Thursday, July 10, 2014

Radio Free Albemuth

Film Version of Philip K. Dick’s Lost Novel Debuts in Milwaukee

By David Luhrssen
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Author Philip K. Dick inspired one of the most influential science-fiction films ever made, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. His visionary stories were also the source for Richard Linklater’s A Scanner Darkly, Paul Verhoeven’s Total Recall and Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report.

Milwaukee native Elizabeth Karr produced the latest cinematic adaptation of Dick, Radio Free Albemuth, a project funded by a Kickstarter campaign. Director John Alan Simon calls himself a “close-to-lifetime” fan of the author, and cites Radio Free Albemuth as one of his favorite Dick novels. Rejected by Dick’s publisher in the ‘70s, Radio Free Albemuth was lost amidst the author’s papers and languished unpublished until 10 years after his death.

The story concerns a record store clerk (played by Jonathan Scarfe) who begins (like the author) to experience visions believed to emanate from an extra-terrestrial entity. Dick is a character in the story (played by Shea Whigham). Recording artist Alanis Morissette stars as a mysterious figure.

Radio Free Albemuth opened in a few other cities last month and receives its one-night only Milwaukee premiere, 7 p.m., July 14 at the Downer Theatre. Karr and Simon will be on hand for a Q&A after the screening.

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