Blade Runner Blow-out (Part 3 of 3)

Long overdue… Time to finish the comprehensive examination of this film…

There is a reason that all three film classes I took in school have shown the movie Blade Runner. When I started typing this, I did not expect to spend as much time on the main character’s own self awareness as I have, but even the film’s production design and set dressing provide clues that Deckard is a Replicant

Take Deckard’s apartment: the piano…

A classic instrument (and piece of furniture) that feels out of place in a technological world of tomorrow… But what stands out are the photos on the piano…

In the Theatrical Cut of the film, Deckard asks why something that has no “humanity” would need photos, and all he can think is that they are trying “create” memories in order to fill a void…

The piano in Deckard’s apartment accomplishes the same goal and provides a subtle clue to Deckard’s true nature…

(Now, truth be told, I must have seen Blade Runner many times… I didn’t pick up on the significance of the piano until Adam Savage talked about it on

Then, there is the often imitated, but never successfully duplicated “Retro-Future” look of the city. Ridley Scott nailed Future Los Angeles! With the exception of the flying cars (spinners), he probably created the most accurate depiction of the future ever captured on film. His vision of a dirty, dark, rain soaked world still feels very accessible today, 30+ years after the film was made…

The world that Ridley Scott created is sooooo complete that tells it’s own story right from the opening shot: “we burned our atmosphere through the fires of industry, and Earth is a hell hole for the ‘little people’. You can get away: go to the off world Paradise…”

Many films, from Minority Report to Godzilla (the Emmerich version) have tried to copy the look of Blade Runner, and none of them have been able to tell as much of a visual story… The film presents a complete visual history of how we got from where we were, to where Ridley Scott wanted to take his vision of the future. I have only seen one other movie pull that trick off successfully: Wall*e.

So, there you have it: Blade Runner… It might just be the most perfect movie ever made, and each of the different versions of the film have their place. Despite what Ridley Scott says about the Final Cut being his “definitive version”, I feel like each version of the film provides different insight, and they all act like puzzle pieces that together create a definitive vision of the film…

I leave you with an assignment: watch the Theatrical Cut, International Cut, and the Final Cut over the course of three days… noting the differences, similarities, and how your view of the performance changes because of the addition or lack of the voice overs… Feel free to post in the comments below. Thank you.

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