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Movies Mayberry Movie Club Week 10: A Scanner Darkly (2006)

Discussion in 'Mayberry Lounge' started by Cubo de Sangre, Sep 27, 2021.

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What's your rating for this film?

  1. 5 Stars: You need to see this.

    11.8%
  2. 4 Stars: Would definitely recommend.

    41.2%
  3. 3 Stars: If you're into this sorta thing then check it out.

    41.2%
  4. 2 Stars: Skip it.

    5.9%
  5. 1 Star: Fuck this piece of shit.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Cubo de Sangre President of the War Room

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    Each week club members will vote on a film to watch. Then the following week we'll discuss it. Anyone is welcome to join in the discussions. If you want to become a member then let me know.

    For week #10 the club selected A Scanner Darkly (2006).

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    Premise: An undercover cop in a not-too-distant future becomes involved with a dangerous new drug and begins to lose his own identity as a result.

    Director: Richard Linklater

    [​IMG]

    Starring: Keanu Reeves

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    Starring: Robert Downy Jr.

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    Starring: Winona Ryder

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    Triva:
    (via IMDB)
    • Robert Downey, Jr. wrote most of his lines down on post-it notes and scattered them around the set so he could read off them while filming a scene. The rotoscoping team simply animated over the notes to remove them from the film during post-production.
    • According to Writer and Director Richard Linklater, filming was completed in twenty-three days. The animation took eighteen months.
    • When Bob Arctor (Keanu Reeves) sits on the stage waiting to give his speech to the Brown Bear Lodge, one of the images his scramble suit displays is Philip K. Dick. This is a clever reference to the novel, in which the scramble suit is said to show the likeness of its creator once in every several million permutations.
    • This is the highest-grossing digitally rotoscoped animated feature, grossing 7,659,918 dollars. However, being also the most-expensive rotoscoped feature ever made, that figure is lower than the film's cost of 8.7 million dollars.
    • Philip K. Dick's daughters gave Writer and Director Richard Linklater their father's personal copy of the novel "A Scanner Darkly" when he completed this movie.
    • (At around fifty-five minutes) When Charles Freck (Rory Cochrane) goes to the liquor store to buy wine, one of the brand names being advertised is St. Ubik. This is a reference to Philip K. Dick's novel "Ubik".
    • Based on Philip K. Dick's personal drug experiences.
    • Richard Linklater casted Robert Downey Jr because he wanted someone who could be intelligent, evil, and humorous in the role of Barris.
    • (At around one hour and twelve minutes) When Bob Arctor (Keanu Reeves) is going through the second phase of testing with the medical Deputies, the laptop-like machine, on which he is being tested, is branded as V K mk1. V K stands for Voight Kampff, the test used in "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" (a.k.a. "Blade Runner") by Philip K. Dick, where the test is used to measure the response time and the involuntary reaction of the pupil of the eye, in short, an emotional reaction to determine whether they are humans or androids.
    • Winona Ryder said this was the most difficult story and script she'd ever read for.
    • Terry Gilliam originally wanted to make a motion picture version of the novel in the early 1990s.
    • Richard Linklater intended to film the Philip K. Dick novel "Ubik", but decided to film Dick's "A Scanner Darkly" instead, after Wiley Wiggins, who played the main character in Waking Life (2001), suggested it to him.
    • Charlie Kaufman wrote a screenplay adaptation of the novel with Australian Director Emma-Kate Croghan. He couldn't produce a usable script, and when his profile swelled with the success of Being John Malkovich (1999), he lost interest in the film. When the project changed hands, Kaufman's script was no longer involved.
    • In Bob Arctor's kitchen, there is a drawing of a head in a box next to the phrase "Time to thaw Walt out!" This is a reference to the urban legend that Walt Disney had himself cryogenically frozen.
    • The movie was given its' animation style to make it appear like a live action graphic novel as opposed to a regular novel to film adaptation to help give it a darker, thought provoking style and theme, which graphic novels are known for.


    Members: @Cubo de Sangre @Dirt Road Soldier @MusterX @sickc0d3r @Tufts @Zer @newjerseynick

    Honorary tags: @chickenluver @JayPettryMMA @europe1 @the muntjac @HenryFlower
     
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  2. MusterX Titanium Belt

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    Yea I was going to say that the entire, we're going to give you a cognitive test thing was very Blade Runner, within cells interlinked,-esque. What I want to say about this film would inevitably veer into Philip K. Dick is one of my favorite writers territory so I'll just get that over with now. He was ahead of his time, he was a lunatic, he's one of the people in my Top 10, "I want to have a drink with that guy" list.

