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Philip K. Dick - The Penultimate Truth

8 customer reviews

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(Nov 18, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

Philip K. Dick is considered by many to be one the world's greatest science fiction writers ever; as a sufferer from mental illness himself he had the ability to turn his hallucinations about the universe into an extraordinary writing career.

During his lifetime, Dick produced an astonishing amount of prize winning novels and short stories, which were translated into more than 25 languages. His books inspired iconic movies that generated more than a billion dollars worldwide. Three of his literary works were transformed into blockbuster movies: Blade Runner, Minority Report and Total Recall.

Dick's stories were often surrealistic fantasies in which characters discovered that their everyday world was an illusion, generated by external entities or otherwise the adventures of an unreliable narrator.

Several years before his death, Philip started having mystical experiences that affected his everyday life. As a result, he started to wonder if what he had imagined for his stories was real and if life was just an illusion or the creation of each person's subjectivity.

This in-depth program explores Philip K. Dick`s world, a universe full of mysteries and intrigues.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Philip K. Dick
  • Directors: Philip K. Dick
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: KULTUR VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: November 18, 2008
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001FZQOP4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,116 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Philip K. Dick - The Penultimate Truth" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By R. Cook on November 24, 2008
Format: DVD
For content, this deserves five stars. Though I've read many interviews with and biographical articles about Dick, several full length biographies, and all his published novels, hearing the arc of his life related by friends and loved ones (including three of his five wives) who lived his live with and alongside him lends a vivid drama to (what is for me) familiar information. If you don't know the facts of Dick's life, this will be all the more gripping, if not startling. It's also sad, as the pain and chaos of his life seeps from the anecdotes recounted by those who recall him. But, as K.W. Jeter says, in celebration, Dick "didn't die crazy, he didn't die a lunatic!" In the end, after all the turmoil and perhaps even delusion, Dick died having achieved a clarity, having maintained a grip on sanity. And he left a powerful, if uneven, body of work that continues to speak to our condition as humans in the world we have made.

I dock the dvd one star primarily because the framing device within which Dick's life is told is ham-fisted and cliched: two "private eyes (dicks)," one even wearing a pistol in a shoulder holster, hole up in a room, smoking cigs, listening to tape recorders, filing through dossiers, making notes, tacking photos to a bulletin board, listening to a "control voice" over a speaker in the room (the film's sparse narration), attempting to get to the bottom, it seems, of the conundrum of Dick's "mystical experience."

I only dock the rating one star for this irritating hokum, as the content that makes up most of the documentary--interviews with Dick's longtime intimates, visits to places he lived, extensive footage of Dick's speech at the 1977 science fiction convention in Metz, France--is so compelling that one is thankful to have it, even with the impediment of the framing device.

This is HIGHLY recommended for all who are interested in Dick or his work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Kent on March 2, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Much of the info is available in biographies, particularly Lawrence Sutin's Divine Invasion, but it is interesting to meet Dick's ex-wives and friends. I have to admit it was quite exciting to see the house that was the source for Scanner Darkly, and other locations that would be so much a part of his novels. It was also interesting that Joan Simpson described Dick's speech at the Metz Festival as a disaster. The clips shown in the film only demonstrate how he was shaping not only the future of science fiction but the apprehension of reality.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By sft on May 24, 2009
Format: DVD
Okay, I fess up: I'm a PKD nut. I have all his published works (except the elusive volumes of letters), I also have many biographical and critical pieces, and I've seen a number of TV documentaries about the man and his writing, including the excellent PKD: A Day in the Afterlife (Arena, BBC, 1994). So I came to this documentary without expectations. I was, however, very pleasantly surprised. Although I didn't learn anything of significance that I didn't already know I did enjoy the personal incites offered by the interviewees presented here, some of whom have not appeared in the other documentaries I've seen. There are some wonderful anecdotes here; small stories about the man which don't feature in the biographies I've read. Also, given that film footage of PKD is extremely rare, it's worth watching this just for the clips of his 1977 Metz speech; I would have liked the entire speech to be included, perhaps as a DVD extra.

This is more of a personal study of the man than of his work, which is dealt with in a fairly perfunctory manner. But that's fine, because he was a fascinating person as well as an intriguing writer. This well-produced documentary is a must-have for all PKD-heads.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There's an amazing audio recording of Phil on YouTube called "Philip K. Dick - Valisystem" in which he expresses his private thoughts into a tape recorder having no idea that anyone would ever hear it. This recording is totally astonishing to me because it affords a glimpse into the unshielded thoughts of a 'BioDigital'. This kind of person is a host body for a digital Reptilian entity. All such people keep their status completely secret and NEVER discuss it - except for Phil in this audio recording! He doesn't really begin to discuss the BioDigital aspect of himself until about 28:00 into the recording...then, he describes his perceptions of the "All Seeing Eye" and his certainty that many other people have become hosts for this mysterious ET intelligence. If you watch "The Penultimate Truth" try to notice the photograph that is shown in the documentary that shows Dick seated on a couch between two friends...Phil is holding an object over his eye to create a 'one eye' symbolism. This kind of gesture is done by BioDigitals to indicate that the 'Eye' is in their mind and is guiding them as part of the conspiracy. And in the novel "Valis" Phil wrote that: "That's the problem with God...He's only got one eye."
If an unassimilated human wishes to understand the BioDigital mind, I would highly recommend listening to Phil in this audio recording from 28:00 till 34:00. These six minutes are startlingly revealing. BioDigitals are everywhere, man. They are taking control of this planet and gradually unveiling themselves. Unless you are extremely clueless (and most humans are), you'll want to take an interest in these adorably demented people and their zany 'New World Order'.
Read more ›
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