A S-Cannes-er Darkly

Linklater's latest bows on the Croisette

A S-Cannes-er Darkly

by empire |
Published on

Texan director Richard Linklater is a true Cannes rarity: a helmer lucky enough to have two of his movies gracing the Palais in the same year. Last week, he debuted his burger-business-bashing Fast Food Nation; today he's back on the Croisette with his freaky, rotoscoped Philip K Dick adap, A Scanner Darkly, which is showing in the Un Certain Regard category.

Joining him were stars Keanu Reeves and Robert Downey Jr, the latter proving to be in good fooling mood at the press conference. Downey Jr jokingly referred to his own performance as "Brando on peyote", and quipped that he drew on "25 years of drug research" for his role as paranoid junkie drop out Jim Barris. Reeves, meanwhile, revealed himself to be something of a Dick fan. "I love Philip K Dick's work," he said. "My first Philip K Dick was The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch, which is just fantastic."

"Keanu would call me up – he'd just got the German translated from the book and he's making sure I knew what that was," added Linklater. "Of course, I didn't. He was teaching me a lot. He really digs it. But that's his particular approach. I really admired it."

Linklater was obviously chuffed to have a pair of pics on show at Cannes 2006. "I'm really happy to be here with two films," he said, "it's better than not being here with zero films! I'd have hated to choose between them - a Sophie's Choice kinda thing. I’m glad I didn't have to do that."

Downey Jr then affected a dumb Californian voice and asked Linklater "Which one's better?" Well, if Empire were to answer that question, we'd say Scanner just about pips Fast Food. With its unhinged, meandering structure, it's probably not for everyone (Linklater himself says "I have no delusions of it being a mainstream entertainment"), but its ever-shifting, animated-graphic-novel look is fantastic, and it's full of unexpected (if you haven't read the book) humour.

Speaking of humour, Empire yesterday met up with Steve Coogan, down here with Sofia Coppola for Marie-Antoinette. Exctingly, he confirmed that his big screen version of ‘70s TV show The Persuaders is, after some delay, definitely going ahead, with Ben Stiller in the Tony Curtis role and Coogan taking the Roger Moore part. And Moore's apparently a fan – "he wrote me a letter telling me how much he liked A Cock And Bull Story," Coogan told us. Which confirms what we merely suspected - that the former 007 is a man of impeccable taste!

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