Blade Runner Redux

I just do eyes!

In 1982, when Blade Runner came out, I was really too young to see it. I think my first movie was 2001, which is disturbing but not violent in the way Blade Runner is. 2001 is about facing God. Blade Runner is about shooting a woman in the back and worrying that you don’t feel good about it. At 9 years old, I’m not sure how happy I would have been about that.

But just a few years later, something clicked with that movie for me. In my mid-teenagerhood, I could see that it was deeply critical of society it portrayed, critical of its hero, and sympathetic with its villain. It was an indictment of slavery, of dehumanization of all sorts, and questions the value of any definition of humanity put forth by those who benefit from such a definition.

So when the Director’s Cut came out in 1992, I was all kinds of hopped up about it. I saw it at the Avon in Providence. I think my girlfriend Beth was with me at the time, whose critique of film I respected even more than my own. I’ll never have known if I’d have understood the movie without the voice over, but what I saw was this crisp, creative, beautiful vision that addressed the kinds of things I like speculative fiction to address.

The Director’s Cut released then was a re-edit. Timing remains from the voice-over (leading to some awkward pacing in the movie which I really like, but appreciate might not be part of Scott’s conception), you can see strings holding up the spinners, and continuity and other errors abound. (Who’s the fifth replicant? It doesn’t make sense for it to be Deckard except by way of the most Talmudic explanation; Snakes don’t have differentiated scales; The serial number on the scale doesn’t match the animal dealer’s lines…) Mr. Scott, though, has apparently gotten some funding to tidy things up once and for all, though. Next month, Blade Runner, the Final Cut will be released in LA and NY. It will likely get up here to Northampton eventually. I, for one, want to see how Ridley himself sees the movie.

I think I’ll use this as an excuse to write a bunch of things about the movie. It’s one of the primary reasons I wrote Shock: and it makes for a great running example.

Thanks to Judd for the headsup!

0 thoughts on “Blade Runner Redux”

  1. Man, what a movie. That line at the end from Roy Batty, about tears in rain… makes my eyes well up just thinking about it.

    Just wow.


    1. My uncle said that, as my grandfather was dying, he talked like that.

      You know, I just remembered that my uncle is the reason I saw that movie for the first time. He recommended it to me.

  2. Joshua-

    Thanks for your treatise on BLADERUNNER, one of my favorites of all time. Coincidentally, I am a one-eyed guy (MTB accident), and the ocularist who made my prosthetic also did some work for that movie (as well as 2nd King Kong).

    Nice to converse w/you briefly on BikeForums. Best of outcome on all your endeavors!

    Email me anytime.

    Ken Hill

    1. Wow, man. A one-eyed Blade Runner fan. Awesome. It’s like you were born to it.

      Thanks for your help over there, Ken! I’ll keep posting my projects here (bike and other), so come back soon!

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