NA TEJ STRANI BOSTE NAŠLI:
-Interpretacije filma Bladerunner
-Nekaj slik iz filma Blade runner
ESEJ 1 - BLADERUNNER
A personal essay on 'BLADE RUNNER
- The Director's Cut'
A Ridley Scott film based on the novel by Philip K Dick 'Do Androids
Dream of Electric Sheep?'
This film, I believe, deserves a higher status than that of cult, and
is much more than just an acceptable homage to Philip K Dick, author
of many original science-fiction novels, often laced with philosophical
perspectives on the human condition. The film is multi-layered; thrilling
and unsettling, part dark science fiction and detective film noir, realistic
and dream-like, intelligent, mature, artistic and powerful. Purely on
the surface, it has a visual richness which is wonderfully atmospheric
(enhanced by the soundtrack of Vangelis), drawing one into a vision
of the future which is not only a sprawling, technological metropolis,
but an empty, soulless place. It is a film, which not only incorporates
the strong themes presented by Dick but also adds its own mood, more
aloof and tragic, which includes through its characters a sense of life's
quiet desperation. They are withdrawn almost, living in a mellow dream
which when disrupted, is painful and struggling. The characters seem
random, everyday people of the city, but through the story are united
by a will to survive because there is nothing else, nothing but fear.
Death to the replicants is represented by their own mortality and the
outside embodiment of the Blade Runners; stalkers such as Deckard.
Throughout the film, life and death are displayed in ways that illuminate
their surrealness; life in the case of a radically imposing world -
large, expansive, beautifully decadent, grown strange even to the hero
Deckard - and death, especially in the example of Zorra's death sequence,
as a sprawling, slow-motion operatic and disjointed event. Survival
is a weary task amongst such decadence, but it is a prominent theme;
the replicants are not human yet they want life, Deckard scrambles extensively
on the rooftops and at one classic point, is moments from certain death.
The film itself is called 'Blade Runner' suggestive of the confrontation
with danger that hunting replicants for a living invites. 'Quite a thing
to live in fear isn't it?' Towards the climax the film attempts to bring
the viewers as close to the ledge of death as possible. '4,5 - how to
stay alive' shouts Batty chasing Deckard with a nail plunged through
his hand, an attempt to retain his failing sense of sensation by an
infliction of harsh pain. This is all artistic nerve touching, and with
the roles reversed to Deckard as the prey, the viewer senses the hopelessness
of Deckard's situation.
This highlights another interesting factor which distinguishes Blade
Runner from being a conventional sci-fi thriller to a surprisingly relevant
and resonant work; the mix of the traditional with the untraditional.
We have the typical cop hero in the character Deckard, found in a downtown
bar at the beginning, wanted for an assignment by the chief. There is
the usual love interest in Rachel, the main villain Batty and his boys
heading for a showdown, a few minor characters of interest and behind
it, the clever scientist whose plans backfire. Before long however,
all is out of joint; the baddies are not evil, but confused creatures
of Frankenstein seeking like us all, extended life and answers for the
pain and suffering caused by grief and heightened doses of emotion.
Rachel, one of them also, complicates Deckard's task and in general
there is a sense of confusion, horror in Zorra's realistic death scene
and complexity in man's modern creations and lack of control. Technology,
it seems has surpassed our ability to control and relate to it. This
futuristic city is forlorn, lonely and lost. The characters are world-weary;
they have seen and done it all, and are none the wiser. Instead of a
great showdown with the enemy where the viewer witnesses good triumph
over evil, we have a prolonged, desperate fight. Our hero is disarmed,
forced to flee and is saved by the enemy who is dying anyway. It is
a scene where we wait to see if Deckard will survive and return to salvage
all that he now cares about - his strange love for Rachel. After this
case, we may discern that Deckard 'won't work in this town again'.
It has been suggested that the film suffers from an identity crisis
through not knowing whether it is a science fiction thriller or a clever
detective film noir. This was never the case. Like in the book, Deckard
in the director's cut is a conventional cop confronted by an unconventional
case (Nexus Six replicants with memories and primitive emotions) which
will bring him close to confronting a hazard that is inherent within
us all; the darker more horrific desire for holding onto life. For this
is the struggle of Batty and the replicants - how to live with dangerously
acute powers and sensibilities bestowed by people such as the arrogant
scientist Dr. Tyrell. They are not happy with their gift; playing second-rate
to humans, living in fear of death, and by the end, suffering a painful,
protracted and useless end. Their inability to comprehend their own
mortality and loss of experiences ('like tears in rain') mirrors our
own. This is the result of arrogant science, of playing Prometheus,
and as a powerful theme resonates to the consideration that human life
is not dissimilar. It is true perhaps that this fundamental idea of
'what it means to be human' may come over better in the book than in
the film; a stronger depth inherent in the film is that of hunter and
hunted. But what we do witness is Deckard's natural but ironic predicament
of falling for the enemy, i.e. Rachel. This is perhaps the only goodness
in a film illustrating the fallibility of humanity; love and the need
to be loved. It is here where we get the dream image of the charging
unicorn, a symbol perhaps of an attainable goodness and simplicity amid
such dark modernity and angst. Deckard doesn't find an enemy as such
in the replicants, but beings every bit as fallible as himself; confused,
fearful and understandably dangerous when threatened. A more apparent
interpretation of the unicorn is that it is a memory implant given to
Deckard - himself a replicant, confirmed at the end when he notices
the silver origami creation of the cane-man (a real Blade Runner?) Have
they used Deckard as a thief to catch the thieves? Personally, although
this is a strong connection, I prefer to think of this as a suggestion
only, and that the dream unicorn may also be a real dream, but perhaps
attaches to a deeper meaning shared between the blade runners. This,
however is the cleverness of the subtle ambiguity in the film; that
its suggestions work on numerous levels.
