BLADE RUNNER: THE FINAL CUT (1982) Dec 30, 2007 3:36:43 GMT -5
Post by rra on Dec 30, 2007 3:36:43 GMT -5
BLADE RUNNER: THE FINAL CUT (1982) - ***** - Masterpiece
"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe!"
People want to call BLADE RUNNER a dystopic tale, but I disagree. Most dystopian fare revolve around an exaggerated, hyperbole grim future to argue a fantastical future, all in all to make social commentary. The futures seen in LOGAN'S RUN or THE MATRIX are not impossible, but really improbable at this rate.
I would argue instead that the 2019 Los Angeles as seen in RUNNER has realistic chances of occuring within our future. The difference though from my 2007 outlook is that such an ugly, overpopulated, and ecologically polluted megalpolis won't happen in Los Angeles or anywhere in North America.
Instead, it'll either happen in Latin America and/or in Asia. Hell, Shanghai and Rio de Janeiro are on their way, since such regions either don't care, or economically can't afford, to clean up the toxic waste and outsource lousy menial jobs elsewhere. Nevermind the current issues of overpopulation or massive unemployment that'll stay unanswered for years to come.
What's more amazing than the continuing relevancy of BLADE RUNNER is what happened to me..... and I really don't know how to explain it.
"Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate."
I had always believed ALIEN to be Sir Ridley Scott's technical masterpiece, with BLADE RUNNER as his artistic legacy. I admired RUNNER as a great if flawed visual acheivement for sci-fi cinema. I've seen both the "Voice-Over" edit and dubiously-called "Director's Cut" several times, and I believed I enjoyed it.
I say believed because watching THE FINAL CUT for me was akin to a baptism, or an atonement for my cinema soul. I knew the music, the story, the scenes, everything....and all that meant squat.
To witness Scott's completed vision of humanity's destiny after some 25 years, I was practically watching BLADE RUNNER for the very first, and Jesus Christ I'm free. For the very first time, I've realized a startling truth.
There are no more flaws.
RUNNER is a cerebral and quietly emotional masterpiece for cinema that defies genre, a lushiously layered dream for the senses. This is crack cocaine for your eyes, and the mechanical-yet-organic music of Vangelis is the heroin for your ears.
This movie created millions of hopeless junkies before, but THE FINAL CUT will be a goddamn epidemic because even more poor hooked bastards will come back for their next fix, and then another....
"All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain."
It's funny, but I always was so caught up with RUNNER's action-plot, I never noticed before the direction of Scott's narrative.
With the cold, simple, and sterile opening credits and its prologue, there is a clear difference between humans and replicants, what is real and what is simply a knock-off. "Retire" is the word for murder because how could something not alive in the first place be killed?
All these these bio-robots have the protocol-memories implanted by their overlords, with similarly-designed emotional responses so that the masters could keep a close eye on their "fake" slave-stock.
The problem is, these replicants display the raw and very real ardor that is missing from the "true" humans, like empathy. They fear being exterminated, they have the burning desire for revenge, and very much feel death's final grip itself.
With these fugitives fighting for life, and Harrison Ford becoming more attached with their case and that of Sean Young's replicant-in-denial, the "barrier" between creator and the created becomes more and more blurred.
By the time of Rutger Hauer's finale, we have a villain that has done alot of horrible things, much of which he regrets, and now a chance to gain blood vengeance upon one of the hunters that has persecuted his kind.
Yet by accepting his fate, Hauer gives life as its drains away from his flesh. The bleak skies of darkness over Los Angeles briefly depart, for a soul has escaped into the heavens.
People insist that the ending of BLADE RUNNER explains the truth behind Ford's reality, but now I think the shot of the tinfoil-unicorn doesn't answer anything.
It's more of the last sharp poker, like Robert DeNiro's smile in Sergio Leone's ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA. The question shouldn't be whatever Ford is a replicant or not, but "what's the difference?" He's as human as they are.
"Time to die."