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July 17th, 2006

Jul. 17th, 2006

I spent my weekend moaning in pain (from a horribly strained/sprained/whatever back), sweating, and reading up about prostitutes. Yes, hos. Streetwalkers. Working girls. No, it's not a new vocational possibility - sex workers and junkies figure prominently in The Castle of Los Angeles, since it's set on the seedy edge of downtown.

Took a break from the addicts and hookers to see A Scanner Darkly yesterday. In case there's anyone left who isn't aware of this, I am a major Dickhead. Hard core. As in, I once paid for the stage rights to Radio Free Albemuth. As in, four shelves worth of variant editions. As in, I think Ubik is the greatest book ever written. So, how was the latest filmic PKD attempt? Not bad, but still not right. Fairly truthful to the book, but with long passages of slacker dialogue that feel more Linklater than Dick. And then there's the animation, which although reasonably attractive and good for the hallucinogenic aspect of the story, does nothing to add to Dick's carefully wrought characterizations. I still say the best cinematic rendering of PKD I've ever seen was this season's second episode of The Sopranos. Somehow, without actually adapting either, David Chase totally captured the feeling of both Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said and Ubik (without some of the more outre horror of the latter, though). The episode, in which comatose Tony Soprano dreamed of a world in which he was a salesman caught in a case of mistaken identity while almost trapped in a large hotel, was subtly disturbing, beautifully made and absolutely brilliant. Would that a true Dick adaptation could come that close...