I apologize. These past couple of weeks snuck up on me. Honestly, I haven’t been sleeping well. I know there are all sorts of suggestions, but it segues into the post for this week. And it all started when Thing 1’s dog barked in the middle of the night. As I roamed the house, those little doggie eyes caught a glint of light and reflected back at me in the dark. A bit freaky, but I thought of a movie where the light reflects “just right” and make you wonder: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
At this point, some of you are wondering if my lack of sleep is messing with my head. It is. But the title above was made into a cult classic, sci-fi movie: Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott in 1982. It’s rated “R,” but it has very little foul language and lot of non-gory violence (hey, it’s basically sci-fi cops vs. robbers). Regrettably, it does have a dash of nudity. A dash, people, nothing remotely close to the current PG-13 movies in regards to nudity OR swearing.
Synopsis: The film depicts a dystopian Los Angeles in November 2019, in which genetically engineered replicants, which are visually indistinguishable from adult humans, are manufactured by the powerful Tyrell Corporation as well as by other “mega-corporations” around the world. The use of replicants on Earth is banned and they are exclusively utilized for dangerous or menial work on off-world colonies. Replicants who defy the ban and return to Earth are hunted down and killed (“retired”) by special police operatives known as “Blade Runners”. The plot focuses on a group of recently escaped replicants hiding in Los Angeles and the burnt-out expert Blade Runner, Rick “Deckard” (Harrison Ford), who reluctantly agrees to take on one more assignment to hunt them down. (thanks Wikipedia!)
2019?! That’s less than four years away! Feeling old aside, hello Harrison Ford and Sean Young! Add in Daryl Hannah, Rutger Hauer, E. Emmet Walsh and Edward James Olmos and my geeky self settles into a sigh of sci-fi bliss.
I’m a big one for cinematography…not CGI. The art of how a director captures scenes, pulls the viewer into the moment, sells me on a film. Ridley Scott is a master at his art; how many of us jerked in terror/surprise during Aliens or felt the dust settle in Gladiator? Blade Runner is simultaneously beautiful and dark. Everything about “his” L.A. is dirty, busy and shadowed, punched with harsh fluorescent lighting.
A haggard looking Deckard is D.O.N.E. with replicant work, when he takes on his last assignment. His clothes are dirty and his self is as unkept as his apartment. The only bright spot in his life comes in the form of Rachael, a stunning replicant assistant to Mr. Tyrell himself. It is in Rachael that Deckard questions his hard and fast lines about replicants as he falls in love with the thing he hates and hunts to destroy.
Although Blade Runner is gritty and dark, literally and figuratively, however, ends allegorically about the meaning of life. In the end, a dove is released, a symbol of God’s Holy Spirit, but I’m not willing to stretch the symbol to suggest that meaning.
There have always been rumors of a sequel, but recently, Ridley Scott himself has been adding fuel to the fire. And Harrison Ford will come back?! Just give me a moment to catch my breath, I’m verklempt.