REVIEW: Whew! This one took a while. It’s so visually iconic, I wound up taking over 800 screenshots. I whittled it down to 242. I’ll try to control myself better next time.
Phillip K. Dick was a loony-toons writer, but he had a creative and wondrous flavor of loony-toonicity that gave rise to mind-warping tales that leave the reader questioning the very nature of reality and identity.
Smack dab in the middle of this oeuvre is Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the novel that Blade Runner is based on. It raises questions on the nature of consciousness: can an artificial being be a real person? What if it has feelings? What if it doesn’t even know it is an android? How is ending the life of such a creation morally different from ending the life of a human being? Would a society that invented and used such beings be different from slavers? Would the difficulties and turmoil of a slave-based culture be the same?
It is set in the near future, on a somewhat dystopian Earth whose population is decimated by off-world emigration, leaving only the poor and sick behind, along with those that profit from them. Harrison Ford plays Rick Deckard, a sort of bounty hunter who specializes in hunting these androids, known by the trade name Replicants.
A quartet of off-world Replicants have come to Earth, pretending to be human, in search of answers. Most notably: how can they extend their lives beyond the built-in expiration date they were designed with?
Deckard’s heart is not in it. They seem to be a metaphor for his own failing life, but he hunts them anyway — and the strongest of them hunt him in return, until it becomes a showdown on the roofs of the city of Los Angeles.
Stylistically, this film is iconic. Anything cyberpunk, anything in a dark, messy dystopian future, owes much to Ridley Scott’s creation.
Speaking of Ridley Scott, Do you suppose this could be the same world as Alien? We see the spacefarers, but don’t spend much time on the streets of Earth seeing what it’s like for those left behind. I think it could be.
This is Scix in the Back Row, taking the Voight-Kampff test.
Blade Runner (1982) directed by Ridley Scott, starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, M. Emmet Walsh, Daryl Hannah, William Sanderson, Brion James, Joe Turkel, Joanna Cassidy, James Hong, Morgan Paull, Kevin Thompson. Based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick.