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UCHRONIC MAGAZINE OF THE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY OF TOMORROW
"There dies to every instant for a time, a thing, a person that we do
not return to see: Life is a successive death"  RENE DE CHATEAUBRIAND
 
OPINION - DIGITAL CELLULOID - BLADE RUNNER
 
 
 
BLADE RUNNER (1982)

"I, have seen things you wouldn’t believe”

"... All these moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain. It’s time to die." Roy Batty.

By Patric Laneuville Châlons*. Email: plch@tiemposfuturos.es (SUBJECT: CONTACT PATRIC)

Let’s begin with a jewel of incredible lyrical beauty: THE jewel of the crown of this genre for almost all, both experts and laymen. Cinematographically spun gold of incalculable carats. A poem written in film cells that undresses the human condition. Dazzling visual feat, both gothic and baroque at once. A work that redefines the myths and ways of creation of new icons; Warhol’s soda cans or James Deans’ silhouette are left behind. Top science fiction that doesn’t anticipate the future, but actively contributes to the sculpting of it, to it’s shaping. An unattainable horizon to a galaxy of posterior imitators. A point of inflection in our lives.

Blade Runner

Chance generates monsters. Almost always. Darwin discovered that in genetics, 99.9999% of random mutations are harmful and end up taking the life of the human who suffers from them. But sometimes, with a remote possibility, the god of Fortune smiles and all the tossed coins fall standing balanced on the rim and also form a marvelous figure, and for its genesis, unrepeatable. This doesn’t mean that the coins weren’t of great value and the one who tossed them not of utmost magnitude. A series of unheard-of factors met in 1982, like an astral meeting of various planets, that only comes about once in a lifetime, namely: the conscientious British director Ridley Scott, the genius of “Alien”(who captured in charcoal, with surprising skill, all the scenes before filming them), Vangelis, the Greek musician, quite possibly the best of that time, Douglas Trumbull, the best design editor in the world, responsible for us believing The Space Opera in Star Wars, Harrison Ford, the most emblematic actor in the last quarter of the 20th century. Their total, in one thousand films, would have originated a never ending amount of mediocre tapes, some acceptable, one or two good ones, and maybe one really good, nothing more. But the all the coins fell standing up and all made, by chance, as many of us believe, the best work of their lives.  The cast is completed by an extraordinary Sean Young, a superb Rutger Hauer, fantastic photography taken charge of by Jordan Cronenweth, and a script incredibly linked together by David Webb Peoples and Hampton Fancher.

The film generated rivers of ink, a great many debates, with wise analysis from all angles, not only cinematographic but philosophical, mythological, social, etcetera. The great director of Spanish cinema, José Luis Garci, with great bravery, included the work in the list of essential titles to dissect and that would widen cinema until “further than Orion”. It isn’t our intention to go into such thoughts, above all because the literary genre that we intend to convey would mutate completely, looking like the result of “The National Episodes” of the wise Benito Pérez Galdós. Maybe this yes, some loose approximation, separating the analysis: We don’t know if with an anticipatory paranormal capacity the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer wrote about death thinking of Blade Runner; it is more logical to think that the scriptwriters read his work, and like a cinematographical wink, or betraying their subconscious, they put the words in android Roy Batty’s mouth before dying: “I’ve seen C Rays shine in the dark near the door of Tannhauser-Schopenhauer” or there is another Germanic term to conceal. From a classic point of view the androids represent the physical and mental perfection that the ancient Greeks looked for, like neo-Teseos, with strength and intelligence as a marvelous combination of qualities. Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” is present, essentially, on the tape: “I designed your eyes. Questions: Morphology Longevity Date of Birth”. William Blake also wanted to join the party: “And the igneous angels fell. Deep thunder was heard on the coasts burning with the fires of Orc”, with its prophetic poetry, original and romantic, like the film. To establish parallelisms between the decadent societies that Kafka drew and from the film that we feel Kafkaesque, above all, to do it in one sole article.

