Scott’s “Blade Runner” did not have it easy. The director of “Black Hawk Down” in 1982 was not just predominantly friendly film criticism and also faced a tough competition: Spielberg’s “E.T.”. No “Oscar” was seen far and wide, only two nominations. “Blade Runner” is a “visually, but also dramatically fascinating,” futuristic “, a” science fiction western “that revolves around the question of what humanity ultimately makes – photographed in a gloomy, dirty world of the year 2019 “Shadows” (1980), Fred Zinnemann’s “High Noon” (1952), and “Metropolis” (1927) are all the more obvious ,
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With the introduction, the film begins: “At the beginning of the 21st century, the Tyrell Corporation introduced robots into the” Nexus “phase, creating a completely identical human being – the replicant. These artificial humans of the Nexus 6 phase were stronger, more agile, and at least as intelligent as the genetics engineers who created them. Replicants were abused as slaves in the dangerous exploration and colonization of other planets.
After the bloody mutiny of a Nexus 6 combat group in a colony on another planet, replicators were banned from returning to Earth, threatening the death penalty. Special police units – the ‘Blade Runner’ – were ordered to kill any replicator discovered on Earth. One did not call it execution, but ‘pull it out of circulation.’ “
Blade Runner Holden (Morgan Paull) is waiting for Leon (Brion James) in a dreary room. Leon enters the room, seemingly confused, almost frightened, while Holden, smoking a cigarette, makes his strange questions ice-cold. He performs the Voightkampff test. Leon is getting more nervous from question to question. Suddenly, he pulls a weapon and gives two shots to his counterpart after Holden has asked him to tell him all the positives to his mother. Holden is dead. Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is unemployed and alone. He was a Blade Runner some time ago. One sees him sitting on the street, reading the newspaper, waiting. He is hungry and is waiting for the snack bar to get free on the other side of the road. He has hardly eaten anything when suddenly the policeman Gaff (Edward James Olmos) stands behind him and ultimately calls him to drive with him to Polizeichef Bryant (M. Emmet Walsh). Bryant looks at Deckard briefly and gives him – who is no longer working for the police – an order: six replicas killed 23 people and would be illegally on the earth. He needed him to kill her. Deckard has no choice. Either he’s back with him, or he has to be afraid of his life. “If you’re not a cop, you’re little people.” Bryant tells Deckard that the Nexus 6 replicas have a lifetime of four years, because they are so equipped that they can develop their own emotional world over time. He could convince himself of this risk.
In the Tyrell Corporation, he is to test a replicator. Deckard does not know he is facing one such when he first sees Rachael at Tyrell (Joe Turkel). Rachael also thinks she is a human being. Over a hundred questions, Deckard calls Rachael. When she leaves Tyrell’s office, Deckard asks Tyrell, “She’s a replica, is not she?” Tyrell said yes, but one that had implanted memories – more human than man, more perfect than man. So she does not know she is not a human being.
When Rachael is standing in front of his doorstep and offers him his help, she leaves Deckard reluctantly and makes her realize that she can not be a human being. He tells her about “her” childhood, which is really the expression of implanted memory of another person , The replicators Roy Batty (Rutgerhauer), Leon and Pris (Daryl Hannah) are looking for a way to get to Tyrell. They assume that Tyrell is the only one who can extend their lifetime. The “eyewitness” Chew (James Hong) refers her to Tyrell’s co-worker, J.F. Sebastian (William Sanderson), a designer of artificial life. Pris makes contact with Sebastian and Roy forces him to lead her to Tyrell. However, Roy explains that there is no way to extend her life. Tyrell must pay with his life. During this, Leon Deckard threatens. Shortly before he wants to get his eyes out, Rachael Deckard saves Leon by a targeted shot. Deckard himself finds the serpent Zhora (Joanna Cassidy) and can kill her: he shoots her from behind. There are only Roy and Pris, the Deckard with Sebastian in the apartment track. And Rachael, to which Deckard developed a ambivalent relationship. He seems to love her …
Scott’s science fiction is filled with intentional associations, hints, references to religious myths, etc. These associations are not staged, merely indicated, named, and left to the viewer to draw his conclusions. “Blade Runner” is one of the few films in the film history, which is also one of the “wildest” speculations – also because they refuse to offer any solutions , Reflections, interpretations. The world that Scott shows is a dark, torn, steamy, smoking, wet, cold, machine world. The huge video commercials preach superficially, but on closer inspection rather sarcastic commentary on this world, which seems to have been divided into people of flesh and blood here, in skin-covered artificial replicas there. A devilish industrial estate covers the globe. Smog and fire have evidently been laid down forever over the living and their cities. The streets are filthy, it almost always rains, the building in which Sebastian lives is almost completely decayed. Bright artificial light seems to be the only source of brightness. The figures live largely from their artifacts. But this is, in a sense, not a homogeneous world. It consists of the relics of different epochs and decades, especially of the 20th century, with regard to clothing, interior decoration of the rooms, buildings, a miscellany framed by Vangelis music. Like thousands of layers, history piles up in the images, dead, and seeming, which seems to evade explanations, solutions, answers. The association to Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” is sometimes striking, not in the way of narrative, concrete visualization, but in the overwhelming feeling of a world in which people seem to hide from their own development without them awareness.
