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A Scanner Darkly

A Scanner Darkly

Date: Sep 13 2006


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

In his latest flick, A Scanner Darkly, Keanu Reeves plays a cop out to bust the network of a drug he is actually addicted to. Sounds a little confusing, doesn’t it? But what will get everybody to the theater to see this movie? The visual effects that make real life look like a cartoon.

Even though A Scanner Darkly is based on a 1977 science fiction novel, the film is 100 per cent up to date. Technology transforms reality into dreamlike animation. Director Richard Linklater also directed Waking Life, which brought the rotoscoping technique to the big screen.

Listen to Mason and Toby chat about A Scanner Darkly.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Toby:  Have you seen A Scanner Darkly yet?

Mason:  I haven’t gotten around to it. It’s gotten kind of mixed reviews but I’m interested because, uh, I mean, I saw Waking Life, right, which is by the same director, and it’s in the same rotoscope look, which I think is a really cool way to present a movie.

Toby:  Yeah, supposedly they, they’ve used the same technology but they’ve upgraded it quite a bit.

Mason:  It has to, I mean, you know… It’s become more commonplace. I mean, there’s a bank, I forget which one, is using it in their commercials…

Toby:  Yeah.

Mason:  So, uh… It’s neat though because it, it makes a very dreamlike presentation and from what I understand about the movie, that would lend itself very well to the storytelling.

Toby:  Yeah, the plot sounds totally surreal. It supposedly takes place in Orange County in the future when supposedly the US has lost the War on Drugs, which, I don’t really know what that’s supposed to mean. Have you read more about the plot?

Mason:  Not real… Well, I mean, I just know that there is this one drug that’s, kind of, running rampant, and there is, there are, these, more or less, under cover police officers, of which Keanu Reeves is one, that have been created to try and seek out, you know, the purveyors of this drug. But, and I’m not spoiling anything ‘cause this was, like, in the, the explanation, but, like, it turns out Keanu Reeves has done so much of this drug actually, that he has an alternate personality that is, more or less, the villain that he’s trying to find as the cop Keanu Reeves.

Toby:  Huh. Well, it sounds like a pretty cutting edge film, I mean, between the animation factor and the plot. Something kinda different.



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Neither Mason or Toby has seen A Scanner Darkly yet, but it sounds like they both want to.

Mason saw A Waking Life and is interested in seeing the rotoscoping in use again.

Toby doesn’t know much about the plot, so Mason tells her what he knows.

When Toby says the film is “cutting edge,” she means that it is one of the first of it’s kind, that no one has done it before.

Did you see A Waking Life? Will you go see A Scanner Darkly?



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Lao People's Democratic Republic


04:35 PM Oct 24 2007 |



Taking a look at “Movies: A Scanner Darkly”, I’ve found something that didn’t seem correct in the “discussion section” ...
When Toby says the film is “cutting edge,” she means that it is one of the first of it’s kind, that no one has done it before.
Shouldn’t it be “one of the first of its kind …”???
Well, you know … just wondering…
Monica (Brasil)

01:29 PM Sep 18 2006 |




It sounds meaningful although I haven’t gotten around to it—Actually I couldn’t do this because I don’t know the Chinese name of the movie

01:24 AM Sep 13 2006 |

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