10.14.2013 Blade Runner / Then Again, Who Does

blade-runner-origami-unicorn "It's too bad she won't live! But then again, who does?" Gaff, Blade Runner

Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott in 1982, is perhaps my favorite film.  Ever.

With that out of the way, I can continue into a more formal review.

Blade Runner is a gorgeously rendered version of a dystopian future that takes place in a fictional 2019 (we're closing in).  The cityscape is merciless - infinite darkness, endless rain, rampant decay.  The city feels like it is fallen, save the Tyrell Corporation's megastructure qua temple as the pyramid of intact science, wealth and warmth, protected and insulated from the city below.  The  film presents the viewer with a uniform poetics.  The details are meticulously layered, and the film is thick and dense with the articulation of the dystopic reality in a seemingly sprawling cityscape. Has Noah's flood occurred?  Are we seeing the remnants of humankind, those who could not escape to the outer colonies?

Thematically, we have questions of humanity, how memory works, and the nature of truth.  The film leaves us with many unsettled questions - what is it to be human?  Is Deckard (Harrison Ford) a replicant? What would ultimately differentiate a robot with memories and feelings from a flesh and blood human, beyond our "internals"?  Blade Runner does not leave us with many answers.  Scott masterfully brings us to a conclusion where Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) recognizes and embraces his humanity, learning empathy, and teaching, in a depraved way, understanding.  Deckard on the other hand, is left metaphysically questioning his existence and humanity.  Is it possible that the other Blade Runners can access his dreams and leave token origami unicorns as omens or warnings, because Deckard himself is a replicant?  What is the nature of shared or collectivized memories?  Why does he save Rachel (Sean Young) - a replicant who gains awareness of her (its'?) humanity over the course of the film?  We are only left to speculate at the answers.