On location > Les mondes de Philip K. Dick
Jordi Esgleas Marroi spent May and June between L.A. and Osaka, with stops in San Diego and San Francisco shooting Yann Coquart’s new feature documentary, ‘Les mondes de Philip K. Dick’. Here’s a taste of what’s to come.
‘Les mondes de Philip K. Dick’ plunges into the life and writings of the extraordinary science fiction author who died in 1982 and whose work foresaw, like no other, the paranoid and technological world of the 21st century. His unique vision has provided Hollywood with amazing stories adapted to the screen in films such as ‘Blade Runner’ and ‘Minority Report’.
Images from the shooting in California – May/June 2014
Philip K. Dick had a vision in which he foresaw his own death which happened seven years later exactly as he had described it. “…and then a stark single horrifying scene, inert but not still; a man lay dead, on his face, in a living room between the coffee table and the couch.”
Rutger Hauer played a scary android named Roy Batty in the film adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s, ‘Blade Runner’. He stares at us with his translucent blue eyes: “The true subject of the film” he says, “is not robotics, but the issue of what makes us, or not, real human beings.”
The precogs, or mutated humans with precognitive abilities, from the film ‘Minority Report’ adapted from Philip K. Dick’s novel, obviously, do not exist as such. But they inspired PredPol, short for Prediction Police, a crime-prevention software being tested in the United States in Santa Cruz, Los Angeles and Washington. PredPol uses data-crunching and an algorithm to determine which individuals in what places are more likely or about to commit a crime.
Jane, Philip K. Dick’s twin sister, who died on December 16, 1928, six weeks after she was born, haunts all of his novels. Philip feels responsible for the tragedy; he imagines that he should have died instead of Jane. He fantasizes about his sister, seeks Jane in every woman he meets, outlines her image, convinced that if his sister was alive, she would be thin, with long black hair. Exactly like all the young girls he falls in love with, and he tries to protect. Above all, he makes her live and relive in the traits of the many characters that populate his science fiction novels.
In 1931, when Philip K. Dick was three years old, Edgar, his father, showed him a gas mask and told him some of his own stories from World War I. Philip cried with fear, convinced that a horrible monster, a giant insect, had eaten his father and taken his place. For weeks after the incident, he kept scrutinising his father’s face to find other signs of this switch, to see if he was still human. In 1953, he wrote a short story, ‘The Father-Thing’, drawn from this idea of a dual father, whose body would sometimes be inhabited by an alien without a soul
Translated from: ‘Philip K. Dick : souvenirs du futur’
‘Les mondes de Philip K. Dick’ is co-produced by Nova Production / ARTE France / Darjeeling
Release date: Third quarter 2014.
Directed by Yann Coquart, written by Yann Coquart and Ariel Kyrou
Cinematography: Jordi Esgleas Marroi