Divine Invasions – Philip K Dick on Film

I first discovered Philip K Dick through the film Blade Runner. I was lucky enough to see it on release in 1982 and as a 14 year old Science Fiction fan I was excited to go and see it. I also felt dangerous going to see the film, at the time U.K film ratings changed, previously Blade Runner would have been a AA, which meant no one under the age of 14 was allowed to see it. The ratings changed and the dropped the AA rating and changed it to a 15, as a 14 year old can you see my issue? I went to see it and luckily I got in, visually and thematically I loved the film, unfortunately my friend who I went with hated it. The film didn’t do well on release but I was very happy that subsequently people discovered it. There has been numerous cuts of the film and I hold the uncommon view that the theatrical cut with the voice over is the best cut. I will explain my reasons at some later point.

After I saw the film I bought a copy of the book retitled Blade Runner from it’s original “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep’, the book amazed me and Dicks exploration of reality and what it is to be human enthralled me and I went on to read more of his work and he came to be, and still is, one of my favourite authors. The film adaptations of his work go from the stunning to the downright silly, he never saw any of them except Blade Runner as he died 4 months before its release. Initially he was not happy with it but came to like and fully support it despite its themes being very different to his book.

Late last year I was exploring what adaptations had been done on Dicks work and realised there was a few I didn’t know about and not even seen. I thought it would be interesting to watch the films and read the source material and then discuss the success and failures of both media. There have been 12 direct adaptations of his books or short stories to film, one of these Total Recall has been made twice so I will discuss both adaptations at the same time.

My plan over the year is to watch and read all 11 stories in relation to the films they inspired, in order that they were made. Un-surprisingly I will start with Blade Runner. I plan to have a written discussion that I will publish here along with a companion video on you Tube. This will be on a monthly basis aiming for publication at the end of the month. Below is a list of the films and the related Book/Story if you wish to read/watch along, there will also be some additions such as I will also watch and refer to Blade Runner 2049 in the first month.

I hope you enjoy this as I am looking forward to revisiting the stories as well as see some films I never knew existed. If you need help sourcing either the stories of films feel free to contact me and I will point you in the right direction.

  1. Blade Runner (1982) and  Blade Runner 2049 – ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep’
  2. Total Recall (1990) and remake (2012) –‘We Can Remember it for you Wholesale’
  3. Confessions D’un Barjo (1992) – ‘Confessions of a Crap Artist’
  4. Screamers (1995) –‘Second Variety’
  5. Minority Report (2002) – ‘The Minority Report’
  6. Imposter (2002) – ‘Imposter’
  7. Paycheck (2003) – ‘Paycheck’
  8. A Scanner Darkly (2006) – ‘A Scanner Darkly’
  9. Next (2007) based on – ‘The Golden Man’
  10. Radio Free Albemuth (2010) – ‘Radio Free Albemuth’
  11. The Adjustment Bureau (2011) – ‘Adjustment Team’

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