Cinerama: Blade Runner

Posted: September 11, 2009 in Cinerama

Blade Runner

By Mike Derderian

Special to the Star

I was in the bus reading a newspaper when I came across an article about robots, one of my favorite topics. It was about a Japanese scientist who managed with the help of his team to create a robot that can duplicate and clone itself. Surprised? Well, not any more.

The tales and scenes about robots, humanoids and the cloning of humans that I used to enjoy reading or watching—even if they were nothing but fantasy— are becoming true everyday.

Machines with a humanistic touch! Are we to witness a new era where machines will dominate? Would it be able to replace man, its inventor? Who knows! It’s no longer impossible to wake up one day and find ourselves living side by side with artificial intelligent machines, or genetically engineered clones that look like us. Only time will tell.

Do androids dream of electric sheep? A Question that no one can answer for the time being since there are no androids yet. However if you happen to see one in the future make sure to ask it if it has dreams and counts sheep to doze off.

This very question is the title of Philip K. Dick’s novel that was made into one of the greatest sci-fi cult movies. Entitled “Blade Runner”, the film was directed by Ridley Scott in 1982, starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos and Daryl Hannah.

It’s year 2019 in Los Angeles. The technological and scientific development made it possible to manufacture genetically engineered clones referred to as “replicants” that were code-named Nexus 6.

“Replicants” were made to carry out dangerous missions that are hazardous for humans. Yet after a bloody mutiny against humans, they became illegal and thus sentenced to death by special police units called Blade Runners.

The opening scene shows us the futuristic metropolis that is mirrored through a human eye. The whole sketch is captivating, heightened by the music playing in the background that hones the senses to an eternal sequence.

“They don’t advertise for killers in the newspaper. That was my profession. Ex-cop. Ex-blade runner. Ex-killer.” Words uttered by Deckard (Ford) in a monologue as he waits his turn to sit in a cheap Chinese diner under the rain.

In the following scene we cannot but notice the special effects that were used in creating the neon-metropolis and the futuristic skyscrapers, as the flying jet car takes Deckard to the police station where he is to be reassigned again.

In the station he is told that five replicants led by Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) managed to infiltrate LA in search of Tyrell, the man who created them in order to find out why they die after four years from their production date. And that there is a replicant in the Tyrell Corporation, a woman called Rachael (young).

Deckard— after conducting a special test designed to expose replicants on Rachael— realizes that she is not human and he has to terminate her. However as he begins to fall in love with her, he decides to let her live.

The 117-minute colored film is philosophical that offers a humanistic insight through non-human elements especially in the scene near the end where Deckard confronts Batty and tries to terminate him. However after losing his weapon, Deckard becomes the prey rather than the hunter.

After a chase in an abandoned old building, Deckard manages to reach the rooftop and jumps to the ledge of another building, yet he unfortunately slips and ends up hanging loose grasping the ledge with one hand.

Batty watches the helpless Deckard and says “quite an experience to live in fear, isn’t it? That’s what it is to be a slave.” Batty pulls him to safety and throws him on the ground. As they stare at each other silently under the heavy rain, Roy breaks the silence by saying  “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain…. time to die.”

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