There are other groundings for understanding Deckard as a replicant,
with his unemotional dedication to completing the task set for him by
the chief. The reaches of Tyrell's influence on the positions of the
city are uncertain. Possibly it is all one engineered experiment by
the god-like mental Tyrell; introducing Rachel to Deckard, their relationship,
Holden's incapacitation at the beginning by Leon, and the need for a
being able to match and destroy Batty. But this is relatively inconsequential
and merely adds strength to the theme of presenting the experience of
humanity - its strange needs and compulsions - through the concept of
replicants. The fact that the reference to their murder is classified
'retirement' draws attention to an unjust but deliberate discrimination.
What these cops are tracking down in the Nexus Six replicants are mirrors
of themselves, suffering from a lack of empathy. The film is laced with
a subtle, ironic perspective.
By the time Deckard enters Sebastian's building it becomes apparent
that Deckard from this point will hardly be likely to just kill Batty
and walk home to Rachel. The climax distils the running of the blade
for both characters and for all people. Ultimately, as Rachel and Deckard
rush to escape the vicinity of other Blade Runners, but of still inevitable
death, their weakness and futility matches Batty's. But they have a
sort of love, one that possibly only Deckard feels, and we guess that
they will cling to this as they enter the lift and the difficult future.
The door slams, life goes on; the players have left the stage. They
are left threatened, for possibly the cane-man will ensure that Rachel
is hunted down. 'It's too bad she won't live, but then again who does.'
The definitive version of the film is the director's cut, which retains
the proper level of ambiguity by subtracting the ill-fitting, unnecessary
happy ending. Instead we may wonder whether the unicorn of hope, love
and purity (my interpretation) can live, or deserve to live, outside
the dream and inside such an exhausted, dead-end of a world. This film
is both far-fetched and realistic, bleak in setting but finally hopeful,
striking a powerful chord with its searching, struggling characters.
Crucial aspects of the human condition are here on display in surely
what is a fine creation.
This essay does not include the vast religious parallels that can be
read into the characters and their actions eg. the replicants as fallen
angels returning to Earth to confront their maker, Batty as a symbol
of mankind, Deckard as God's agent of death and Sebastian as an intermediary
ESEJ 2 - BLADERUNNER
Roy : ' Fiery the angels fell, Deep thunder roll'd around
their shores, Burning with the fires of Orc.'
Bladerunner is not a pleasing film. Visually it is stunning and at the
same time frightening. Unlike Stanley Kubick's, ' Space Odyssey 2001
' with it's pristine images, Bladerunner sets out to shock. It paints
a picture of a world where the sun never shines, where it rains incessantly.
The crowded streets are narrow and filthy. People rush by dressed in
weird attire. The images are magnificent yet decadent. There is a feeling
of eeriness and the atmosphere is thick with expectancy. Each frame
is like an abstract painting. When viewed, it says different things
to different people. There are so many things happening at the same
time. The bombardment of the visual effects and the double tongued dialogue
has the viewer totally perplexed and this is what the film purposely
sets out to do.
For once, the viewer is asked to think. Yet there is
no clear - cut plot and everything is not what it seems. What is there
is yet not there. What is said has a totally different meaning to the
words spoken. The film has a subtext and it is within this subtext that
it reveals itself. The behavior of the characters does not tie in with
the story - line. There are hidden meanings in everything they say and
do. It is not even clear who is human.
The film failed to find its audience because it could
not be clearly understood. Understanding is what it demanded. Like all
Postmodernist works, it did not conform to the norm. Instead of being
a passive consumer, the viewer had to take an active part in the consumption
Bladerunner is a parody. It revisits the past, mimics
it and holds it up to ridicule. There are definitive religious and philosophical
parallels and these are Milton's Paradise Lost and humanity itself.
It goes as far as to question God, mock Him and finally kill Him.
