io9: First trailer for Philip K. Dick’s Radio Free Albemuth with Alanis Morissette
A few years ago I would have been excited to see something like this coming to the mainstream. Now I cringe with the anticipation of the tedious conversations with n00bs and normals that this film will probably lead me into. Not to mention the the probability that it will become a Truther/Tea Partier favorite instead of a mind opener. One more sign that I’m getting old, or at least jaded.
March 2, 2011 at 9:06 am
This looks so incredibly awful, makes the new Atlas Shrugged trailer(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6W07bFa4TzM) look like a legitimate production by comparison. Tea Partiers are in for a good film year.
March 2, 2011 at 4:01 pm
Mar 2, 2011 – 29 years to the day from when PKD died.
March 3, 2011 at 9:46 am
Watching the trailer for “Radio Free Albemuth”, I thought it was a movie made in the 80’s. Philip K. Dick was a master story teller who works have had profoundly influenced the film and literature industries. Some of the film adaptations of PKD’s books have not always lived up to readers expectations and if this trailer is any indication of what the film will deliver, this project will definitely fall into that category. I hope I’m wrong, and will probably see the movie when it comes out because I’m a fan of PKD, but not expecting much. We shall see.
March 3, 2011 at 2:17 pm
At least it appears as though they took out the ‘catholic church and communist party had a merger’ part — which would have been a boon to the teabaggers. It looks like they went and merged Radio Free Albemuth with VALIS and then threw it at an old calendar, from the synopsis.
A PKD adaptation is almost always the exact inverse of the novel it was based on in terms of focus. PKD’s work doesn’t translate well to film — which is not to say that the adaptations are bad but that they are lossy. Blade Runner is a very good example: an extremely visual and stylistic film with an underdeveloped plot and developed characters, based on an intensely dry and textual novel with a baroque plot and flat characters. Many of his novels (VALIS and The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldrich come to mind) rely heavily upon the hypnotic linear nature of text as a narrative technique, and while such things can be done in film they must be handled much differently.
March 7, 2011 at 11:43 pm
The movie Radio Free Albemuth is based only on the novel Radio Free Albemuth. The story of the novel takes place in the mid-1970s. The film version moves this to the 1980s.
The movie version closely tracks the novel’;s story……..there are no elements of the novel VALIS, old calendars or the I-Ching, for that matter. It’s hard to keep PKD plots straight since he wrote so many novels and stories. But it’s not fair to knock the film version of Radio Free Albemuth for a fan’s own mistaken memory.
The story of Radio Free Albemuth is about a record store clerk named Nick Brady who begins to hear voices and have strange visions. He moves to Los Angeles and becomes a record company executive. Along with his best friend, science fiction Philip K. Dick, himself, Nick begins to uncover a political conspiracy involving right-wing President Fremont. in this alternate reality time setting.
Both the novel VALIS and Radio Free Albemuth actually have the VALIS satellite as story points. (Interestingly, some readers interpret the movie that the characters watch in VALIS to be the movie Radio Free Albemuth.)
The merger of the Communist Party and Catholic Church is found only n the novel The Divine Invasion.
Philip K. Dick wrote the novel about his Valis experiences that he called Valis-system A and submitted it to his publishers. They responded with notes that he didn’t care to incorporate. So he gave the manuscript to his friend and fellow writer Tim Powers.
Dick then wrote VALIS – which was a completely different attempt to “explain” and tell the story of his experiences. The Divine Invasion has a brief mention of Valis also. The Transmigration of Timothy Archer is considered the third novel of the VALIS trllogy but the connections are only thematic.
After Dick’s death, Powers returned the manuscript of “Valis-system A” to the family. The novel was published under the name of Radio Free Albemuth which was hand-written on the title page.
Perhaps someday ENKI will expand upon his theory of the “hypnotic linear nature of text as a narrative technique.”
March 9, 2011 at 12:15 pm
Ahah, apologies. I’m getting Radio Free Albemuth and The Divine Invasion confused.