Reality-changing. How Philip Dick feeds Hollywood (Topic)

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Reality-changing. How Philip Dick feeds Hollywood

Image Modern cinema is lavish with remakes and sequels. The cult film Ridley Scott Blade Runner is waiting for its sequel from Canadian Denis Villeneuve next year. Fans of the inimitable noir and cyberpunk Runner are both excited about the story's continuation and worried about the possibility of failure.

It was " The Runner " that brought glory (albeit posthumously) to one of the strangest and most prolific science fiction writers of the 20th century - Philip Kindred Dick . Author of more than 30 novels and 110 short stories, he has inspired more than a dozen directors with his work, images and ideas. This is not surprising: the science fiction plots are mostly dynamic, the re-created worlds of the future and other dimensions are incredibly bizarre, and the characters' images evoke a complex of emotions from admiration to disgust. He was clearly connected with other realities by some threads: many of his later novels are perceived as revelations and some kind of prediction.

A new movie guide from LostFilm.INFO is dedicated to this amazing writer today, and we will tell you not only about the film adaptations, but also about projects shot under the influence of ideas and creativity of Dick .


Total Recall ( Paul Verhoeven )

The film-legend Paul Verhoeven starring the young Schwarzenegger, which won an Oscar in 1991 for special achievements, and now looks quite impressive. Perhaps this is one of the most successful interpretations of Dick : his style is instantly recognizable. Not without, of course, the expansion of the plot, because the original story "From the Depths of Memory" is something like a sketch of sharp plot twists.This is a trick story about an office clerk who dreams of a trip to Mars, but decisive instead of a real, but difficult to achieve experience, simply implant a non-existent memory in oneself, since technology allows. In the film version, the main character is played by the powerful and at the same time cute in his naivety Schwarzenegger from a clerk he turned into a construction worker, tired of mechanical physical work. What happens to him next is the removal of the veils, personal revelation and an attempt to distinguish reality from built-in fantasy.

The paranoid style of science fiction writer Verhoeven , of course, seasoned with its own ingredients: humor, vivid scenes of violence and sexuality on the verge of cruelty (not without his beloved insidious Sharon Stone). The project, originally developed by David Cronenberg, demonstrates a good knowledge of Dik's texts. The senseless and merciless business of selling air on colonized Mars looks quite convincing, and Mars itself is both frightening and attractive, as bequeathed by Philip Kindred .


Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind ( Michel Gondry )

In the very technique of manipulating memory, the modern viewer can easily guess the famous work of the French director Michel Gondry Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Reason . Scriptwriter Charlie Kaufman's handwriting can be called "post-dick", since the ideas of many of his works are tangibly connected with the work of the legendary science fiction writer. This is "Being John Malkovich" about many of the same entities, and "Adaptation" and "New York, New York". Eternal Sunshine , in which the idea of memory games becomes the basis for touching reflections on the nature of love, certainly deserves the status of the pearl of his creative collection. And although this film cannot be fully called a screen version of any of the books by Dick , but the authorship of the original idea belongs to him.


The Matrix ( Lana Wachowski , Lilly Wachowski )

Another film that emerged from the cradle of Dick is the The Matrix of the former brothers and now the Wachowski sisters . The writer was haunted all his life by the feeling of a different reality that controls the human world. He expressed this idea more than once in his works, for example, in the early novel The Eye of Heaven from 1957. First of all, the idea of the "world of the matrix" was associated for Dick with the opposition ofkoinos kosmos(the outer world) andidios kosmos(the inner world) Heraclitus . The inner world of each person is a separate universe and unique consciousness, therefore, we are surrounded by multiverse. The external world is the matrix that unites many human consciousnesses.

The closest to the "Matrix" is the later work of Philip , when he finally plunged into the darkness of the religious revelation that descended on him. The legendary and one of his best novels - Ubik of 1969 - is a vivid example of this.The writer depicted a virtual world that feeds on the fading consciousness of half-dead people. The inhabitants of this world do not even suspect that, in contrast to the reality that seems to them, in fact, their dead bodies are immersed in plastic coffins, and their souls are connected to the outside world by a kind of "portable carrier".


A recognizable picture from The Matrix , isn't it? After getting acquainted with the work of Dick , and for many modern readers it occurs after the first viewing of the imperishable Wachowski , you are even more surprised: the writer had already seen all this 40 years before the trilogy about the chosen one Neo . True, there is no smell of plagiarism here: the directors have admired the author's work more than once, and many of his other ideas have been added to their films. At the same time, one of the most famous scenes of the film, where Morpheus puts Neo before a choice, already refers to the picture Verhoeven , where the hero is faced with the same choice Schwartz , which resolves the issue in a more original way than Neo.


Reality Altering ( George Nolfi)

Having mentioned The Matrix , one cannot but mention the relatively new fantasy drama Reality Changing with Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, whose heroes, in the fight for their love, act against the system. It is in the 1954 story The Bureau of Correction , based on which the movie George Nolfi was filmed,the protagonist witnesses a change or, on the clerical office, a correction of reality. This, however, even turns out to be in his hands and allows him to get rid of the curious and annoying yourself-guess-who.

But the dynamic and high-quality film Nolfi was created precisely based on motives: although quite outlandish ideas about free will come to the fore, the romantic line still becomes the main one, which significantly reduces the philosophical nature of the picture.


