Scott Timberg writes on io9.com:
A new film based on Philip K. Dick’s posthumous, roughly autobiographical novel, Radio Free Albemuth, has begun some informal screenings around Los Angeles. We saw the film, and spoke to writer/director John Alan Simon about representing the author’s ambivalent life.
Radio Free is very independent in spirit as well as in style; it’s hard to recall a feature film made with so few frills and so apparently small a budget. This may suit the material: The novel is one of Philip Dick’s most personal but least well known, and offers not one but two characters who stand in for Dick himself. One, skeptical and hard-bitten, is played by an actor (Shea Whigham) who resembles the author almost uncannily — a working-class autodidact with a touch of Kerouac. The second, sunny, gullible and in love with patterns and ideas, is Dick as he might have become had his life taken a more commercial turn.
Though there’s also a Nixon-like president, a conspiracy theory, and an odd pop-song subplot, the central narrative concerns the divine visions Dick also wrote about in the better know VALIS. Here’s director Simon, a longtime Dick fan, talking about his journey.
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