Sunday, February 10, 2008

Ten Films Based On P.K. Dick

A while back I promised some news of P.K. Dick adaptations. Certainly fewer writers have had such a rich posthumous career in Hollywood. There is something about his mind-bending existential conundrums that makes for compelling cinema, and producers do manage to find an action arc through his down-to-earth narratives and philosophical musings. Read to the end of the post for news of the next film in this tradition.

Here then, in chronological order, are the films from Dick's novels or stories.

Blade Runner (1982) from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?.

Screamers (1995) from "Second Variety".

Total Recall (1990) from "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale".

Confessions d'un Barjo (1992) from Confessions of a Crap Artist.

Impostor (2001) from "Impostor".

Minority Report (2002) from "The Minority Report".

Paycheck (2003) from "Paycheck".

A Scanner Darkly (2006) from A Scanner Darkly.

Next (2007) from "The Golden Man".

Radio Free Albemuth (2008) from Radio Free Albemuth.

Yes, you read that correctly. Independent director John Alan Simon has tackled one of the odder works in Dick's oeuvre, casting Alanis Morissette (!) in a major role. Could the world get any stranger? Apparently "the entire budget of the picture was less than the majors spend on catering but this way we were able to make an adaptation that I think is very close in spirit to the original". Production has finished after a 24 day shoot. Read more over at the CBC.

Of the films on the list, I urge you to locate a copy of Confessions d'un Barjo, known simply as Barjo in English. It is devastatingly funny and cruel, perfectly maintaining the oddball tone of the novel, unlike so many of the Hollywood adaptations.

Plus it's got a great theme tune.


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