    The man, the legend.
    [​IMG]

    One thing that is going to come out during this discussion is Dick was, well, he was a bit of a nutter who tried to push his 3rd wife off a cliff in a car. He was married 5 times even though he died at age 53 of a stroke. This is where this shit kicks off though because Dick's exploits and the story arc of his life is bizarre. He was diagnosed at one point with schizophrenia and he was hearing voices, voices that told him his son had a very rare disease and would die if he didn't get help for it and when the boy was taken to the hospital he in fact had that disease and was saved. Nobody really knows how such a thing could occur.

    Philip K. Dick had trouble distinguishing reality throughout his life and yet his writing seems so predictive, and focused, its hard to believe that it was written by someone with schizophrenia. In 1971 his marriage to Nancy Hackett failed and she moved out. He had been addicted to amphetamines for a good decade at this point and he allowed various drug addicts move into the house with him, just like in A Scanner Darkly. In fact, the story of A Scanner Darkly is sort of a mirror to his own life during the 1970's.

    Dick's substance D was amphetamines and he was living in the same house with other addicts that he had once lived in with his family. In November 1971 he filed a police report that someone broke into his home and only stole the papers out of his safe but the police suspected Dick may have done it himself. This is also reflected in A Scanner Darkly when the guys return how and are trying to figure out who broke in. Ultimately he tried to commit suicide just like the character Charles Freck in the film.

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    Because Dick survived this suicide attempt he went into a recovery program in Canada called X-Kalay which is the basis for the New Path program in A Scanner Darkly. Considering Dick had been known to hear voices, suffer from paranoia, be addicted to amphetamines, its not wonder A Scanner Darkly is a film about identity crisis, drug addiction, and authoritarianism. My favorite exchange in the film between Robert Downey Jr, and Woody Harrelson;

    You're a double bug bite.
    What kind of bug?
    Bout to get fucked up bitch beetle!

    The film really is a gold mine of lines such as, "Fucking fruit pies are for old ladies", and "That sure is some silencer." Beyond what I find to be the hilarious ravings of a house full of drug addicts is the horrific twist ending where we find out that Donna, played by Winona Ryder, is actually Hank, Bob Arctor's/Keanu Reeves, supervisor. Donna has set up Bob the entire film, got him addicted to Substance D while she only pretended to take it, so he would lose his mind and be taken to the New Path program.

    Its hard to see it coming and by the time it does Bob is only a husk of his former self. They even planted ideas in his mind like "Give the girl blue flowers" so he could infiltrate New Path and prove they were the ones making Substance D and although he does pick the blue flower at the end of the film so he can take it and give to someone, its extremely bitter sweet. New Path will be exposed and shut down but at the cost of Bob Arctor's mind. I guess Donna does feel bad about it because she says she wants out and she can't do it again, but that is of little solace to Bob who now repeats what is said to him like a zombie.

    There is so much more to this film and this writers life that could be explored though and its become one of my favorite dystopian, drug addled, guilty pleasures.

    Interpolated Rotoscoping/10
     
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  3. Kryptt ⭍ Dead Belt ⭍ Platinum Member

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    Enjoyed it.
     
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  4. Cubo de Sangre President of the War Room

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    @Dirt Road Soldier @MusterX @sickc0d3r @Tufts @Zer @newjerseynick

    The next nominations will be the first of the month so it will be theme week. As per our list, it's @Dirt Road Soldier's week to pick the theme. Let us know as soon as you can what you choose.

    Because I'm travelling, the nominations won't go up this Sunday, but rather the following one. So that gives everyone plenty of time to watch this week's film.
     
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  5. Karl_Hungus Purple Belt

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    It is a really good movie. I would recommend anything by Phillip K. Dick. This movie has some extra layers of interesting. The guy was really something. Drugs are a helluva drug.
     
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  6. Tufts Green Belt

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    Awesome! Between parent-teacher conferences and taking care of 6 animals, I don't have time to do shit! Daddy is missed!
     
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  7. Dirt Road Soldier All Praise To The Gun!

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    @Cubo de Sangre @Dirt Road Soldier @MusterX @sickc0d3r @Tufts @Zer @newjerseynick

    Per our glorious leaders request, I shall now announce the next theme!

    FOr this theme week, please choose a movie involving pets! Be it dogs, cats, horses, fish, the old man who wears the gimp suit on his sunday walk in the park, doesnt matter! I figure after so many weeks of darker movies maybe we could have an easy one thats a bit more light hearted.
     
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  8. NewJerseyNick Platinum Werewolf Belt Platinum Member

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    Im in your kitchen making a sandwich.
    Ive always been a fan of anything Rotoscoped.
    RDJ totally steals the show in this movie.
    I think Woody was kinda wasted in this movie and forget he is in this film alot.
    Id like to pick up the book at some point.
     
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  9. Cubo de Sangre President of the War Room

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    Thanks dude. I’ll probably run the nominations past you to make sure they qualify.
     
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  10. Cubo de Sangre President of the War Room

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    For the next week everyone submit a nomination even if you didn’t watch the current flick. Since I’m dropping the ball let’s call it fair play.

