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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 8:15 pm 
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Well, try not to have any 'noir' expectations or anything else, and just take in the elegance, beauty and poetry of the movie. If you can't do that, just drop it. Not every masterpiece is for everyone.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 8:38 pm 
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Should we shift this to the Warner General discussion section? I'm sure plenty of people would have a lot to say about the title. Even a possibly elevation to Warner Classics...


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 9:06 pm 
Don't drop it. Blade Runner grows on you. And yes, the noir aspect is only part of what makes it tick.

The key to the film is the fact that the real hero of the story is Roy, not Deckard. Deckard is like a one-man Greek Chorus with a gun. In a way, that's why I prefer the theatrical release with its clumsy narration and "happy ending" (happy for whom?) to the director's cut.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 9:29 pm 
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It's a great tragic film and boasts some of the most unique sci-fi visuals ever seen on film. It is also the first film to receive the 'director's cut' treatment, or at least Scott coined the term I believe. And as soon as all the legal issues are out of the way Warner should release that double disc set they've been promising!

And if you like the Simpsons check this out.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 10:21 pm 
Take a chance you stupid ho
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It is also the first film to receive the 'director's cut' treatment, or at least Scott coined the term I believe

Yet as we now know from various interviews over the years, Ridley Scott had nothing to do with the 'Director's Cut'. It was what the Warner marketing department used to describe the re-release, and is probably one of the major reasons why there has been great dispute over the as yet unreleased special edition (ie Scott does not want the 'Director's Cut' to be part of it.)


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:34 pm 
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Yes he does want it in there. He wants all three versions. I never read that anywhere, and I certainly never read that it's Scott who's holding things back. It's a rights issue from what I understand, and it's supposed to be a three disc, at least.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 12:12 am 
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exte is correct. Scott wants all 3 versions of the film to appear on the "Special Edition" DVD of the film - the original theatrical version, the "director's cut", and a 3rd version he has assembled over the years (much like his new version of Alien). The legal issue that is holding up the "Special Edition" of the DVD has to do with the producer who holds the rights to the original version.

As for a thematic focus, the film pretty much centers itself around the notion of existence, and what exactly it means to exist within modern society. The noir style is just a method of visuals, but Blade Runner should not be held to the strictest rules of noir. I think Peter Wollen wrote an essay recently about the film being mis-classified as pure-noir. He seemed to believe the most impressive aspect of the film was its atmosphere and the fact that it set itself in a broken and decaying Los Angeles(?).

EDITED, because I'm a moron who constantly forgets to include "negatives" in my sentences.


Last edited by Andre Jurieu on Thu Apr 21, 2005 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 12:38 am 
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Certainly the spirit of Noir is evoked by some of the characters, including Tyrell who is in love with Roy, and by the production design and photography but it's not a Noir. And I think the evocation is pretty largely the work of DP Cronenweth and production Designer Lawrence Paull. Textually this is surely a companion piece to the Phillip Dick sourced Spielberg/Kubrick AI, in exploring the nature of being and humanity.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 1:08 am 
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I had read the three versions that would be in the set would be the original theatrical cut, the new Ridley Scott cut, and a workprint cut from the early 80s. I'll try tracking down more info. But I'm sure Scott was holding back giving over his new cut due to the 'Director's Cut' issue. (We know now however Warner will just be releasing a 2-disc set of the 'Director's Cut' with doco.)


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 1:47 am 
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It is also the first film to receive the 'director's cut' treatment, or at least Scott coined the term I believe

It was not the first film to recieve directors cut, and as Devlinn says, it was a studio decision to call it so, even though Scott also had a saying here. The reason why its called "directors cut" is simply because it was a fitting term.

According to directors guild, once the studio has finished a film, the director may alter it, do his version of it, within three weeks, and his cut has to note on significantly differences.

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I just watched this recently and I can't understand why this is considered a classic.

Several reasons, the first is that "Blade Runner" was the first film to approach replicants as humans and not robots. As replicants genetically are humans, just superior, existential and religious themes could be smuggled into the story, from simple notions such as "do replicants have emotions and conscious thoughts?" to complex notions as "does replicants have a soul?" By them being artificially created and setting an expiration date on them, it also adresses issues of genetical ethics.

The narrative embraces the very nature of science fiction, which first and foremost is Dick and not Scott. Where Scott comes in is in the mise-en-scene, as he above all is a visual filmmaker. The visual design of the film is breathtaking, a bleak view of the future, while imitating "Metropolis", adding a Freudial context to its design, where the lowest level of the city represents the lowest of human emotions, while the top, almost phallic pyramid-like buildings, represent the intellect.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 2:44 am 
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devlinnn wrote:
(We know now however Warner will just be releasing a 2-disc set of the 'Director's Cut' with doco.)