Minority Report ( Steven Spielberg )

The work of the American science fiction writer is characterized by different terms - from cyberpunk and dystopia to psychedelic. Some of his works can be ranked asspeculative fiction("literature of reflection"). For example, the story "Minority Report" is close to this direction, where the writer looks intoWashington in 2054 - a brave new world in which killing has ceased. The technology of predicting the nearest crimes to prevent them works due to the consciousness of strange mutants distorted by drugs. The head of the pre-crime department John Anderton receives a prediction, according to which, within a short time, he will have to kill a complete stranger.

The crew of the 2002 film inspires confidence: Tom Cruise does an excellent job of his best role - a man on the run, and Spielberg skillfully "recreates" futuristic landscapes. True, some moments of this future are already quite applicable to our present, which is customary for the visionary works of Dick . If we compare the adaptation with the original, then at the plot level there is not much in common between them: from the Dikov conflict between the police and the army, the director shifts the emphasis to the personal motives of the characters and generally expands the plot space of a small story, which, in principle, only suits him. benefit. But the problem remains common - metaphysical and ethical: what is predestination, and is a person endowed with free will? Can he, knowing his future, change fate and turn the tide of events? Still,

" Blur " ( Richard Linklater )

The novel, which in 2006 made his highly original film Richard Linklater , is a psychedelic immersion in the crumbling mind of a drug addict. It was said about Dick : either he used drugs and was just a talented writer, or all his trips are a product of a genius mind and imagination. We will not go into too much detail, but, despite the later refutations of the writer himself, the fact of the literary marathon (he wrote 11 novels in a couple of years) with the help of amphetamines has not been canceled. This, however, does not say anything about whether Philip is a genius or just talent - let's leave this question for discussion clubs. One thing is certain here: Dick was personally acquainted with the destructive effect of drugs on consciousness and personality - both from his own experience and from the experience of his friends. The bookabout a strange secret agent Bob Arctor from the anti-narcotics department is dedicated to them and their ruined lives. For some rather unpleasant time, neither he nor the readers will understand who he is and against whom he is working.


It is noteworthy that the film adaptation of Linklater starred stars of the first magnitude - Keanu Reeves, Woody Harrelson, Robert Downey Jr. and Winona Ryder. In such a composition, they probably will not be found anywhere else. But all of them were attracted by Linklater not to fill the holes in the plot, as sometimes happens. Blur is the perfect embodiment of the paranoid, psychedelic and one of the most poignant works of American science fiction. The director achieved such an effect not only through a high-quality script, but also with the help of rotoscoping technique, when a drawing is applied over a real image. The director has already used a similar technique earlier in the film Awakening of Life. Here she allowed to convey the ever-changing work suit Arctor and terrible trips, and also to add new elements that could not be in real shooting. Science fiction, as you might guess, has a different character here, but the problems of loss of personality and its suppression by the power that always worried Dick remained in their deservedly main place for his creativity and outlook on the world.


The Man in the High Castle ( Daniel Percival, Brad Anderson, Karin Kusama )

Many problems worried Dick because they were part of his daily life. Both of his parents were officials, but in his son this only raised an aversion to the state apparatus and any system. Disgust mixed with horror and fear. Perhaps that is why "The Man in the High Castle" seems to be the most logical work that came out of his pen. After this dystopia, the writer received real recognition and an honorable "Hugo" award among science fiction writers.

What this book is about, not so long ago it became known to all TV fans thanks to a stylish and dark show from Amazon . This is an alternate history that offers a different version of the end of World War II for the United States: the accession of Nazism throughout the territory occupied by the Axis countries - Japan and Germany. In the book Dick , the corporate style is easily guessed: it offers not just an alternative history, but a novel about a writer living in such an alternative world, but writing a fantastic work about the victory of the USSR and its allies in the war.


Blade Runner (Ridley Scott)

Yes, and finally he is the film that made Philip Dick famous among moviegoers for the first time and forever. The writer, unfortunately, did not live to see the premiere quite a bit, but he managed to hang out with Ridley Scott and enthusiastically approved the episodes he watched. In his travels to other realities, Philip often saw a world filled with replicant creatures, outwardly indistinguishable from humans. "Do androids dream ...?" - perhaps his most frightening fantasy about what a person is and what humanity can expect in the near future. In a high-tech world that coexists with poverty and insanity, where people and animals can be replaced by electronic counterfeits, it becomes more difficult to define what humanity and compassion are.


Despite the fact that the later director's cut of the film cancels the pop happy ending and asks about the origin of the protagonist, not everything from Dick's ideology came to the attention of the famous film maker. But the religious enlightenment from mercerism, which unites people through compassion, is one of the main ideological moments of the book and of the late work of Dick as a whole. Those same electric sheep in the film were also lost somewhere. But, of course, despite all the discrepancies, the picture of one of the best science fiction writers of big screens Ridley Scott is simply beautiful, and not least for its visual component. In genre, it can be described asfuture noir, balancing between dark cyberpunk, seasoned with noir cynicism. And the main characters are "Blade Runner"

The Topic of Article: Reality-changing. How Philip Dick feeds Hollywood.
Author: Jake Pinkman