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True Dick?

By JAMES PARKER  |  July 5, 2006

Richard Linklater’s A Scanner Darkly is the most faithfully Dickian of all the movie adaptations because it is about the ’70s, the kaleidoscopic fragmentation of the counterculture as the illusions died and the drugs bit down. Loose car parts on the front lawn, continuous insane chat in the living room. This was his futurism, an unflinching awareness of all the ghastly branchings-out of probability from any given minute. Dick died in 1982 of a stroke, shortly before the release of Blade Runner. Had he lived until 1985, and watched the video of “Cry” on his television, he might (world-class paranoiac that he was) have suspected that Godley and Creme — or their parent corporation — were trying to send him a message, a threat perhaps, some sort of response to the radical probings of A Scanner Darkly. “You don’t know how to play the game/You cheat, and you lie . . . You make me wanna CRYYYY!” It would have thrown him back in his La-Z-Boy, gargling with terror. Now that’s what I call prophecy.

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