Monday, July 31, 2006

View From The Treetops (1 Aug '06)


Just how accurate are those Israeli missiles?

The school bullies are out of control.
The Teacher has no desire to control them and is using them in order to lay claim to the playground. Everybody’s lunch money is up for grabs.

Robert Fisk gives a ground level view from a Red Cross vehicle in Lebanon.



a nice chat - Mazen Kerbaj

For non-verbal commentary from Beirut I advise everyone to check out Mazen Kerbaj’s Kerblog.
While managing to be simultaneously serious and humorous this is some of the most original and powerful artwork I have seen in a long time.


A Scanner Darkly

As a long time fan of the works of Philip K. Dick I am getting used to being disappointed by film adaptations of his stories.
Some come close to capturing the atmosphere (Blade Runner) but Hollywood cannot (or will not) do without a hero, so Dick’s usually confused main characters are invariably beefed up to Tom Cruise type requirements.

Some time after writing A Scanner Darkly (Pub 1977) Dick suffered a schizophrenic interlude, or as he claimed, was contacted by god or rather a Vast Active Living Intelligence System (VALIS).
He wrote two versions of the story: Valis and The Divine Invasion in an attempt to portray what he came to understand during his epiphany.
Both are well worth reading.
A Scanner Darkly is however the peak of his writing career, a career spanning 30 odd years, 44 novels and numerous short stories. It has all of the elements that Dick came to represent: paranoia; dislocated reality; schizophrenic visions; mind altering drugs and existential despair.

With bated breath, fans of Philip Dick have been waiting and watching the progress of Richard Linklater’s movie adaptation of A Scanner Darkly, released now (at least in some parts of the world) and judging by reviews I have seen appears to have done justice to the man’s work.

The ubiquitous Keanu Reeves plays Bob Arctor, the deep undercover cop who is sent to investigate himself for drug offences. Arctor is so deep undercover that even his superiors do not know his true identity.
Also starring (all in cell painted effect) Robert Downey Jr, Woody Harrelson and Winona Ryder.

Residing as I do in this backwater in New Zealand I shall have to wait a while longer to see the movie.


Redwine said...

Download it :)

Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

Hi P.I.,

You might want to check out this beautiful blog from Jerusalem:

As I said elsewhere:

Amid all the chaos and the fury
It’s kind of reassuring to see how
A handful of strong Israeli voices
Still preach for P/peace here and now
While Bushmert reaps new corpses
Amassing more coffinfuls of villainy

Pisces Iscariot said...

Thanks Doc, I'll be sure to check it out.

jams o donnell said...

Kerblog is excellent isn't it. Another blogger mentioned it a week or two ago. I am glad he did.

I must gget to see a Scanner Darkly myself. It was just about the best Philip K Dick I ever read. I am fascinated to see how Linklater has treated it especially since the reviews are all pretty favourable.