    That said, I’ll get to this one next week.
     
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  11. Cubo de Sangre President of the War Room

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    Nick lives!!! Yes.
     
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  12. Tufts Green Belt

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    [​IMG]
     
  13. Dirt Road Soldier All Praise To The Gun!

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    Ive watched this movie several times, and it still kills me how well all the actors seem to interact. They all seem to hit their roles perfectly, which kind of makes sense seeing as how several of them have battled addiction in their lives.

    The animation is great, and kudos to them all for having the balls to do it. It takes a long, long time to roto an entire damn movie, and they did it really well. How they managed to perfectly hit on the facial expressions really stood out to me, as that is usually where this kind of animation fails.

    They story is fantastic, and has enough small twists and one really big one that it keeps a person invested in how it all turns out. They also did a great job on balancing everything so that you dont spend to much time on any one character as they all have important roles to play in the story.

    All in all while its not a fantastic movie by any means, it's still damn good and worth a watch. And it lends itself to both traditional and animation fans, which is a huge boon to a great movie like this.
     
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  14. Zer Steel Belt

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    I think this is really good. It's an interesting group of characters, played by a cast with great chemistry, plus a visual gimmick that looks superb.

    This is one of Keanu's most memorable performances just simply because the ending has been a little tearjerker both times I've watched this film now. It's not a flamboyant character and so I wouldn't say the role is outside his comfort zone exactly, but can't deny his character here had an effect on me. He fits into the group dynamic perfectly and clicks with the more energetic and entertaining RDJ and Harrelson, and I also liked how he worked with Ryder. He has an innocuous quality that gives the manipulations of Hank/Donna gravity. The chemistry between the actors is a very big positive to this movie, and even though it puts them in some pretty mundane situations it's fun watching them interact.

    I like the approach of the film in putting the characters on display and then kind of casually sweeping them up into the jaws of the law, with little regard for their feelings or well being. The themes of drug abuse and users being regarded as lower class and disposable is really what drove the films emotional stakes for me and a big reason why the ending was so impactful, especially with the end credits listing victims of drug abuse. The scramble suits are an interesting gimmick that obviously serve the story in a number of ways, but they pretty deftly set up this world where identities and motives can be so easily hidden and characters live in an environment of justified paranoia and constant risk.

    Would definitely recommend
     
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  15. Cubo de Sangre President of the War Room

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    I seem to have gotten less out of this than the others here. Overall it was ok. The rotoscoping was impressive. Some of the dialogue was pretty interesting. The twist with Donna/Hank I didn't see coming. Overall though the characters never endeared themselves to me for this film to have much impact. Best guess is I just don't have any sympathy for drug addicts.

    Seems weird Arctor bumps his head on a cabinet and goes from family man to undercover policeman drug addict. Although I don't know it would be terribly interesting to explore that transition. Not sure the family stuff served much purpose at all.

    I guess "Audrey" was wrestling with her own conscience when she was lecturing Arctor over his choice to actually do the drugs. Since later she expressed guilt over setting him up to do just that. Her being undercover herself explains why she never put out. It also demonstrates being able to find ways to not fully indulge in the character and role being played. Maybe Bob really should have found a way to fake doing the drugs.

    Thanks @MusterX for pointing out how much of this Dick pulled from his own life. That certainly makes it more interesting.
     
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  16. Cubo de Sangre President of the War Room

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    @Dirt Road Soldier @MusterX @sickc0d3r @Tufts @Zer @newjerseynick

    Anybody like this for a new rule? If you watch any of the club's prior movies during a week then you can submit a nomination. For example, if you really didn't want to watch Audition, but missed watching Cam, you could watch and review Cam and then nominate a film for the coming week.

    Since there's going to be a lag between nominations going up Sunday us having a new movie to watch, send me a nomination for the following Sunday as well. This'll be like the club's first two weeks where there was nothing to watch so everyone was eligible to nominate films both weeks.
     
  17. Zer Steel Belt

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    I think it's a good idea, I don't mind some flexibility on nominations because I will sometimes miss the deadlines
     
  18. shunyata Silver Belt

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    Saw it in theaters back in the day, excellent film.

    Will try to get a rewatch in as we're even closer now to that surveillance state than we were when it released.


    Is it on any of the major streaming platforms at present?
     
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  19. Cubo de Sangre President of the War Room

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    Pretty sure it's on Amazon, but costs a few bucks to rent.
     
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  20. Tufts Green Belt

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    I liked the animation. Fell asleep from all the talking. Not my cup of tea. But cool to be exposed to roto rootering or whatever this type of animation is called. My favourite part was the blurry identity changing disguise stuff. I would focus on a part of the character and just watch that area change. Made it hard to follow the dialogue. I'm a super visual person, so this actually was the most entertaining part for me.
     
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