the set of 'Your Name Here'

More news of the quasi-PKD-biopic "Your Name Here" recently surfaced over at MTV Movies Blog.

Get ready for this:

"Portraying the sexpot “Dallas” star, Manning plays opposite Pullman as a doppleganger version of eccentric sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick, whose novels about time travel, androids and alternate universes have yielded such classics as “Minority Report,” “Total Recall,” and “Blade Runner.”

“Pullman plays William J. Frick, but it’s based on Phillip K. Dick,” she grinned, explaining that legal mumbo-jumbo kept the production from using real names (see “Bill Pullman Is Kind Of, But Not Really, Philip K. Dick“). “It is all kind of weird and bizarre - and I am a robot in it.”

Much like David Cronenberg’s “Naked Lunch,” the film mixes fiction and reality into a drug-addled concoction that’ll leave audience members questioning reality in a way that would make Dick proud. “Instead of being Vikki, I’m Nikki … It’s all based on [his life], but it’s all imaginative. Plus, he’s on meth - so, it’s all a bit skewed.”

When Manning appears to Dick…er…Frick in what seems to be a dream, his sci-fi world invades his reality. “He’s infatuated with my character … she starred in that movie ‘Earthquake,’ and he is obsessed with her even though he has a wife,” she said of one scene. “All around his office you see pictures of me. One day, he does a huge line [of cocaine], and the next thing you know he’s in the back of a limo, and there I am!”

Take a minute to process that.

'William J Frick' is on meth? doing huge lines of coke?!

I love how MTV's reporter refers to copyright law (or whatever esoteric branch of the legal system deals with identity) as 'legal mumbo-jumbo.' Something tells me there'd be a bit of legal mumbo-jumbo involved were I to make a movie about MTV being run by gangsters who were laundering money for an illegal sex-trade business they were running on the side. And I'm sure MTV would understand my fair and equitable solution to their outrage when I decided to change MTV to VTM. Now I'm not saying MTV's run by gangsters involved in the trafficking of young girls - I'm saying VTM is run by those guys - in my movie.

To intentionally create an inaccurate caricature of someone who died relatively recently (this is not Shakespeare in Love) in an extremely negative light (when his kids are still alive I might add) seems a bit shady. What's more they will beat the estate-sanctioned bio-pic 'Owl in Daylight' to the theaters, perhaps even creating a Deep-Impact-vs-Armageddon-type glut of PKD meta-fictions - perhaps a suffering devoutly to be wished for.

I've never heard of PKD snorting big-lines of coke, and I don't think it's quite right to depict him as a meth addict either, for any number of reasons. Oh yeah right, it's not Philip K Dick, it's William J Frick. But in every interview Pullman or Manning do they mention the movie's based on 'eccentric science-fiction writer' Philip K Dick.


I love it when lawyers adhere to the letter of the law while wiping their feet on the law's spirit.

On the other hand, I believe deeply that on some level Philip K Dick, by virtue of being part of our cultural dialog, belongs to all of us. Lethem's article "The Ecstasy of Influence" really shaped the way I think about this stuff. We are all free to imagine PKD in any way that pleases us. Like it or not, he encouraged people to do precisely that by consciously manipulating the way he was portrayed in the press, by creating extensions of himself in his fiction, and by sensationalizing his biography over and over again in his novels.

I have to admit this movie sounds like it might be pretty good. I guess this is just further proof we're living in a PKD novel.

I'm quite curious to hear what you all have to say about this. Are two bio-pics better than one? Perhaps this is yet another Dickian narrative and now his story will be told from constantly shifting perspectives. "If you find this movie bad, you should see some of the others," Dick is saying as he looks down from his seat high atop the great magnet.

Do you think this film will be a winner or a loser?

Oh and this reporter says that the movie is not being written by the "breaka my stride" guy, but why should I trust her? After all, I've been blissfully assuming all these other professional writers were checking their facts. How do I know she's not the one lying? And now we're living in that Philip K Dick novel.


Anonymous said...

Erm, right. Sounds a like a great film... Really well thought-out and not cheap and shoddy at all. MTV are the ideal company to make this, given their sterling reputation when it comes to bleeding-edge documentaries. I'm thinking of Newlyweds, here. And Dirty Sanchez. And Jackass.

[Eldritch stops typing and goes back to The Man Who Japed...]

Pantomime Horse said...

"What's more they will beat the estate-sanctioned bio-pic 'Owl in Daylight' to the theaters, ...".

I dread an estate-sanctioned bio-pic. I think the letter from a lawyer for the estate at the link below gives a hint of what to expect plus a full dose of your Daily Minimum Requirement of legal mumbo jumbo. "The Trust owns all rights, title and interest in and to ... and the name, image and likeness of Philip K. Dick. Any unauthorized use of ... and Philip K. Dick’s name, image or likeness is a violation of federal law, state law and the Trust’s rights, and wrongfully deprive the Trust of financial gain through the exploitation of the goodwill and international reputation established in connection with ... and Philip K. Dick’s name, image and likeness."

"exploitation", "financial gain" and grandiose claims of ownership jump out as does the obvious ill will between the estate and one of Philip K. Dick's wives. I'm fully content to wait for a good biographical movie from someone with no axes to grind, talent and a love of PKD's writing.