Friday, July 31, 2015

tears in the rain: from 'blade runner'

this final soliloquy by ray batty, an android replicant, is without a doubt the best monologue in science fiction films of all time. interestingly, the actor, rutger hauer, improvised quite a bit on the lines, but it is a very effective delivery.

i consider it a must-see clip of about 3 mins. batty the replicant, has defeated decker, the 'blade runner' who is assigned to terminate him. and now that decker is about to fall to his death, batty saves his life; and then the dialog. The dialog!

i have no idea what are "attack ships off the shoulder of orion" or "c beams on tannhauser gate", but it is a beautiful ending. 

my favorite sci fi movies of all time:

1. 2001 a space odyssey
2. blade runner
3. solaris

oddly enough, in all three of them, the most sympathetic, 'human' character is a non-human: in 2001, the computer HAL who loses his mind, in blade runner, the replicant batty, and in solaris the sentient sea that's beaming hallucinogetic images into the spaceship that's bothering it.


san said...

Haha, we share a love of interesting science fiction stories, man. The premise of Blade Runner (originally "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" by Philip K Dick) is that humanity has fanned out to create space colonies on distant worlds, and has also learned to create artificial human beings (replicants) rugged enough to help in taming those frontiers. Like a foreign legion, these replicants are banned from living back on Earth and mingling with regular human society, because their unique abilities and lack of emotional development pose risks to ordinary humans. So the story revolves the issue of future slavery. A Tannhauser Gate is some kind of portal that enables spaceships to jump from one region of space to another, facilitating transit. It's also a symbolic reference to events depicted in the Ring operas by musical composer Wagner.

I'll concede to everyone that increased tampering with genetic technologies poses risks for humanity. After all, some future terrorist may come up with a plague to kill us all. Or, given infinite power of choice from technology, including the ability to genetically modify ourselves to suit our whims and desires, humanity may undergo rapid entropy and social collapse. But there's never been any guarantee that humanity is an enterprise inherently destined for endless success.

san said...

Director Ridley Scott has also directed the movie Alien, and there are hints that both Alien and Blade Runner take place in the same story universe. There are plans to make a sequel movie, Blade Runner 2, and a much older Harrison Ford is set to reprise his role as Deckard, with Ryan Gosling also starring:

nizhal yoddha said...

i have never liked harrison ford, and anyway, in this film the far more interesting 'people' are the replicants batty (rutger hauer), pris (darryl hannah), zhora (joanna cassidy -- man, what a body!) and the beautiful rachel (sean young). deckard (harrison ford) only starts becoming interesting in the
'director's cut' which implies that he himself is a replicant cyborg.

like in 2001, the human astronaut david is wooden and uninteresting compared to HAL the computer.

san said...
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san said...

This genre of film has been described as "Tech Noir". Other movies like Terminator are supposed to fall in the same category.

You may also enjoy watching "District 9" by Neil Blomkamp, or "Gattaca" (starring Christian Bale), or even "Minority Report" (starring Tom Cruise) - if you haven't already seen those.

French director Luc Besson made movies like "The 5th Element" (starring Bruce Willis) and "Lockout" (starring Guy Pearce) which might superficially be in the same genre, but aren't considered as good as Blade Runner.

nizhal yoddha said...

yes, blade runner is quite literally noir. darkly shot, and reminds one of the old LA detective noirs, eg. chinatown or LA confidential.

i have seen gattaca (not impressed), and minority report (liked it a lot). also seen 5th element (don't like bruce willis).

others i liked were 'brazil' (loved it!) and 'the seven monkeys' both about dystopias.

i like the terminator series but they are getting bad. i have never liked the jurassic park series except for the first.

nizhal yoddha said...

philip k dick's stories are excellent, better than isaac asimov's imho.

indeed, in blade runner, with that final soliloquy, roy batty turns the film into his, rather than deckard's -- there is an element of karna to him.

nizhal yoddha said...

thanks re tannhauser gate. so it's like a wormhole. what are c-beams?

san said...

Regarding "C-beams" - here's what I read on reddit about it:

Meanwhile, I'd tell you to take a look at the movie "District 9" directed by Neil Blomkamp, because it too engages in some very incisive social commentary. Perhaps it's not so much the topic of the commentary - apartheid is already a heavily rubbished idea - but the cleverness of the way it was done was noteworthy. Some people have compared "District 9" to "Blade Runner" for its boldness in storytelling. Actor Charlto Kopley comes across as a new Peter Sellers.

Blomkamp will also be directing the upcoming Alien sequel movie.