Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Tears in the rain

Kath and I have been having a few days of cinema. On Sunday after a lovely BBQ at Bruce's house we headed to Odeon to watch Avengers Age of Ultron.

Bruce and Nina had put on a great spread, smoked beef, chilli and other tex mex style dishes. It was great to see them and Connie, even is she did cry after Nina made me hold her. Ian and Helen turned up which was a nice surprise, Helen put Kath and I to shame by doing parkrun while we sat in bed. Joe and Holly look like they might be moving home soon which is exciting, and of course Nick and Charlotte, who didn't attend the BBQ are getting married next Saturday.

We watched Avengers on IMAX at the printworks. It was well worth spending the money on such a visual feast. I really enjoyed the film in spite of a few hammy moments, and odd pacing it was an entertaining watch.

Last night was a different sort of film altogether, one I am not sure would be made today. We went to see the Final Cut of Blade Runner. In spite of it being one of the seminal films defining the way futuristic films looked for over two decades Kath had never seen it. Its starting to get a bit dated now, the dire predictions of a future 2019 when Los Angeles is under a constant cloud and humans are colonising space using replicant slaves.

Replicants are banned on Earth and Deckard the main character played by Harrison Ford is a replicant assassin or Blade Runner. Deckard is tasked with hunting down several replicants including a Nexus 6 the newest and most powerful form played by Rutger Hauer. Along the way we meet Raphael, a Nexus 6 who doesn't realise she is not human thanks to implanted memories.

Panned in its initial release in 1982, the film has become a cult classic. While some directors cough George Lucas have steadily diluted their original vision the re-cutting of Blade runner has made it an even more enjoyable film, increasing the tension and immersion of the futuristic world.

The replicants force us to ask existential questions about ourselves, they are more real, more physical with an artificially short lifespan. what makes them less human, is it because humans designed them even though they are superior to humans in physically and in some cases mentally. Towards the end of the film Rutger Hauers' character tells Deckard he has seen things that he can only dream of, in some way the replicant being more than human.

One question I have wondered is whether Deckard is a replicant? At one point Racheal asks him if he has ever taken the test used to differentiate replicants from Humans. The police chief also refers to him as a killing machine after retiring one of the replicants.

Even if in the 1980's predicted the city of the future 2019 would have flying cars but still use payphones and photographs, it is an incredible vision which still looks unique and is one of my favourite films.
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