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A Scanner Darkly

July 4, 2011

1. Film Analysis

The film like the book focuses on identity confusion. However, it also focuses on living in a police state.  In one scene we see two of the characters talking and in the background there is police gathering trouble makers from the street.  We also see this theme recurring throughout the film as Arctor and other narcotics agent’s watch footage from the streets, work places and Arctor’s home.  Because of this society that watches ones every move, it adds to the paranoia that is already prominent because of the drugs.  Is it because of this society that drugs are so prominent to begin with?  Are people trying to forget or did the government purposely drug others as they’ve done to Arctor in order to better control their lives?

2. Book Analysis

The main theme in the book “A scanner Darkly” is identity confusion.  We see Arctor’s character as having three different identities-Artcor, Bob, and Bruce.  There is a constant confusion about which identity is the real person.  This theme also comes into play when we see Bob in the scramble suit.  The suit is designed to create confusion by the viewer and to only pretend to understand the man under the suit.  With the suit comes the identity of a family man that we see later to be untrue.  The idea is that what people perceive to be ones true identity isn’t always true.  In life, everyone wears different masks made to fit different situations.  The difference is that in the book there is an added element called Substance D.  It effects are meant to affect the user to such a state of confusion that even they are no longer sure which mask fits their true identity.

3. Internet Research

This is a great you tube video which includes excerpts of an interview with Phillip K. Dick.  We learn about his personal experiences with government take-over.  We also see in this video an excerpt from the film’s director and what he’s up against in making this film.  The video tells a bit about the sci-fi genre and how that was limiting to Dick.

While this site is titled I’m not sure if it’s an official page or not.  It is a cool site though that offers a photo gallery from the film, a book synopsis along with a review, a biography page on Dick, and information about other books of his that have been adapted to film.  It’s a fun site that gives you greater insight to the author and his popularity.

This final entry is a blog about A scanner Darkly.  It appears to have a few followers but only one person has posted.  The site owner has given her take of the book adaptation and welcomes any imput from followers of her blog.

4. Critical Analysis

To adapt A Scanner Darkly to film, the director Richard Linklater uses the “interpolated rotoscope” animation technique. What are the effects on the viewer of such a technique? Was it an appropriate technique for the film, in terms its themes and story?

The animation technique “interpolated rotoscoping” was used in the film adaptation  of “A Scanner Darkly.”  This technique in the film is appropriate in adapting the book into a film in that movements appear  to be slow and fluid like.  Additionally,  in one scene, the furniture appears to be floating in the air giving a sense of dissonance.  Finally, this technique is useful in showing Jerry’s hallucinations of being infested with bugs.  In the scene his skin is crawling with bugs and his slow fluid movements make the hallucinations real to the viewer.


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One Comment
  1. It’s all good. 10/10.

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