Blade Runner

Over the past weekend, I watched Blade Runner with my kids, as I was forced to inactivity by the demise of my mailbox! I had not watched the movie for twenty years, since the time I was a postdoc at Cornell and enjoying the student movie club, so it was almost like watching Blade Runner for the first time. (In particular, except for the cut of the final scene, I could not spot changes from the 1977 version.)

The atmosphere of the movie has not changed, though, in its oppressiveness. The play on lights is a major factor for this feeling with no natural light ever used but instead side glares that enter buildings periodically, including the apartment of the detective, Deckard (which makes it appear less private, in a Big Brother kind of way), or wax candles for the magnate Tyrell. The sci-fi touch is somewhat light, except for the obligatory flying cars (in 2019?!), which is just as good because this does not age well (like, the computer screens already appear antiquated or the phones are fixed phones, not cell phones). The themes are highly reminiscent of Philip K. Dick‘s universe, with an asianised LA, including origamis (just as in The Man in the High Castle), a permanent ambiguity/paranoia about the status/feeling of the characters (it is never clear in the movie that Deckard is not a replicant), the dubious nature of humanity, and a pessimistic view of the future civilisations. I did not remember, though, the strong connections with the films noirs of the 50’s, from the light—and the omnipresent cigarette smoke diffracting this light—to the costumes, and obviously to the hard-boiled attitude of Deckard. Even though I found the interpretation of Harrisson Ford somehow missing in depth (but this may be part of the ambiguity about his true nature, human versus replicant), I still agree with my former impression of Blade Runner being truly a cult film. (Unsurprisingly, my kids found the movie terrible, if only for the “poor” special effects!)

5 Responses to “Blade Runner”

  1. […] Marsalis’ hunt for fellow thirteens was reminded me of Deckhard’s parallel hunt in Blade Runner—a.k.a. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) […]

  2. Harrison Ford’s interpretation “missing in depth”? Akward….
    Comme j’ai lu quelque part (mais plutot au sujet de Clint Eastwood), il n’a dans son repertoire que deux expressions: avec et sans chapeau.

  3. effectivement culte!!!
    effectivement suranne… mais finalement ces ecrans cheap et tout ca, me laissent plutot une bonne impression… ce n’est pas comme star wars par exemple ou les viseurs des X-wings sont tout bonnement ridicules…

    pour continuer dans le culte, j’ai revu Excalibur tres recemment… et bien 15 ans lui ont tout de meme fait du mal (a peu pres la derniere fois ou je l’ai vu), la aussi les qqs effets speciaux sont parfois limite reidicules, meme si il reste excellent…

    • c’est pas comparable avec Star Wars, of course!, l’aspect sci’ fi’ est finalement secondaire par rapport aux questions philosophiques… c’est pour cela que Philip K. Dick est totalement à part. Excalibur, c’est un peu pareil, hyper-codifié et donc le fond demeure.

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