Blade Runner

Blade Runner is much more than a movie, it’s one of the most reasonable metaphors of death in the history of art, of the unbearable slightness of the human being. Furthermore, it’s magic: surprisingly it doesn’t expire before the attacks of time, as do the dazzling great works of art. Based on the mediocre “Do androids dream of electric sheep?” From the great Philip K. Dick it’s probably right to coin that from great books come bad films and from terrible books come wonderful films. The film, placed in the science fiction genre, but without a doubt has as much cine noir as the books generated by Dashiell Hammett, one is wrapped up in an oppressive atmosphere, impossible to escape from, from the first scene. The viewer doesn’t approach from his seat an overpopulated big city in 2019, but is converted into one more habitant of Los Angeles, in that rainy future, in which he can bump into any android as he turns the corner. “Cross Now, Cross Now.” And we cross, of course. In the Fritzlangian city that never dawns, that’s converted into a Babel Tower, in spite of the Interlingua, everyone has reversed roles: The humans walk like lonely robots and the androids look for answers that will provoke their more human side.

Dense. Extremely dense, in which each shot is a profound reflection disguised as a poem. On memory: “I don’t know if I could play (the piano), I remembered the lessons” “I can’t trust my memories”. On the ephemeral existence: “All these moments will be lost with time, like tears in the rain. It’s time to die”. On God: “It’s not easy to meet the creator”. On the passing of time: “I want to live more” Time? Enough. Unrepeatable like the classic aircraft of Deckard passing by the enormous neon Coke sign, when they take on, or at least rival, with Paul Newman for his spot under a derby hat on board a bicycle in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” or a King Kong knocking into biplanes in the Empire State Building or Julie Andrews on the green plains or Cary Grant running under an airplane “North by Northwest ” What does the great geisha with her exotic magnetism say? What does Tyrell-Prometeo say? More human than humans? Is that why they collect photos? If they last, maximum, four years. That’s exactly why. Did anyone else realize that one of the photos takes life for one second in an infinitesimal brilliance? The android talks slowly, in the dilapidated building and in a scene of surprising lyricism kisses his dead friend to correct her dishonored grimace. The Voight Kampf test, a modern oracle that measures your level of empathy (…“The Galapagos lies on its back with its stomach baking in the sun and moving its feet to flip over, but without help, would not be able to. And you don’t help it….”) To which we ask ourselves who or what are we, “Is this test to find out if I’m an android or a lesbian?”

Blade Runner

Yes, in Blade Runner there also fits a love story, man (?)-android. If Stendhal were alive…She would save his life; Leon Kowalski wants to get Deckard out of this world through the back door but Rachael stops him with a XXL caliber bullet. In his apartment she approaches him with her mascara run down her face, giving her an evil yet delicate look. Would Rachael kill Deckard for having discovered her with the Voight Kampf test? No. The sparks fly, the flame is born, the yin and yang unite. The hunter and the hunted. Each one is what the other needs and they fill with hope that space that was before occupied with assumed loneliness. Each one gives the other a reason to live after an existence of mere survival. Gaff sentences: “Shame she can’t live. But, who lives?” Love creates miracles, even through a human being (?) and a synthetic being, or maybe it was just because of that? Is she dead? No. Eight words close their symbiotic (?) union:

 

Deckard: Do you love me?
Rachael: I love you.
Deckard: Do you trust me?
Rachael: I trust you.

And the end, glorious, definitive. Our tears get confused with the raindrops, like the memories of the most perfect android, like our director in the welcome article to our uchronic magazine. Roy Batty not only is not killed but is saved on the edge of the impossible abysm that disappears under his feet. About to die, he values life more than  ever, his life and the life of the others around him. The most beautiful death in the history of cinema. A dove in the wind, his soul? Where do I come from, where am I going, how much time is left?

 

Blade Runner

 

Anyway, to finish, where we started off: Blade Runner, for many, a point of inflection in our lives. Each time that we see the film we become submerged in a profound silence, thinking…

* Pseudonym of Ramón Galí

VISIT OTHER CINEMATOGRAPHIC CRITIQUES:

BLADE RUNNER
BLADE RUNNER
FORBIDDEN PLANET
FORBIDDEN PLANET
TIME MACHINE
TIME MACHINE
CONTACT  
CONTACT
MEMENTO
MEMENTO
BRAZIL
BRAZIL
2001
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
MINORITY REPORT
MINORITY REPORT

* The copyrights of the shots from the movie, posters and trailers belong to their corresponding production companies and distributors.

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SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY MOVIES . CINEMATOGRAPHIC CRITIQUE. BLADE RUNNER.
MEMENTO. FORBIDDEN PLANET. TIME MACHINE. BRAZIL. 2001. MINORITY REPORT. CONTACT