Thursday, 17 January 2013

Finally cottoned onto Blade Runner...

I was a massive, MASSIVE Blade Runner fan.. in 1981.

When the film came out in 1982 it nearly ruined it for me.

I'd seen all the stills, been taken in by all the hype (this happens a lot) and read the classic novel on which it is based.

Seeing Blade Runner the film was THE disappointment of 1982. I hated the voice over and the way the hero gets his arse kicked all over the place. Hated the love scene, with one of the most beautiful women in the world at the time being knocked around and brutalised. I hated the end.

It was epic disappointment, like seeing both Matrix sequels at once. Like Highlander 2 without the cleansing feeling of justifiable vengeful anger. Like the second series of Space 1999 without the cushion of youthful innocence.

When rumours of the unicorn and the new ending to Blade Runner appeared in the 90s I didn't believe it. I thought the unicon was footage from Scott's LEGEND crow barred into the plot to make it more interesting in the same way that the outtakes from THE SHINING are used in the original happy ending.

(That SHINING/BLADE RUNNER story is quite amusing. Ridley Scott sees the preview audiences just don't understand the original version and decides on the voice over and happy ending himself. He sends some poor woman photographer up to Canada in a helicopter to shoot footage of mountains for two weeks and when they process the film it just appears full of mist. Scott happens to know Kubrick and knows that mad Stanley probably shot ten films worth of footage of mountains for the opening of THE SHINING. He contacts Kubrick who is childishly excited.. Kubrick has seen the incomprehensible Blade Runner work print and loves it!)

My re-acquaintance with Blade Runnere started when I stumbled across the new 3 disc Vangelis soundtrack first. It is an incredible set of music that like the film just increases in complexity the more you investigate. To be complete soundtrack of all versions it would not just include all the Vangelis music (when even now has not all been released) but the really quite good temporary music featured in the Workprint version of the  filmand the crazy orchestral version we had to put upwith for years from the New American Orchestra. The soundtrack seems to expand as more is brought into the light, just like the film.

So I found myself listening to the Vangelis in the car at night and thought I'd give the film another chance. I got myself the Blade Runner "Collectors Box" set for xmas.

To cut a long story short, (and the making of Blade Runner documentary : 'Dangerous Days' is longer than the film) I'm now completely sold on the mind bending Deckard is a replicant ending.. not so much for the pretentious unicorn stuff but for the other subtle and not so subtle hints now revealed.

Best of which is an unused version of the happy ending I hated in 1982. As Deckard and his pet replicant drive off into the sunset together, all full of madly inappropriate smiles, Sean Young looks at Harrsion Ford and ends the film with "I guess we were made for each other".
And suddenly the 'happy ending' has become the ending of 'Brazil'..

And even having seen it twice in the last week I need to see the film again.. if only for that great scene where Deckard is testing Rachel to see if she is a replicant as Tyrell looks on approvingly. Suddenly Tyrell is having one replicant the other to test both of them, testing his prototype replicant replicant hunter before he sends it out to take on the prodigal son Roy Batty, before Batty can get to him.

So the Deckard is a replicant stuff is a little odd when the interaction with the police is taken into consideration.... but then in Dicks novel Deckard at one point stumbles across an entire police
precinct of replicants pretending to be police...

Great Rachel art was found here

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