Double Vision

The same-but-different philosophies of Richard Linklater’s Cannes twofer

Richard Linklater’s stunning double feature at Cannes this year?A Scanner Darkly and Fast Food Nation?represented not the international supersizing of this always prolific and political American director so much as the ideal opportunity for his audience to engage in another Linklaterian game of comparative pop: positioning same-but-different philosophies opposite one another like facing mirrors, their reflections multiplying to the point of both dizzying revelation and what Scanner vividly defines as the “vague blur.” Double vision abounds on this bill as both films are adaptations: Scanner of the like-titled sci-fi novel by Philip K. Dick, the fictional Fast Food of Eric Schlosser’s Big Mac?is-murder expos?. And both mark returns to somewhat familiar terrain within the Linklater universe: Scanner to Waking Life’s surreally pulsing world of rotoscope animation, and Fast Food, with its narrative track around the periphery of the meat (or “meat”) industry, to the roving cyclicality of Slacker, his 1991 debut. Continue reading.