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Sunday, December 18, 2022

Overlooked Masterpiece: Radio Free Albemuth

Why do many film critics and Philip K. Dick aficionados overlook John Alan Simon's thoughtful interpretation of the first and best VALIS novel into film? Radio Free Albemuth (2010) is actually a gem of a movie, which suffers unfairly from its low budget and lack of promotion. 

Radio Free Albemuth was actually the first VALIS novel that Philip K Dick wrote, and in my opinion it is the best of that trilogy. His agent returned the manuscript with a note saying that it would never sell, so Phil wrote a second version and a third, both of which the agent returned with the same message: This will never sell. That was in the three years spanning 1974 through1977, and the market for his work improved over time. 

After Ridley Scott's film Blade Runner went into production in 1981, publishers soon found an interest in publishing the VALIS novels. By the time the film was released in theatres in 1982, Phil had tragically died of a stroke followed by a heart attack. Those in charge of his estate wanted to release a VALIS trilogy, but they knew nothing about the first novel, which Phil had called VALIS before changing the title to Radio Free Albemuth. In search of a suitable third volume of the trilogy, they settled on The Transmigration of Timothy Archer, which really does not belong. 

So, without that stamp of official approval as part of the VALIS trilogy, the novel languished. The film similarly fell under the radar of most fans and film critics. Despite the low budget, which was funded by producer-director John Alan Simon and his wife, along with a few others, the film features a brilliant cast. Shea Wigham stars as Phil, with Jonathan Scarfe as Nick Brady, and Katheryn Winnick as Rachel Brady. Alanis Morissette shines as Sylvia Aramchek. All the cast members agreed to work for union scale in this low-budget venture, since they believed in the project enough to take less money than usual for their work. 

Like the novel, the film suffered from its lack of pubic connection with VALIS.  What a shame! Despite the changes necessary when translating the written word into a visual medium, Radio Free Albemuth represents the most faithful interpretation of the work of Philip K. Duck that has ever shone its lights in a movie theatre. 



Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Endoscopy done, ulcers and hiatal hernia

 Yesterday I got an endoscopy of my stomach. The doctor confirmed that I have a hiatal hernia and stomach ulcers. The results of the biopsy will come later. I'm praying that the biopsy is negative for cancer. They probably will find an H. pylori infection, which is treatable.

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Buy Me A Coffee, Please

 Please support my work at Buy Me A Coffee. 

Writing about the Exegesis of Philip K. Dick is difficult and time-consuming, but I am making progress.


Saturday, October 22, 2022

The Darkening of the Light

 In case you were wondering about the title of my novel, it is from the I Ching.



Sunday, September 11, 2022

Health Update: Concerned, but no panic

 I have two medical tests coming up in October. I am seriously underweight, and I have been for over ten years, but now I'm down to 80 pounds. I've also lost 4 inches in height. I was 5 feet and four inches just 5 years ago, and now I'm five feet flat. My spine is crumbling, probably due to malnutrition. 

So I will have biopsies done on my colon and my stomach in October because the doctors suspect cancer. Thank God, I'll be asleep for those procedures. 

I do have a hiatal hernia, which causes my stomach to poke up through my diaphragm. It is quite serious, so I'm also getting a scan with contrast, which means drinking some kind of icky liquid before the CT scan, so they can get a better look at the hernia and decide whether it rates surgery. 

I will much appreciate prayer, positive thoughts and good wishes while I wait for the tests, and then wait some more for the test results. Thank you all! 


Monday, July 11, 2022

One of Phil's favorite pieces of music

 Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, J.S. Bach

Amazing music. 

Thursday, June 23, 2022

just to make the bots happy

UPDATE: They finally paid me, but it was like pulling teeth. 

In addition, their fees are much higher than PayPal or GoFundMe.

 please do not click this link until I get my first payout, which will prove that they are not a scam


Overlooked Masterpiece: Radio Free Albemuth

Why do many film critics and Philip K. Dick aficionados overlook John Alan Simon's thoughtful interpretation of the first and best  VALI...