Derik Badman's Journal

2019-08-16 08:19

Walked down to the theater last night to see the "director's cut" of Blade Runner. So many people showed up that by the time I got into the largest of their rooms I had to sit in the second row, which is not my normal preferred viewing spot. I haven't seen the movie in a few years, and I really enjoyed it for the most part. The cinematography and set design/effects are amazing. The active exteriors and the moody interiors all with a certain type of lighting that I don't have the words to describe. The film noir vibe of a lot of the characters and fashions (as well as the deep shadows and harsh lighting in tight interiors) really appeals to me. I also noticed a lot of places where really bright light blows out the film.

The movie early on states it is November 2019, which provides that level of amusement you get from any science fiction of the past that dared give specific dates. We have about two months left to catch up with flying cars, outer space colonies, and replicants. On the other hand, Deckard has to use a video pay phone in a bar in one scene and doesn't appear to even have a radio to call for back-up.

The main part of the movie that I always feel is overdone is the confrontation at the end between Deckard and Roy. What is previously mostly a movie about atmosphere and ideas becomes an extended fight/thriller sequence that doesn't do much to enhance my thoughts or feelings about any of the movie's themes. It feels like a bone to some kind of action genre tropes and probably Hollywood.

I was conscious this time of watching for the "Deckard is a replicant too" theory, and in the end it does seem inconclusive but quite plausible. I guess I'll have to watch the 2049 sequel at some point now, even though I haven't heard great things about it. Makes me want to look up some other cyberpunk style movies.

After the movie I finished up the first half of The Book of the Long Sun where it again takes some surprising turns to move the plot along and expand the conception of the background world. On the whole so far it feels a lot more cohesive and linear than New Sun, less a picaresque, more epic narrative. As a protagonist, Silk's forward progress is more clearly divined than Severian's, who spends a lot of time going from place to place without much of a clear endpoint (I think it's not until the fourth book that he actually gets some clarity on that).