I first wrote about the movie version of Philip K. Dick’s Radio Free Albemuth last year when I came across its Kickstarter campaign to raise money to self-distribute in cinemas and saw it at a screening at Lincoln Center in New York. Since then, my estimation of the movie has risen in its resonance and relevance to the times. It’s opening in ten US cities this week and On Demand. I spoke to writer-director John Alan Simon recently about the movie. I was curious about the decision to film the book over Dick’s long list of other novels. “Ive had a close-to-lifelong interest in Philip K. Dick,” said Simon. “I read him in college and earmarked mentally two novels that I felt a real affinity to one day adapt and try to produce as feature films. One of them was Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said, the other was Radio Free Albemuth. At the time when we were initially talking to the agent for the estate, I didn’t really know the autobiographical aspect of Radio Free Albemuth. The novel had been published ten years after Philip K. Dick’s death, around 1985. It just wasn’t that well known yet about Dick’s actual visionary experiences with the entity that he called VALIS, or Vast Active Living Intelligent System, as he termed it in Radio Free Albemuth.”...
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Radio Free Albemuth filmmaker John Alan Simon has given us an exclusive look at the VOD poster for his movie – let us know what you think of it in the comments (be nice, y’all).
Simon says, “The sci-fi prophet Philip K. Dick would have loved the technological magic that a film based on this work could be available to so many potential viewers all at once, everywhere in the U.S. to provoke the kind of political, philosophical and spiritual debates he believed in. Today America, hopefully soon the world. We believe this is the inevitable and promising future of movies – particularly the kind of thoughtful indie films we struggle so hard to get made in today’s comic book franchise, tentpole/blockbuster climate.”
Dickheads get ready: John Alan Simon’s motion picture adaptation of PKD’s Radio Free Albemuth is finally about to be released!
For the rest of you, Philip K. Dick was the author of the books on which the movies Blade Runner, Minority Report, Total Recall and A Scanner Darkly were based; Radio Free Albemuth is his most prophetic science fiction thriller.
Simon told disinformation,
“The American establishment – and Hollywood in particular – keeps trying to make PKD safe and give him the good house-keeping seal of approval, but like the bizarre, transforming product UBIK in his great novel of the same name, PKD keeps re-asserting his true subversive nature. Though Radio Free Albemuth was written almost 30 years earlier, it’s amazing to me how prescient Dick was in his vision of the post-9/11 terrorist American state, particularly during the Bush years when the curtailment of civil liberties seemed at its peak.”
Here’s the official movie description:
… Read the rest
In an alternate reality 1985, Nick Brady (Jonathan Scarfe), a record store clerk in Berkeley begins to experience strange visions transmitted from an extra-terrestrial source he calls VALIS.
As part of the inaugural reread series on Reality Sandwich, Erik Davis, author ofTechGnosis and Nomad Codes, spoke with me recently about the “High Weirdness” of Philip K. Dick and the postmodern pink-gnosis of VALIS, a partly autobiographic scifi novel where Dick literally wrote himself into fiction, and, as it were, “hacked the Hero’s Journey” (1). Erik tells us about how he first discovered Dick’s work when he was no pop culture icon but a pulp cult underground writer.
VALIS is loaded with half-fiction, half-truth narratives told by a multitude of personas. Philip K. Dick. Phil Dick. Horselover Fat. As Erik Davis will tell us, there is a method to this madness, PKD was always more than one author, and Dick may have ended up writing himself (2).
Just watch your step through the hallucinatory fiction this side of Chapel Perilous.
Author Douglas Rushkoff relates his theory of “presentism” to the experiences of Philip K. Dick.
Imperium Pictures is currently completing The Gent (a feature starring Genesis P-Orridge, Philip H. Farber, Douglas Rushkoff et al) and a short on solid rocket fuel developer/occultist Jack Parsons in which British director Ken Russell portrays Aleister Crowley.
The man with the dreams about walls covered in eyes recalls Charles Freck’s suicide trip and the creature beyond dimensions .
In Dreams is an experimental documentary that visualises the dreams of ordinary individuals. I asked 4 people to discuss their most vivid, memorable dream. The film is my final year graduation film from Northumbria University.
It’s over thirty years since the writer’s death, but fascination for the work of Philip K. Dick continues to grow with more than ten major Hollywood movies based on his novels and short stories, including Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report and The Adjustment Bureau. Peake’s new biography shines further light on the man himself, attempting to both sift the details of his complex personal life and penetrate the unique inner life that fuelled his work with something that may have been more than merely imagination.
“What I wanted to do was get into the man’s head,” said Peake. “His psychology is as interesting as his novels, [as is] his life itself.” A Life of Philip K. Dick: The Man Who Remembered the Future is the first biography to emerge following the publication of Dick’s Exegesis, the fabled million word late-night diary that was his attempt to fathom the bizarre visionary experiences of 1974, which he termed “2-3-74″ and described as “an invasion of my mind by a transcendentally rational mind, as if I had been insane all my life and suddenly I had become sane.”
Anthony Peake seems an ideal investigator of Dick’s inner landscape with a back catalogue that includes such titles as The Infinite Mindfield: The Quest to Find the Gateway to Higher Consciousness and The Labyrinth of Time: The Illusion of Past, Present and Future, books unafraid to weave neuroscience, quantum physics and esoteric lore in an effort to engender insights into matter and mind.… Read the rest
Via Open Culture (Incidentally, a website I recommend that you bookmark for continued awesomeness…)
In the months of February and March, 1974, Philip K. Dick met God, or something like God, or what he thought was God, at least, in a hallucinatory experience he chronicled in several obsessively dense diaries that recently saw publication as The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick, a work of deeply personal theo-philosophical reflection akin to Carl Jung’s The Red Book. Whatever it was he encountered—Dick was never too dogmatic about it—he ended up referring to it as Zebra, or by the acronym VALIS, Vast Active Living Intelligence System, also the title of a novel detailing the experiences of one very PKD-like character with the improbable name of “Horselover Fat.”
It takes very little today to get many of us into froth over global injustice, the rape of the earth, the bombing of children, the mistreatment of captives; the list goes on and on. It is as if we are in some kind of violent squeeze, penance for past sins, or just wicked men behaving wickedly. Regardless of whom or what is behind the endless cavalcade of charred carcasses, those of us who look on in horror feel a sense of grief; inability to change as if we were in the middle of a living, breathing night terror from which we cannot awake. But how do we fight this beast of a million heads that mines our hearts for the last drop of fear and anxiety it can draw until we collapse, punctured and poisoned by its necrotizing fangs?
If ever there was a growing sense that we are still under the rule of a malevolent empire, that time is now.… Read the rest
There are a lot of ways to characterize a legacy. You could start with numbers: 44 published novels, at least 121 short stories, and a dozen movie adaptations, most of them major Hollywood affairs — and then the expanding circle of influence that includes 12 Monkeys, eXistenz, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Over $1 billion in film revenue...