Communion Of Dreams

The Final Cut

Via BoingBoing, an extensive interview in Wired with Ridley Scott about the upcoming release of Blade Runner: The Final Cut. From the prologue:

At age 69, Ridley Scott is finally satisfied with his most challenging film. He’s still turning out movies at a furious pace — American Gangster, with Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, is due in November — building on an extraordinary oeuvre that includes Alien, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator, and Black Hawk Down. But he seems ready to accept Blade Runner as his crowning achievement. In his northern English accent, he describes its genesis and lasting influence. And, inevitably, he returns to the darkness that pervades his view of the future — the shadows that shield Deckard from a reality that may be too disturbing to face.

It’s an excellent interview. But then, I’m biased – I consider Blade Runner to be one of the best movies ever made, and certainly one of top SF movies. (In this I am hardly alone, of course – even Diane Rehm of NPR considers it one of her favorite movies.) The 1992 ‘Director’s Cut’ was a huge improvement over the original release, even with the crappy quality of the DVD. I particularly enjoyed this bit from the interview itself:

Wired: Dream kitchens aside, it’s a rather bleak vision of the future.

Scott:I was always aware that this whole Earth is on overload. I’ve been that way for 30 years. People used to think I was — you know, not exactly depressive, but dark. And I’d say, “It’s not dark, mate, it’s a fact. It’s going to come and hit you on the head.”

Exactly. Yesterday I wrote about the tension between visions of the future and the reality of scientific achievement. Clearly, the world of 2019 depicted in Blade Runner is not going to be here, at least not on that schedule. But that’s OK. It is still a very valuable cautionary tale and damned fine alternative future history. And I think that is all that any author or artist or director can ever hope to accomplish.

Jim Downey

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