Thursday, August 30, 2007

Minister Faust throws down on Blade Runner in defense of Philip K. Dick

Darren Zenko wrote in The Toronto Star:

"Canadian SF writer and broadcaster Minister Faust (author of the recent novel From the Notebooks of Dr. Brain) agrees that Blade Runner's reputation opened Hollywood doors to the representatives of the Dick estate, but disagrees as to the artistic merit of Scott's hard-boiled adaptation, illustrating a hard and often hard-argued division between what might be called the Purist and Relativist approaches to cinematic Dick.

"'Hollywood,' says Faust, 'doesn't understand s--t about Philip K. Dick. They don't even care that Blade Runner was a bomb – $25 million to make, took in $31 million to date – and was an inversion of the novel's ideas and morality ... a travesty! But these same people remember Scott's visuals and Vangelis' music and they think, "Hey, classy."

"'No adaptation that I've seen has been a good adaptation. Total Recall is fun, but it's a foul-smelling one-night stand with Dick's memory. Blade Runner is gorgeous looking, has a beautiful score and strong acting. But Dick's fascinating mystical vision of ecological collapse as metaphor for null-empathy, and biological vitality as metaphor for empathy ... that's priceless.'"

2 comments:

Ryan Oakley said...

What I like about Dick - ahem - is that he didn't write the science fiction that predicted today. He wrote the science fiction that should be written today.

As for his movies, they're not quite right but they still beat most of Hollywood's SF. Dick had the idea that his gnostic truths had to be snuck into the world through trash. Hollywood performs that function admirably.

As for Total Recall -- it's a Paul Verhoven movie. And he is just about my favorite director. A Verhoven movie is first and foremost a Verhoven movie. If he wanted, he could tear Showgirls out of a Jane Austen book. Or RoboCop. You can't even think about the source material when it comes to Verhoven. He just is.

Blogagaard said...

I wonder how they'd adapt VALIS. I bet they could screw that up big time.