Got a link? I thought I was up on the latest Blade Runner dvd news. In fact, it sadly wasn't even asked about at the latest WB chat, right?

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including Tyrell who is in love with Roy

This is the first I've heard of this. I've seen the movie many times and never once picked this up.

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where the lowest level of the city represents the lowest of human emotions, while the top, almost phallic pyramid-like buildings, represent the intellect.

Phallic?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 3:07 am 
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Here is a link to one of all the sites about BR. The link leads to a part that discusses the SE. Latest info is not very new but still some interesting things if You have not read it.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 3:58 am 
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This is the first I've heard of this. I've seen the movie many times and never once picked this up.

What else do you make of the kiss before the killing of Tyrell?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 4:35 am 
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Quote:
It was not the first film to recieve directors cut,

I guess what I really meant to say was that this was the Director's Cut that made the term famous. Out of curiosity, could you give some earlier examples of a director releasing a different version of the film than the theatrical cut?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 9:34 am 
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Phallic?

As like Phallos, like the embodiment of power, ever read Freud? 8-)

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Out of curiosity, could you give some earlier examples of a director releasing a different version of the film than the theatrical cut?

I do not know when the rule for directors cut was added as a rule. Originally the Screen Directors Guild was formed in 1936 to ensure minimum wages and working conditions, and at that time directors were under contract and only few directors enjoyed the priviledge of both name above the title, Frank Capra was the first, but his films were subjected to what the producer wanted as a final cut.

The rule for directors cut said originally, that the director had six weeks to prepare a cut of the film, and was later changed to be correlate with the budget (today its 6-20 weeks depending on the budget).

There were directors who had final cut rights before SDGA was formed, like Chaplin or Griffith, but the first director under the rules of the SDGA to be given completely freedom and final cut rights was Orson Welles with "Citizen Kane", as far as I know.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 10:23 am 
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dvdane wrote:
There were directors who had final cut rights before SDGA was formed, like Chaplin or Griffith, but the first director under the rules of the SDGA to be given completely freedom and final cut rights was Orson Welles with "Citizen Kane", as far as I know.

But is "final cut" really the same as what is now thought of as a "director's cut"? It seems that a director's cut now just means an alternate cut of a film that the director of the film prefers over the one that was released theatrically - and often implies that the director did not have "final cut" for the theatrical version. Maybe that's not what the Director's Guild originally intended the term "director's cut" to mean, but it does appear that is what the term is thought to mean today.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 10:57 am 
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I haven't studied Freud forwards or backwards, but it's the first time I hear of the penis or phallus or anything phallic being credited as the intellectual center. Granted you said "almost phallic pyramid-like buildings." I disagree that they look phallic and that phallic objects represent the intellect.

Here's a good example of something phallic:

Image

vs

Image

I mean to me, they just look like pyramids. I certainly could buy that they represent the nerve centers of the city. They just don't look like (or almost look like) two giant erections, that's all.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 11:27 am 
Well, things can be phallic in spirit, if not letter (i.e. image). What Tyrell does as an inventor/tycoon reminds me of Brad Pitt's line in Fight Club (in response to Ed Norton's description of his father): "Fucker's setting up franchises."

You don't have to do much reading into the kiss. It's all right there. Roy kisses his own God (compared to whom he is a far superior being) and destroys "Him." If you don't wish to read the kiss as sexual - whatever - you don't have to. But it makes for an interesting horror flick parallel, with that genre's sex-followed-by-gruesome-violence pattern.

Roy saves Deckard because Deckard is a puny, pathetic little runt. Follow Roy's life cycle (to include his chain of thought), and you have the film's core.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 11:33 am 
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"Oh, no! My favorite sci-fi film might have a sexual subtext that I don't enjoy!"

Just because it's not completely blatantly obvious, doesn't mean it isn't there. It might just be subtle.

I don't know if there is a sexual subtext to Blade Runner, but I'm not going to dismiss the idea that it might exist just because it's not completely overt.

I'm unsure if the kiss between Tyrell and Roy implies a love between the characters, but it's an interesting viewpoint and one worthy of discussion (though, I have to say, flixyflox reads these types of subtexts very often).

As for the Freudian phallic subtext that Henrik points out, even if the pyramids don't seem all that phallic, the towering buildings that make up the skyline in that screen-capture seem somewhat phallic.

cbernard wrote:
Roy saves Deckard because Deckard is a puny, pathetic little runt.

