Blade Runner appears regularly, two or three times a year in various shapes and forms of science fiction. It set the pace for what is essentially urban science fiction, urban future and it’s why I’ve never re-visited that area because I feel I’ve done it.
William Blake, as quoted by Roy “the toy” Batty and then some:
Fiery the Angels rose, & as they rose deep thunder roll’d
Around their shores: indignant burning with the fires of Orc
And Bostons Angel cried aloud as they flew thro’ the dark night.
He cried: Why trembles honesty and like a murderer,
Why seeks he refuge from the frowns of his immortal station!
Must the generous tremble & leave his joy, to the idle: to the pestilence!
That mock him? who commanded this? what God? what Angel!
To keep the gen’rous from experience till the ungenerous
Are unrestraind performers of the energies of nature;
Till pity is become a trade, and generosity a science,
That men get rich by, & the sandy desart is giv’n to the strong
What God is he, writes laws of peace, & clothes him in a tempest
What pitying Angel lusts for tears, and fans himself with sighs
What crawling villain preaches abstinence & wraps himself
In fat of lambs? no more I follow, no more obedience pay.
(From plate 11 of America A Prophecy.)
On The Edge of Blade Runner, a documenatary:
Sean Witzke, Supervillain :
I’ve written, and will continue to keep writing about Blade Runner. It’s the movie I watch constantly. The movie that shaped most of what I’m interested in, what I think looks good – earthbound science fiction, euro-sf comics, cyberpunk, memory, cities, the body, PKD, immersion and world-building, huge synths, what a villain was, what language is for, what humanity is, what attractive women look like (I saw this for the first time before I was ten, and to this day I still have a thing for girls who look like Rachel or Pris), detectives, synths, logos, rain. I’ve talked before about Blade Runner as a movie with its own ghost hanging over it. You can say that about most director’s cut films – but Blade Runner is especially a film with so many imperfect versions all of which have their better points – really you watch the Final Cut and remember the good parts of the voice-over, pretend that Roy says “I WANT MORE LIFE, FUCKER” instead of “Father”, maybe watch the deleted scenes where Edward James Olmos says “I spit on metaphysics”. This is a film about memories (there’s a theme here – body and memory. Christ I’m repetitive.) and memory implants, the need for a past, dreams and signifiers. Blade Runner is Ridley Scott’s masterpiece of worldbuilding – literally this is a city of the future (Beijing 2010 – Los Angeles 2019), corporate and multiethnic, overcrowded, hugely stratified. Roy Batty’s monologue at the end of the film is my favorite film dialog and it was improvised on the day.
I… listen, Blade Runner is everything to me. I don’t know what else I can say about it.
(From Sean’s excellent top 100 movies list, No Star Wars.)