Fun to interview people as their online avatars about the idea that we’re living in a simulation, and promising to structure around Philip K. Dick’s visions. A change since Room 237 is inviting skeptics into the room – Chris Ware has a more reasonable outlook than the gamer kidz, and one woman says their ideas are “school shooter mentality,” which would make PKD a School Shooter Jesus. Pretty early I started thinking these guys all have protagonist syndrome, and this plays out in the end, when a Matrix-obsessed trenchcoat kid kills his parents, the movie ruined for me as it lets him monologue about his cool murders. Music by the Clipping guy, anyway.
The first fifteen minutes of this ninety-minute movie was one long story about when Hampton Fancher was out of work, dating Teri Garr and getting into trouble. I was worried, but I’m here because of Experimenter, and don’t know who Fancher is, really, and I’m home alone on a snowy day, so let’s see where this leads. This segment is heavily illustrated with clips of performances by Garr (who I recognized) and Fancher (who I didn’t, because we don’t see him until part three).
Part two is text on screen and still photographs, covering Fancher’s family life, running away at 15 to become a flamenco dancer, marriage to Lolita star Sue Lyon, and acting career. Next, we see him in the present, and it’s another fifteen-minute, barely-relevant story, ending with his cheating death because he felt bad about dumping a girl while on a press tour.
“Actually, this story is so terrible I’m not gonna tell it.” Fancher’s best friend Brian Kelly (star of Flipper) is paralyzed while out with Fancher and has to quit acting. Then a short segment about Fancher’s attempted screenwriting career, a failed meeting with Phil Dick. All of this finally comes together majestically in the final segment, as a series of coincidences, friendships, bizarre interests and weird life choices culminates in Fancher writing Blade Runner. In the end, this doc was better than Blade Runner 2049 (which Fancher also wrote!)