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Phillip K. Dick stories, films


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Well, he spends so much time in the interview talking about how everything important to the world is really less than 300 km from our atmosphere. So much classic sci-fi is taken up with issues of space exploration and interplanetary travel, thinking out what the world would look like if such things were possible. Sure people like LeGuin use space and other worlds as ways to really expose the mechanics of contemporary society, probing things like race and gender issues through other worlds as massive similes.

But Gibson comes along with the bridge trilogy and zeroes in on technology, information technology, that really is right around the corner. Sterling comes along and zeroes in on issues of bioethics, really identifying what recent scholars call "posthumanity" is all about. Sure Sterling's Schizmatrix is a great example of the epic science fiction that their predecessors were all about. But in light of Lem's comments, that space really isn't that important after all other than from a purely militaristic standpoint, then we could see people like Gibson turning to information technology as a pretty prophetic move. Bradbury wrote R is For Rocket nine years before Apollo, working off of the imagination of current technology. He really developed an imagination around its possibilities. Gibson did the same thing with virtual information technology.

I was just saying that Lem corroborates the notion that Gibson and some early cyberpunk literature isn't useless (as many sci-fi purists tend to say), and that at best they are pretty important.

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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Oh, that makes perfect sense to me, I just needed some elaboration. Yes, one of the hallmarks of the New Wave was its move from Outer Space to Inner Space, although cyberpunk has pushed that even further in some cases.

It sounds like I need to look for Gibson's latest....

Edited by Doug C
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Believe it or not, last year I was reading Vurt and it struck me that I was reading what the poet Hopkins would call an inscape. Well, loosely to be sure, but it was certainly very radical move towards the "inner" in a science fiction environment. And now, this thread has gotten much to literary to be in this section! Vurt would make a great film though, Cronenberg's Spider meets the dark urbanism of Blade Runner or something like that.

Pattern Recognition is worth reading, Gibson's writing style has become very engaging, even beautiful at times.

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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"Become"??? smile.gif I've only read Neuromancer, his Industrial Age book (I can't remember the title offhand), and a few of his short stories back in the '90s but I thought he was a magnificent wordsmith.

By the way, one of his best shorts was "New Rose Hotel," but the film received very mixed reviews. But it's Abel Ferrara, how bad can it be?

Have you seen the No Maps for These Territories doc?

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I haven't. I have lingered over the "Buy it Now" button a few times, but have been waiting to hear some one give it a thumbs up or thumbs down before I shell out the cash. Have you caught it yet?

A while ago I found New Rose Hotel online, vintage stuff:

"Come with me, Sandii. Hear the neon humming on the road to Narita

International. A few late moths trace stopmotion circles around the

floodlights that shine on New Rose. And the funny thing, Sandii, is how

sometimes you just don't seem real to me. Fox once said you were ectoplasm,

a ghost called up by the extremes of economics. Ghost of the new century,

congealing on a thousand beds in the world's Hyatts, the world's Hiltons."

I have the DVD en route through Netflix, I will update you as soon as I see it. Actually, Netflix has No Maps... too. Hmm...I see a short "Gibson and film" piece coming up. "Ghost of the New Century" would have been a great title for a Gibson doc.

Edited by (M)Leary

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

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Write it, man! Thanks for the link. Yeah, "vintage stuff" is right. I came to Gibson's '80s work late in '90-'91, which is why the ideas in 1999's The Matrix struck me as boring and derivative.