Roy and his followers : Pris, Zora and Leon are Milton's
fallen angels. They were created by Tyrell ( God ) and given a four
year lifespan. God created man and gave him a four - score lifespan.
The parallels are quite apparent.
Roy is the symbol of mankind. He was created by God
and was separated by his maker, when he was sent off world ( expelled
from heaven ). And like Lucifer, sets about on a course of destruction.
Milton's battle takes place in heaven. Here it is fought on earth.
The selected extract is part of the dialogue that takes
place between Tyrell and Roy when they first confront one another. The
latter cannot approach Tyrell directly. He has to make use of an intermediary
; Sebastian ( Jesus Christ ) as his link to God. Biblical teachings
has it that God can only be approached through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Sebastian is the only true human. He is flesh and blood.
He is the composite of both man and replicant as Jesus is a composite
of God and man. Just as Jesus Christ lived among men, Sebastian lived
among the replicants. In the scriptures, Jesus Christ attempted to bring
humanity to God and was killed by those he tried to save. The same thing
happened to Sebastian. He brought Roy ( man ) to his creator and was
killed for his trouble.
Sebastian was Tyrell's subordinate just as Jesus was
God's subordinate. But whereas the Bible says that the score between
Lucifer and Christ is yet to be settled, Ridley Scott decides to settle
it there and then. He takes advantage of the liberties afforded him
by Postmodernism by deciding to rewrite the future. He does not wait
for the prophecies as per the Book of Revelations and the final battle.
He has Satan kill Christ there and then.
The camera angle used to film the lift ascending to
Tyrell's headquarters gives the viewer the impression that it is actually
going up to heaven. The interior decor resembles that of a cathedral
and there is an aura of holiness about the place.
The dialogue between God and Satan when they finally
face one another is frightening. What transpires in the room has a shocking
effect on the viewer. Tyrell like God, speaks softly, and does not anger,
whereas Roy like Lucifer is tormented and angry.
Tyrell : ' I expected you to come sooner .'
Roy : ' It's not an easy thing to meet your maker . Fiery the angel's
fell, Deep thunder roll'd around their shores, Burning with the fires
of Orc, I want more life Fucker ! '
Tyrell : ' The light that burns twice burns half as long...and you have
burned so very, very brightly Roy.'
Satan is not satisfied by the answers given to him by
God and begins to make demands. But it falls on deaf ears and like humanity
who pray to God for release from their sufferings, he is left unanswered.
Biblical myth has it that humanity must not question God or His motives.
The sentence of death placed on mankind will not be rescinded by Him.
Humanity cannot sit in judgement of God but Roy Batty kisses his creator,
judges Him and kills Him. This is perhaps the most shocking moment in
the film as the viewer is left horrified, as Batty with tears rolling
down his face gorges out His eyes. He obviously loves his creator but
in this scene, he takes on the role of humanity and on behalf of humanity,
We are asked not to judge. We are born with the sentence
of death hanging over us. We cannot question or may not question why
we have to suffer through this life. Our prayers for help are most often
left unanswered. Thus, when Roy kills God, however horrific it may seem,
perhaps finally humanity can pass it's own death sentence on God.
With God and Christ dead, Satan becomes almost a Christ
- like figure. There is an aura about him. He glows as if he is all
seeing and all knowing. But he is under a death sentence as he is pursued
by Dekkard, God's executioner. He has no alternative but to confront
the Grim Reaper head-on. He fights the battle not only for himself but
also for mankind. Whereas mankind at all times tries to avoid death,
Roy turns to confront it. A further significance to substantiate his
transition into Christ is that he pierces his hand with a nail, a symbol
of Christian crucifixion.
The final scenes in the film are also of great significance. The violent
struggle on the rooftops is fought in semi - darkness and pouring rain
and it is as if it is taking place in the very bowls of Hell. With the
end near, Batty, goes through yet another change. This is manifested
in the fact that he prevents Dekkard from falling to his death and indeed
becomes his savior.
As they face each other, Roy seems to come to terms
with his own mortality and the inevitability of death. He ceases to
struggle against what he cannot change....the ' hand of death'. He looks
back at what he had done and seen.
' I've seen things you people wouldn't believe, Attack
ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion, I watched seabeams glitter
in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate, All those moments will be lost,
like tears in rain, Time to die '.
By the time he dies, he has redeemed himself by following
in the footsteps of Christ. In order for God to forgive him, he spares
the life of the man who killed his beloved Pris. As he dies, the white
dove he had been holding flies free into the sky. Finally his soul is
purified and on the way upward.
The ' Angel of Death ' ( Dekkard ) looks upon the dead
Batty and muses.
' All he'd wanted were the same answers the rest of
us want. Where do I come from ? Where am I going ? How long have I got
? All I could do was sit here and watch him die '.
Roy Batty's final words.