I have always loved Blade Runner, directed by the great and diverse Ridley Scott. And I mean loved. Like a women that you can’t wake up without every day, Blade Runner has been part of my life since the mid nineteen-eighties. When we were children in the seventies, the idea of owning a movie and being able to watch it, at home, at your own comfort, was like a futuristic concept from a Science Fiction movie. And sure enough when that dream became reality, it was such a Sci Fi movie that became one of my most trusted possessions.
Admittedly, in those days my copy was in the Betamax format, me being one of the few that believed the American format would win through. Of course I migrated to VHS once the failure of the aforementioned became painfully obvious to us all. But through that time a copy of the movie was always owned, and often watched day after day until the ends of the tape became rather fuzzy through wear and tear, right up until I donned my rucksack and set out to explore the world some ten or so years later. Sure enough the movie, along with one or two other jaded favorites travelled with me at first, but eventually it was left at a friends and I moved on, the copy was discarded but the love remained.
Some years later, after returning to the real world and starting my life again I purchased another copy, this time in that stunning new concept, DVD, and have moved through versions, the Directors Cut and the Final Cut, each adding a little more to the love saga, but not altering my real feelings for the movie.
That is the story of my affair with Blade Runner, but not my opinions on the movie itself. Now we get to the good bit, where I visualise my favorite scenes. The moment when Harrison Ford drinks from the glass of clear liquid after Brion James has beaten the crap out of him, and the blood sluices back into the glass. The scene in said Mr James character, Leon’s room, when Decker looks into the bathroom mirror, with the randomly flickering neon light. The death scene for Joanna Cassidy as Zhora, as she crashes through the glass panes of the shopping center, to be shot in the back by the Blade Runner. The moment when Rutger Hauer talks of his experiences, “moonbeams dancing of the shores of Orion”. All amazing moments for me, and I could list another dozen without pausing to think. Why, well it’s probably a very personal thing, the moments that mean something to me as an individual but perhaps can never be viewed by another person in the same light. Maybe I am underestimating the effects of the movier, and these feelings are genuinely shared by many.
It is the mood of the movie that really captured my imagination at first. The ambiance of the vast city that manages to combine the exotic with the alien, a world that can only be of the future, but retains all the trappings of the present. It displays all the emotions of the world we live in, yet takes them to a place so far from where we exist. All of this is amplified by the truly haunting Vangelis soundtrack, I still wake up to the Love Theme every working day of my life. But there is something more in the concept itself, the androids seeking to be human, living with the feeling that they do not belong to the rest of society yet is every way resembling those around them. This is a feeling that most have encountered at some time. The belief that you are more than the being you actually are, the secret knowledge that you are something more than society permits you to understand. The feeling of being alone when the world moves all around you. I have spoken to many people in my time that have identified this, yet no one who has every really understood it. The central motive of this movie is to illustrate this feeling with a formula that can be understood. Does the movie have the answer to life? No. Does it allow us to understand this feeling? No. But it does allow us to identify with the android characters and the tragedy of their life. They are Subjugated from society through no fault of their own. Built in the image of their maker, but vilified for being who they are. There is so much for us to relate to.
It is also a love story, Romeo and Juliet without the suicide pact. Love across boundaries, forbidden, dangerous yet unavoidable.
There is so much to like about the movie, which is why it has my vote as being the best movie ever. I am sure there are a few who agree, and many that don’t. I don’t care, it is my love affair and I do not need the world to be in love with the movie too… But there is one thing that really confuses me. the redundant scene, the only part of the whole movie that does not make sense and I need an answer. I hope to one day get this from Ridley Scott, because without this I will never be complete. I will always have some part of me missing. It’s the moment when Harrison Ford, Deckard, used the imaging device to focus in on the photo acquired from Leon’s apartment. He see’s the woman with the tattoo of a snake reflected in a mirror, hidden in the photo. He then heads down to China Town where the man tells him, “not Fish, Snake”. What is it he gains from the photo? I just don’t get it. If I have missed the point, fine, but it has survived all the cuts if the movie, and after watching the movie maybe 100 plus times in my life, I am not closer to understanding. Please Ridley help me out on this one.
I won’t end the blog in that vein though. This film has and will always be special to me. I thank the Director, Blade Runner is the best film ever.