Speculative Geography

code46

“[Code 46] Production Designer Mark Tildesley pieced together a “creative geography” for the film. A scene might be made up of a few different locations, different pieces of buildings existing in reality thousands of miles from each other. Tildesley thought; “The most interesting thing to do would be to try to fool the audience by taking the most interesting bits from each location. So you’d have the impression that you were walking out of a door in one city, but you’d actually end up walking out of it into completely different place, somewhere else entirely.” They chose Shanghai and Dubai as locations because they have: “This extraordinary, contradictory architecture. In Shanghai there is Third World poverty in the shadow of some of the most modern skyscrapers in the world. In Dubai there is the skyscraper area of the city and then just behind it is the desert. It was those curious juxtapositions which were interesting and attractive.”

“The space created by Code 46 is a compelling, almost meditative, melancholic vision, muted and disquieting. The dream of globalization has soured into an overly surveilled and controlling world […] , where even sexual partners need to be DNA-vetted […] The film’s East-meets-West outlook evokes the futurist visions of J.G. Ballard, where the vermilion sands of Third World deserts are interrupted only by rundown settlements and sleek shimmering citystate protectorates. Shanghai is a perfect location, as, more than any other city, it is currently undergoing a rapid transformation into “the city of the future.” The already sci-fi-inflected design of the Oriental Pearl TV tower in Pudong clashes up against the art deco mansions of Shanghai’s faded colonial past. Yet it makes perfect sense that Pudong’s new skyscraper district should coexist with the older part of town, Puxi, across the Huangpu river.”

Code 46‘s dystopic sci-fi reality is a world on the brink of destruction, fractured into citystates, internationalist but isolated. A world of transience, of airport check-ins, and motorway check points. Where people are as disconnected as the locations themselves. The glowing – circular atrium of Shanghai’s Grand Hyatt, located in the feng shui’d Jiang Mao tower, or the City’s elevated highways, spiral people into themselves, into a reverie.”

Matt Hanson. Code 46 in Building Sci-Fi Moviescapes: The Science Behind The Fiction. Mies: Rotovision SA. 2004. pp 100-02.


Code 46 on IMDB


Code 46, Wikipedia

A Scanner Darkly: The Kaufman Version

SHOT OF NOTEBOOK PAGE DAPPLED WITH SUNLIGHT
POV of someone skimming a hand-written entry. The corresponding voice-over is offhand, dispassionate. In the background, children can be heard laughing and playing.

BOB ARCTOR (V.O.)
Lately, Jerry Fabin stands all day shaking bugs from his hair. The doctor says there are no bugs in his hair.

The sound of fingers scratching scalp begins and grows louder through the following montage.

EXT. COCA-COLA BOTTLING PLANT – PRE-DAWN

SUBTITLE: ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, IN THE YEAR 1994

A massive, unlit Coca-Cola sign is eerily silhouetted against the early morning sky. Antiquated delivery trucks set out from loading docks, as red futuristic cargo planes, emblazoned with the Coca-Cola logo, take off from the roof.

EXT. FREEWAY – PRE-DAWN
Birds-eye view of Coca-Cola trucks spreading out through the city. Coke planes shoot by close to the camera.

EXT. 7-11 – DAWN
A Coke truck pulls into the parking lot.

EXT. SUPERMARKET – DAWN
A Coke plane lands gracefully on the roof of the supermarket.

EXT. MCDONALD’S – DAWN
Uniformed delivery men enter, hauling cases of Coke syrup.

EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET – DAWN
A Coca-Cola truck rumbles slowly past a row of low-income, plastic pre-fab houses. We hold on one house whose front lawn is strewn with furniture and cleaning products.

INT. JERRY FABIN’S LIVING ROOM – DAWN
The windows are spray-painted over with silver paint. A single pole lamp with bare, harsh spot-lights illuminates the room, which is emptied of furniture, covered in a sickly green shag carpet, and littered with fast-food wrappers. in green shag carpet, and littered with fast-food wrappers.In the center of the room stands Jerry Fabin, thirty, with wildeyes and a long, tangled mass of hair. He is naked, draped over a metal garbage can, and vigorously scratching his head. This process continues for an uncomfortably long time. A Golden Retriever sleeps in the corner.

(CONTINUED)

The Pitch: An adaptation of the Philip K. (Bladerunner) Dick novel. It’s about an undercover narc cop whose constant lying and own drug use start blurring his realities. He develops a split-personality (cop vs. addict) and, as a cop, begins surveilling his drug-dealer identity. And then it gets complicated. But of course. Charlie’s script is unproduced. (Richard Linklater eventually directed the film, using his own adaptation.) .

Being Charlie Kaufman.com