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A Scanner Darkly

A Scanner Darkly (2006)

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Heralded as one of the most aesthetically daring films of the decade, Richard Linklater’s A Scanner Darkly (2006) utilizes the animated/live-action technique (realized by something called “interpolated rotoscoping”) that the director first experimented with in Waking Life (2001). Based on a nightmarish sci-fi novel by the great Phillip K. Dick, the film is set in suburban California, where a disturbing number of junkies have succumbed to a mysterious drug called Substance D. Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jr., and Woody Harrelson star as recent converts who watch addiction toy with––and then destroy––their tender hold on reality. Linklater’s film also addresses the pressing question of whether Lisa Marie Newmyer, Winona Ryder, and Natasha Valdez still look fetching when you draw cartoon lines around them. The answer? Hell yes!