1. The most important main theme in “A Scanner Darkly” written by Pilip K. Dick is the effects/consequences of drugs. Some examples of where this theme can be found is on the very first page Jerry thought there were bugs all over him and his dog, but obviously it was the effects of the drugs. Also when Charles Freck talked about getting pulled over but actually didn’t , he was being paranoid which can be seen as a consequence of drug taking. Freck then asked Donna for drugs, was tired and shaking, all of which could be effects. Something so unhealthy and harmful to a person should not make them happy, but that was the case with Freck on page sixteen. Even the scramble suit could be considered a metaphor as to how one will feel on substance D (always changing, scrambled, many different people). The author Philip K. Dick mentions at the end of the book that the book “… just tells what the consequences were” (277).
  2. The two prominent themes in “A Scanner Darkly” directed by Richard Linklater are reality vs. identity and control. Right before Robert had his memory of his wife and children he asks himself questions like “how did I get here?” The scramble suit is another symbol of the reality vs. identity crisis and the ‘what is real and what is not real’ dilemma. It puts on a persona of being someone else all the time, making being who you are confusing. Or how professor Byrne put it in the lecture, that Robert attempts to live in reality and delusion at the same time and the scramble suit is a sign of Bob’s slipperiness of Reality and Identity. This ties into what the lecture was talking about, “what do we know and how do we know it”. The other theme of control shows up everywhere in the film. For example, the scene where Robert and Donna are talking on the phone we can see that the Government takes control of the situation by taping into the phone and finding out who the people talking are. Also the fact that once during the film the scramble suit was talking for Robert instead of to him is of significant importance because it again shows that it had control over him in some way. Other examples include Freck trying to kill himself, Hank is really Donna, and that New Path is growing and distributing Substance D yet they are a rehabilitation facility.
  3. An issue or problem with adapting “A Scanner Darkly” text into film are that it is hard to put an entire book on film, it’s pretty much impossible. No matter how good the adaptation is there are always ways that it differs because of Hollywood, director’s preference and style, or simply because the film is shorter to go through, than a novel. The reason for cutting religion out of the movie could be any of the reasons above. Like Robinson said in the lecture, the movie has “loss of interior language that gives the book so much of its thematic heft and moodsetting power”. So the viewers get a general idea of the novel but essentially it is not the same thing. A movie is basically a preview of a novel.
  4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ewcp6Nm-rQ                                                        This source is an interview with Philip K. Dick where he talks about what the book is about and it also contains comments and thoughts from cast and crew about the film and what the author was trying to say from writing the novel and the “science fiction” genre of the movie.                                                           http://www.scannerdarklyartists.com/                                                                 This source contains a lists of all the artists that worked on the film; it shows some of their work, links to their website and email, and some of their favorite design websites.                                                                                                   http://www.floatingredcouch.com/2010/06/scanner-darkly_26.html             This source is important in understanding the film because it makes points that help understand the movie. For example, the author says that once reading the book you will have a better understanding of the movie. This makes sense considering that the movie was somewhat confusing at times. She gives reasons for the animation “rotoscope” that are accurate and discuses some issues with the adaptation (and rotoscope) that are intriguing. She also gives a good summery of all the main characters; this helps in understanding the film.
  5. Q:The film A Scanner Darkly, directed by Richard Linklater, can be described as an example of the stoner picaresque genre, in that it derives humor from watching people act out after taking drugs. How does Scanner Darkly compare to other stoner picaresque films such as the Cheech and Chong films, the Harold and Kumar films, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Dazed and Confused (also directed by Richard Linklater), or other examples of the genre you can think of?

A: “A Scanner Darkly” is similar to the other movies about drugs but the difference is ASD is a darker and more serious film. Some of the parts about the effects of drugs may be amusing however the ending is not so much a happy one. The ending is sad; Bob gets tricked into going to rehab (getting on drugs) and has permanent brain damage. The endings of the Harold and Kumar films aren’t as sad or serious towards the end; they are a comedy from start to finish. And even adding to the film that one of the main characters attempted suicide is a serious matter that most likely none of the other movies have. ASD is supposed to make viewers stop, think and reflect on drug using and not just laugh about it (the effects).