Blade Runner and the Cinema of Philip K. Dick

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Crescent Moon, 2009 - Performing Arts - 201 pages
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This book is about the films made from the fiction of Philip K. Dick, not a study of Dick's fiction, or Dick himself, or the relations between Dick's fiction and science fiction, or world literature.

Philip Kindred Dick (1928-1982) was a key figure in 20th century science fiction, famous for embracing drugs and the counter-culture in his work. Dick's fiction includes The Man In the High Castle, Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said, A Scanner Darkly, The Game Players of Titan, Clan of the Alphane Moon, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Valis, The Divine Invasion, Martian Time-Slip, The Minority Report, and We Can Remember It For You Wholesale. Dick's themes included perception and reality, drugs, state control, global capitalism, surveillance, and paranoia.

Four films are studied here: Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report and A Scanner Darkly (in a chapter by Thomas Christie). The other films based on Phil Dick's fiction include Confessions d'un Barjo (a French movie based on Confessions of a Crap Artist), a Canadian film, Screamers, based on Dick's Second Variety story, Paycheck, directed by John Woo, Next (Lee Tamahori, 2007), based on The Golden Man, and Impostor (Gary Fleder, 2002).

The more recent cycle of Philip Kindred Dick movies began with Minority Report and Impostor in 2002 - Paycheck and Next followed in 2003 and 2007, and The Owl In Daylight, a film about Dick (2009), and Radio Free Alemuth (2008). A sequel to Screamers was in production in 2008, again shooting in Canada, with Peter Weller starring.

A striking aspect of the films made from the fiction of Philip K. Dick is how many are very high budget movies (Paycheck, Minority Report, Blade Runner, Next and Total Recall), and just how many high profile filmmakers have been attracted to Dick's stories: Ridley Scott, Paul Verhoeven, John Woo and the most successful film director of recent times, Steven Spielberg. Those four directors together have generated billions globally.

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