Preview by: Jack Foley
2005 could well become known as a great year for experimentation
(as well as remakes and sequels, etc).
Following hot-on-the-heels of Robert Rodriguez's ultra-impressive
looking Sin City, is Richard
Linklater's similarly enthralling A Scanner Darkly, featuring
another top ensemble cast and another 'unique' look.
The film 'stars' Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Robert Downey Jr.,
and Woody Harrelson, among others, and is based upon sci-fi writer,
Philip K. Dick's most-popular novels.
It is set in the future, at a time when America has lost the
war on drugs.
Reeves plays undercover cop, Fred, one of many agents hooked
on the popular drug, Substance D, which causes its users to develop
This means that Fred can also be
Bob, a notorious drug dealer.
To complicate matters still further, however, Fred initiates
an elaborate scheme, involving his his superior officers, to catch
Bob and tear down his operation.
While the plot sounds intriguing, however, it's not the main
talking point about the movie.
This is the look of the film, which takes the form of a graphic
novel come to life.
To create a distinct look for the film, Linklater has used live
action photography overlaid with an advanced animation process
(known as interpolated rotoscoping) to try and create a haunting
vision of the future.
The technology was first employed in another of Linklater’s
films, Waking Life in 2001, but has evolved sufficiently to allow
the director to produce even more emotional impact and detail.
It means that 2005 could also be a big year for Linklater, who
is also set to release the decidedly more mainstream Bad
News Bears remake, starring Billy Bob Thornton and Greg Kinnear.
Footage shown at the annual ShoWest convention has already led
many pundits to predict that A Scanner Darkly will prove every
bit as visually impressive as the critically-acclaimed Sin