“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” – Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick remains one of the most influential science fiction writers to ever work in the medium. Writing works both philosophical and strange, the prolific author often wrote about just what it means to be human. With Dick’s work so iconic, it only makes sense that Hollywood (and others) have tried again and again to turn his stories into feature films. Some of the films succeed, but often they do so by altering the original nature of the stories. And they almost always jettison Dick’s prose, which can often leave readers scratching their heads. Dick’s work has also influenced countless other movies, which may not be straight adaptations of his work but are clearly borrowing elements – think The Matrix, Gattaca, Source Code, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; the list is actually pretty endless.
With Blade Runner 2049 now in theaters, and a new anthology series, Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, scheduled to hit Amazon sometime next year, it’s time for a primer on the wild world of Philip K. Dick adaptations – the good, the bad, and the films that just don’t make much of an impact at all. .
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Richard Linklater‘s newest film, Everybody Wants Some, recently premiered at the ongoing South by Southwest, and Linklater fans should be pleased to learn the spiritual sequel to Dazed and Confused is already a hit with critics. Our own Jacob Hall called Everybody Wants Some “Linklater’s funniest film in years,” and most reviews have echoed that sentiment.
If you’re a fan of the director and you’re in Austin, then this must be a good week for you, because, in addition to the debut of the filmmaker’s latest work, Mondo is currently celebrating his filmography with a show called “No Longer/Not Yet.”
Check out the posters below.
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Inherent Vice, the new film from Paul Thomas Anderson, isn’t just an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Thomas Pynchon. It is part of a specific tradition of movies that pry into the gaps between visions of American culture, especially as seen on the streets of Los Angeles locations. Paul Thomas Anderson has talked about one or two specifically as Inherent Vice influences, and beyond those few titles is an expansive set of movies in which characters who are all but lost as mainstream culture and power swirl around them.
These are films that line up with the spirit of Inherent Vice. Sometimes it’s just in the case of one sequence, or one shade of the movie. But put all these films together and you have a weekend worth of movies that will prepare you for the desultory, city-spanning story of Doc Sportello. No spoilers for PTA’s movie are here as we talk about the films that link up with it in this particular cinematic tradition, but when you do see Inherent Vice after seeing these you’ll immediately see how they all fit together.
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