Sunday, June 7, 2009

Dark City (1998) - Directors Cut

Dark City is a fiction film noir written by Alex Proyas, Lem Dobbs and David S. Goyer, and directed by Proyas. While it was not a major box office hit when originally released, it has subsequently developed a considerable cult following within film industry and cineaste circles. Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert is a particularly high-profile supporter of Dark City, labelling it the best film of 1998.

Director Alex Proyas first wrote the story of Dark City in 1991 as a detective story. The protagonist was a detective investigating a case that did not make logical sense, driving him insane as the evidence pointed to a larger, incomprehensible scheme. The detective was originally in pursuit of Murdoch, but Proyas considered the detective's perspective too analytical and changed it to the perspective of the man being chased to take a more emotive point of view. The original plot was changed to the story of Eddie Walenski in the film, played by Colin Friels. Proyas was also inspired by science fiction stories of simulated reality that he read during his childhood. The director considered the result to be a Raymond Chandler story with a science fiction twist.

The initial ending for Dark City was originally bleak, with the Strangers claiming victory. Proyas, not liking the ending, decided to alter it to focus on the "individual's triumph" in an environment where individuality was being suppressed.

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