Monday, September 11, 2017
Ridley Scott never again directed a film as beautiful or as provocative as film Blade Runner, his adaptation of Philip K. Dick's novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep". Much has been said of the film's look, an evocation of Los Angeles in a a future time, with smart and stylish renditions of classic film noir style. If nothing else,this film does make fine use of the extremes of light and dark, with a muted , earth toned schema for the matters in between that suggest the competing sediments of rust, dust, soot and chemical pollution, a suitable palette for a thriller set in the future. More than the look, however, is the set of issues the movies manages to cogently engage, from the spiritual ---the rogue androids quest to meet their creator and so extend their lives--to the sociological and philosophical. Immigration, urban cluster fucking, the mashing of cultures, the unprincipled introduction of odious technologies into the consumer marketplace, untried, untested, consequences be damned. He's directed other noteworthy films--The Duelist, Black Hawk Down, Gladiator ,Matchstick Men, and the much more recent efforts Prometheus and The Martian . come to mind--but none of them have the combination of ideas, tone , or visual allure that made Blade Runner a singular work; the odd thing is that it is that rare instance of when an elegantly designed vehicle contains any number of ideas that are substantial enough for a half-dozen discussion groups and a surfeit of monographs. This follows Philip K.Dick;s fascination with how populations are willing to relinquish their humanity--the kind of inventive, curious , adventurous humanity that isn't afraid of hard work, using it's brain, or risking death in the cause of finding out more of the world. In his novels technology is seen as the means through which the human being becomes less human by having the burden of having to use his Free Will less and less. As the machines take on more of what was exclusively the domain of flesh and blood,the tragedy that befalls those who've chosen convenience and leisure over a grittier essence don't seem tragic at all; it is hard to empathise with the products of pure leisure who haven't a care except for the entertainment of their senses.