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Philip K. Dick - The Penultimate Truth
Philip K Dick - The Penultimate Truth
Actor: Philip K. Dick
Director: Philip K. Dick
Genres: Documentary
NR     2008     1hr 29min

Philip K. Dick is considered by many to be one the world's greatest science fiction writers ever; as a sufferer from mental illness himself he had the ability to turn his hallucinations about the universe into an extraordi...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Philip K. Dick
Director: Philip K. Dick
Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Biography
Studio: Kultur Video
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 11/18/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 29min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 7
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Flawed but essential
R. Cook | New York, NY USA | 11/25/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"For content, this deserves five stars. Though I've read many interviews with and biographical articles about Dick, several full length biographies, and all his published novels, hearing the arc of his life related by friends and loved ones (including three of his five wives) who lived his live with and alongside him lends a vivid drama to (what is for me) familiar information. If you don't know the facts of Dick's life, this will be all the more gripping, if not startling. It's also sad, as the pain and chaos of his life seeps from the anecdotes recounted by those who recall him. But, as K.W. Jeter says, in celebration, Dick "didn't die crazy, he didn't die a lunatic!" In the end, after all the turmoil and perhaps even delusion, Dick died having achieved a clarity, having maintained a grip on sanity. And he left a powerful, if uneven, body of work that continues to speak to our condition as humans in the world we have made.

I dock the dvd one star primarily because the framing device within which Dick's life is told is ham-fisted and cliched: two "private eyes (dicks)," one even wearing a pistol in a shoulder holster, hole up in a room, smoking cigs, listening to tape recorders, filing through dossiers, making notes, tacking photos to a bulletin board, listening to a "control voice" over a speaker in the room (the film's sparse narration), attempting to get to the bottom, it seems, of the conundrum of Dick's "mystical experience."

I only dock the rating one star for this irritating hokum, as the content that makes up most of the documentary--interviews with Dick's longtime intimates, visits to places he lived, extensive footage of Dick's speech at the 1977 science fiction convention in Metz, France--is so compelling that one is thankful to have it, even with the impediment of the framing device.

This is HIGHLY recommended for all who are interested in Dick or his work."
If PKDick is your favorite author
C. Kent | Maine, USA | 03/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Much of the info is available in biographies, particularly Lawrence Sutin's Divine Invasion, but it is interesting to meet Dick's ex-wives and friends. I have to admit it was quite exciting to see the house that was the source for Scanner Darkly, and other locations that would be so much a part of his novels. It was also interesting that Joan Simpson described Dick's speech at the Metz Festival as a disaster. The clips shown in the film only demonstrate how he was shaping not only the future of science fiction but the apprehension of reality."
This DVD, once you stop believing in it, doesn't go away
sft | UK | 05/24/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Okay, I fess up: I'm a PKD nut. I have all his published works (except the elusive volumes of letters), I also have many biographical and critical pieces, and I've seen a number of TV documentaries about the man and his writing, including the excellent PKD: A Day in the Afterlife (Arena, BBC, 1994). So I came to this documentary without expectations. I was, however, very pleasantly surprised. Although I didn't learn anything of significance that I didn't already know I did enjoy the personal incites offered by the interviewees presented here, some of whom have not appeared in the other documentaries I've seen. There are some wonderful anecdotes here; small stories about the man which don't feature in the biographies I've read. Also, given that film footage of PKD is extremely rare, it's worth watching this just for the clips of his 1977 Metz speech; I would have liked the entire speech to be included, perhaps as a DVD extra.

This is more of a personal study of the man than of his work, which is dealt with in a fairly perfunctory manner. But that's fine, because he was a fascinating person as well as an intriguing writer. This well-produced documentary is a must-have for all PKD-heads."
Excelent approach to one of the most oustanding sci-fi write
P. Lacasa | Argentina | 11/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Excelent approach to one of the most oustanding sci-fi writers. People interviewed are really worth knowing."