ScrimismsPresently suffering a dearth of witticisms
Movies and Musings14 Nov 2006

I saw A Scanner Darkly last night. For those who don’t know, it’s an adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s dystopian story of drug addiction in near-future California. It has a fairly interesting plot: the main character is an undercover narcotics agent assigned to spy on himself.

The most striking thing about the movie is the rather bold decision to use rotoscope animation: the movie was short as a live-action film, and then traced over frame by frame by animators. When I saw the trailer I thought at first that the animation was purely a gimmick, but they made very good use of it – most obviously in the camouflage suits worn by the undercover narcotics agents and in the drug-induced hallucinations experienced by the various characters – but also with some subtle effects accompanying the protagonist’s descent into madness, like constantly shifting objects and a skewed sense of perspective.

The movie was a lot better than it could have been. Worth seeing.

As I walked home from the film in the dark, my thoughts turned to other dystopian scenarios. I realized that if global warming were to radically warm the Canadian climate, we would still have the same long days and short nights in the “winter” time, since the length of the day, is, of course, caused by the axis of the earth’s rotation. For some reason, it’s comforting to think that there are limits to the environmental changes we humans can cause.

To a new kind of darkness: have you seen the Man in Black’s last music video? It’s fantastic.

One Response to “Darkly”

  1. 29 Nov 2006 at 4:24 pm luke

    great song and video. strange to see the empty museum… do you know if he did a video for “personal jesus”?

    about the cilmate change: i don’t know exactly what the change would be… not to say that bad shit isn’t going down, but more i wonder if we are thinking of global warming in at all a proper way… i figure that what drastically warmer would mean here would not be that the winter is now all 22 / 72 degrees (depending on which degree-scale is used), but that it hovers around freezing all winter. fairly cold for us, but not cold so far as water is concerned…

    but more what i think about is the shifing weather patterns – there is either drought or an excess of rain under the standard model of climate change. it doesn’t mean that the world heats up and dries up, but rather that the world shifts around a lot in different ways depending on location…

    if we recall “an inconvenient truth,” there is the danger that a rapidly melting greenland screws up the jet stream currents and europe looses the warm winds coming in from the west which keep it relatively warm… the famed “global warming causing an ice age” fear which deniers of climate change keep on dragging up to try to prove that only bad science can create such a contradition…

    in a vaguely related note: here is an interview with an evangelical conservative who advocates conservation and believes in climate change… the guy is richard cizik. i saw him in a forum discussion of religion and the state along with the head of “americans united for separation of church and state” and a few other folks… at least there, he talked about finding common ground and joked that a fundamentalist is “not much fun, a little dumb, and a lot mental”. if only he was the face of religious conservatism…

    http://www.grist.org/news/maindish/2005/10/05/cizik/

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