A/V Room









A Scanner Darkly - Preview

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 split personalities.


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 City.


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