Of course, Roy feels a kinship to Deckard as well, since both are replicants based upon Scott's interpretations and intentions as a director. It's just that Deckard is a puny, pathetic, little runt of a replicant, which is probably why he's able to co-exist so well within the human world that surrounds him.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 12:20 pm 
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First of all, I said almost phallic pyramid-like buildings, note the almost and the pyramid. Second of all, obelisks, towers, skyscrapers and for that sake also pyramids, which at their top has a obelisk, are embodiments of power, in ancient and medieval times noting upon religion, as they "pointed" towards God, and who in modern times note upon achievement, which in a Freudian context again notes on phallos, as errecting a skyscraper, especially to build the biggest, is an architectual contest of who has the bigger...

The pyramid form of the buildings not only rise above the city, metaphorically above the people, but in reference to the arrogant intellect of Tyrell, becomes a modern equivalent of the Olympus, as Tyrell is a "God of creation".

Hence, these pyramid-like buildings represent the generation of life, which is why I say almost phallic.

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Roy saves Deckard because Deckard is a puny, pathetic little runt.

That is wrong. Roy saves Deckard because he in his moment of death realises the beauty of life, hence cannot destroy what he lusts for.

About the kiss, it is not biblical, but a display of both love (not sexual) and power. As replicants cannot procreate, they are above sexuality, hence the kiss cannot be read as sexual. I would rather suggest it like the kiss between Michael and Fredo in "Godfather - Part 2", where Michael also grabs Fredo by the head and kisses him on the mouth, then says, "I know it was you".

I have always read the death of both Tyrell and later Roy as an perverted religious trope, because of the dove. In Greek mythology, the dove represents renewal of life, in Christian mythology it represents Gods forgiveness, and in terms the Holy Spirit.

As Tyrell, thru his implants, controls life and death, he can be seen as a God-like figure, before killing Tyrell, Roy infact calls him "The God of Biomechanics", and Roy as his first his son, then later when confronting Deckard as a God-like figure himself, controlling life and death, and as Roy forgave Tyrell for his sins, he now forgives Deckard.


Last edited by dvdane on Thu Apr 21, 2005 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 2:08 pm 
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Roy saves Deckard because Deckard is a puny, pathetic little runt.

That is wrong.

Check yourself. It's a different interpretation that's equally valid.

dvdane wrote:
Roy saves Deckard because he in his moment of death realises the beauty of life, hence cannot destroy what he lusts for.

He already destroyed what he lusted for once: God.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 6:27 pm 
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Back to that kiss. The Judas/Christ parrellel occurred to me probably the first time I watched the movie, but it doesn't hold up narratively. Too much character confusion Tyrell as Christ? Replicants in his own image? Although no sexuality seems to be evident throughout the movie both Darryl Hannah and Sean Young certainly exude a forceful femininity, if in a sexual vacuum. I continue to find Roy's kiss (which becomes a shared kiss, not just one planted on an unwilling Tyrell) a real shock in the texture. And Buddha bless you Jurieu but each time Flixy sees a gay text/subtext it's because it's there.

As another DIck subject MINOIRTY REPORT is of some interest but the theme of predertermination seems unrelated to the "Electric Androids".
Despite my goofball on the author of AI I still think this movie makes for valuable reading with BR. For one it's about the end of humanity (which only seems a distant possibility in BR) and that kiss of Roy's I think is parallelled by David's single minded mother-love pursuit. What is so interesting in the latter film (and I think it is a better movie than BR) is the terrifying spectacle of Frances O Connor programming David to love, like a consumerable, and the consequences of this emotion.

Another Noir evocation of course is M. Emmett Walsh who looks uncannily like Elisha Cook Jnr.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 6:32 pm 
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Should have added - aren't Roy and Deckard two sides of the same coin? Deckard is the "company" man and he supposedly doesn't "know", at least in the early part of the film. Roy "knows" and is cursed with the knowledge he is going to die, like a human.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 8:58 am 

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I have always thought of Blade Runner as a modern "Tower of Babel" story. The Tower of Babel was supposedly built in modern-day Iraq as ziggurats (with a distinct series of layers in contrast to the Egyptian ones). What happen within the ziggurat? Man creates man - man becomes God. just as the ancients tried to reach God by climing up to him in a ziggurat.

God punished man by creating languages and creating confusion amongst man and at street level in Blade Runner, there is a lot of languages and confusion.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2005 12:24 pm 
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Yeah, that's certainly an interesting take on it, but personally I think the whole "Tower of Babel" thing is a bit played out in science fiction, as is anything else that was done as far back as Metropolis. Of course, there are other, less well-tread mythical areas Blade Runner also makes use of, e.g. book of Revelations, the "faithful" (the well-off economically and genetically) ascending to heaven (the off-world colonies) while the others are left behind.


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