A Scanner Darkly by Richard Linklater (USA, 2006, 100 minutes). Presented on 35mm film.
Based on the novel of the same name by Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly takes place in a dystopian future where the United States has lost the war on drugs. Substance D, a powerful and dangerous drug that causes bizarre hallucinations, has swept the country. Bob Arctor (Keanu Reeves) is an undercover agent tasked with immersing himself in the drug’s underworld to infiltrate the supply chain. In the process, Bob becomes addicted to the substance. As the line between his undercover persona and his cop persona begins to blur, so does the line between reality and paranoid fantasy.
The film also stars Robert Downy, Jr., Woody Harrelson, and Winona Rider. It was shot digitally and then animated using interpolated rotoscope, an animation technique in which animators trace over the original footage frame by frame — the same technique employed in Linklater’s 2001 film Waking Life.
This free late-night event is part of mfaNOW Overnight: State of the Party, a politically-themed celebration of contemporary art. The film and the party are open to all.