I remembered Rosenbaum was a fan of New Rose Hotel, so I looked up his capsule:

"I wasn't at all surprised when some of Abel Ferrara's most eloquent defenders labeled this transgressive 1998 adaptation of a William Gibson story the collapse of a major talent. A murky and improbable tale about prostitution, industrial espionage, and manufactured viruses, it works on the very edge of coherence even before the final 20 minutes or so, during which earlier portions of the film are replayed with minor variations and additions. On the other hand, few American films in recent years have been so beautifully composed and color coordinated, shot by shot, and the overall experience of an opium dream is so intense that you might stop making demands of the narrative once you realize that none of the usual genre expectations is going to be met. Almost all the principal action occurs offscreen, and most of Ferrara and Christ Zois's script concentrates on scenes involving a corporate raider (Christopher Walken), his deputy (Willem Dafoe), and an Italian prostitute (Asia Argento) hired to seduce a Japanese scientist. Recurring aerial shots of unidentified cities and a good many dimly lit interiors alternate with grainy video-surveillance images to create the visual equivalent of a multinational labyrinth in which you might easily lose yourself. Coproduced by Walken and Dafoe, it's too far off the beaten path to please most audiences, but I find its decadent erotic poetry irresistible. 92 min. "

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By the way, one of his best shorts was "New Rose Hotel," but the film received very mixed reviews. But it's Abel Ferrara, how bad can it be?

Have you seen the No Maps for These Territories doc?

New Rose... is an intimidating film. It takes the interior monologue of Gibson's piece and turns it into a bona fide narrative. It is hard to gauge exactly how well it translates though. Ferrara has some pretty characteristic affectactions, as does Willem Dafoe and Christopher Walken. The film is almost a perfect storm of their collected oddities. (Even though the romance between Dafoe and Dario Argento's daughter, who also stars in the film, is hardly believable.) All in all, I was surprised at how good it was. It is certainly "decadent," but I wouldn't rave about it as "poetry."

The documentary is worth seeing. It does drag a bit at parts, especially in odd appearances by Bono and the Edge commenting on Neuromancer. I can see why it wasn't picked up for broader release, as a documentary it almost caves in on itself in a redunancy of form and content. One wishes someone of a finer tuned talent would have picked up on this idea. Gibson fans will really dig the extended second act in which Gibson comes clean about his past and how he got into the writing business. The extras do contain some readings by Gibson of his own work.

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

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Nicolas Cage in Lee Tamahori's Next

Cage will also produce the film, based on "The Golden Man," a story by sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick. Gary Goldman, who adapted a Dick story into Total Recall, wrote the script. Cage will play a man who can see the future and change events before they happen. Eventually, he is forced to choose between saving the world and saving himself.

Variety, November 12

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Clint M wrote:

: This may be Keanu's worst line delivery yet:

: "Two hemispheres, in my brain, are competing?"

Yeah, it's hard to believe he has even ONE, eh? wink.gif

But seriously, I find this concept intriguing. Apparently we can actually OBSERVE this competition in patients whose hemispheres have been severed -- in one case, a patient kept raising the newspaper to read it with one arm, while the other arm kept swatting the paper away because it was blocking the view. What this says about the link between body, mind, spirit and personhood (and the relationship between our two hemispheres when they are NOT severed -- does one dominate the other? does one of them ever feel oppressed?), I dunno, but it's interesting ...

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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NEXT Up for Cage & Moore

Nicolas Cage and Julianne Moore set to star in the next adaptation of a Philip K. Dick short story. . . . Next is the title of the project, based on Dick's short story "The Golden Man." In the film, Cage will play a man able to see future events and change their outcome. Moore, playing a federal agent, finds herself pursuing Cage's character, trying to thwart a terrorist attack. Revolution Studios will produce the film from a Gary Goldman script. Lee Tamahori will direct.

FilmStew.com, November 7

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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That is a great thing, it is sure to score an audience for this film that it otherwise may not have had. Or at the very least, bring it the sustained publicity it will hopefully deserve.

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

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Dare I ask, is this trailer any different from the one I saw on the big screen when I saw Constantine on my honeymoon exactly one year ago this weekend?

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Dare I ask, is this trailer any different from the one I saw on the big screen when I saw Constantine on my honeymoon exactly one year ago this weekend?

That's a bit more involved than the trailer I saw before Constantine.

"Did you mention, perhaps, what line of industrial lubricants Jesus would have endorsed?"

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