Friday, February 11, 2011


Blade Runner is the film that means the most to me. I adore it. Vangelis' score, Jordan Cronenweth's cinematography, Rutger Hauer's iciness, Sean Young's great beauty, all the incidental sounds/noises, that caracal-and-rabbit chase at the end, Harrison Ford drinking alone ninety-seven floors up whilst watching the blue-grey cityscape... heaven!

I first watched it in Sydney cinemas back in 1982 when I was 10 yrs of age (I distinctly recall my mother blocking my eyes during Tyrell's death, literally at the hands of Batty) and it absolutely thrilled me, lifted me. It moved me more than any other sci-fi film. I bought the comic, the sketchbook, the video, any magazines I could find on it. I have the 2007 box set now and I've watched every version of the film that has been released.

Now, I'm teaching The Final Cut for the first time - to a Yr 12 Advaned English class in south-west Sydney. What a blessing. I'm floating. What's wonderful is finding the devil (and all gods) in the detail. Another colleague (who also adores the picture) and I are completely pulling it apart and making links to Frankenstein, the companion text for this HSC study. Most of the kids are into it.

This is what we're picking up and pointing out to the kids (for any of you BR geeks out there)... some of this stuff I've never picked up before, even after many screenings... a dead African buffalo and a hunter on the lampshade on Bryant's desk, stacked mannequins in the lobby of JF's apartment, all the grog bottles in Deckard's apartment, what appears to be a sarcophagus over Deckard's shoulder when he buys alcohol from the seller with the eyepatch, the replicants' sanctuary (the Yukon building), fans and more fans, the matchstick man with an erection, the movement of shadows in Rachel's bogus mother/daughter photo, the story of the baby spiders eating their mother, the black and white appearances of Tyrell and Batty in Tyrell's bedroom (how they reflect each other; symbiosis), a unicorn in JF's apartment etc.

All these points have lead to expansions/metaphors and discussions on humanity, the frontier, wilderness, loneliness, yearning, American might, imperialism etc. We've also peppered our discussion with observations from Ridley Scott, courtesy of interviews, and commentary from The Final Cut. The students are in safe hands!

I could watch BR every day of my life and not be bored.

LJ, February 11 2011.

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