At all, “Blade Runner” is not a narrative, not a drama in the current sense. The end point and the starting point are almost identical. When the hunt ends, nothing has changed. Or is it? This world shows Scott to the excess. The camera rushes through it as if we were part of this world. And we are somehow too. The eye plays a special role. The eye seems to be the only means of grasping this world, but actually conceals the secrets of this bombastic art-product “world”. People can recognize replicas just about the eye, its metallic luster – they believe. But is this the ultimate truth? Even this is not really safe in this world. Tyrell, Chew and the snake-maker wear monstrous spectacle frames to see better. Through them we also see. But what do we and she see and is that “the reality”? Or which? The eye also stands for the camera, the film. Scott’s camera is part of this hodgepodge of eyes that are supposedly not cheating. Seeing is, on the one hand, the almost one, at least the most important, possibility of understanding the world; on the other hand, this vision is held in a subjective sphere, which renders the person of knowledge lonely. It is “only” his recognition of the world, which he perceives through the eye, which itself separates through a membrane inner and outer.
The eye also means being seen. The replicants like the people but want to hide themselves, the one because they do not want to be killed, the others because they want to kill. Pris paints her face, her eyes color, plays a doll in Sebastian’s apartment, as Deckard is on her trail. She hides herself. Everyone is hiding. The replicants appear – not only once – as an artificial reflection of the human, which seems lost. However, the recognition of the replicas over the eyes itself is doubtful. The question test is doubtful. Over a hundred questions, Deckard raises Rachael and is not sure afterwards whether she belongs to the replicants. Deckard already belongs to the doubters in this world, which he himself belongs to. He does not want to take responsibility for the consequences of technological development. That’s why he’s no longer a Blade Runner. His superficial hardness, which he had learned as a policeman, as a hunter, now serves him as a protective shield. He has failed and he does not even know how far he has failed. In the end, when he enters the elevator with Rachael, he can no longer be sure whether he is not a replica himself. Scott also leaves this question open, but he places it, he confronts the viewer with the possibility. Perhaps Deckard belongs, perhaps all the others who consider themselves to be human belong only to another sort of replicant. Finally, even Rachael can not recognize by herself whether she is human or replica.
The initial scene between Leon and Holden, this futile, lethal process of “knowing”, reproduces itself in the conversation between Deckard and Bryant, later between Roy and Tyrell. It just seems to be one thing: to recognize, to search for reality and truth. The boundaries between man and replicator are becoming increasingly clear. The difference seems to be an invention, production of ideology. The replicants appear like their oppressed and their life-oppressed oppressed, who as if they fall from heaven-on the earth in a kind of revolt want to strip their colonial status. Tyrell, the most powerful man, has to pay for it: a father’s murder, which Roy does to him by squeezing his head in his eyes, taking a look at him, and life. Is seeing really as important as Scott tells us? Or is there already a huge fallacy here – potentiated by the power of the visual in the film? (1)
The replicant does not represent Scott as dull, unfeeling, technically “barbaric” figures, but as ambivalent as humans. In Rachael, this is the most obvious, the replica who can remember, who insists Deckard the words she does not know: “Kiss me, I want you, put your arms around me.” These words does not know Rachael because she is in their (implanted?) memory do not occur. When she asks him if he ever did the test, she tells him that he too can not be sure to be human. They look into each other’s eyes, are lonely – also a hint in the film, which is always emphasized: the loneliness of all the characters – but for a brief moment in the other, are reflected, do what has lost this world seems – a “certain” certainty, reliability.
Roy, too, is not the brutal machine that he might appear at first. When his time has expired, he saves his life on the hunt between him and Deckard. While Deckard initially showed a very distant relationship with Rachael, culminating in the fact that he was forcing her to flee from a kiss on the wall violently, from this point onwards, both relationships are changing. Ultimately, they no longer see a serious difference between themselves , From the “It”, which Rachael was to Deckard, has become a “you,” the unintelligible for Rachael, the erotic, not just the sexual, has become part of her memory. The relationship between Roy and Tyrell is different: Roy is looking for life, the longer life, his clock threatens to run off. His “father” tells him that he can not help him. From a “technicistic” relationship between father and son results the murder. Roy kills Tyrell because his father did not give him a life, but only a certain death without a life in freedom, an existence without vitality.
The dream of life is “Blade Runner”, but only the dream. Neither the people – who may be replicas – nor the replicas – who are perhaps (mutated?) People – the most hotly controversial issue that has been and will be discussed intensively – see (eyes!) Another way to live through violence. With two exceptions: the “miraculous” rescue of Deckard by Roy and the unicorn that Deckard appears in the dream as he looks at his family photos. The unicorn symbolizes the innocence and purity, the feminine principle of the receiving and instinctive, the unconditional love, also for the healing of wounds, the resurrection of the unicorn, assuming that it places its head in the womb of a virgin and thereby loses its wildness Dead, nature (according to the mythical being, when a poisonous river touches the horn, the water would have been pure again). The unicorn was hunted and exterminated. It is precisely this longing for innocence, love, and purity – in this form an “absolute” desire, a fantasy for perfection, but also the longing for a fundamentally different life – in a brief moment at Deckard.
“Blade Runner” could be a lot of writing, interpreting, feeling. Some think the film manipulates exclusively by its visual power, but does not contain much more. So a typical example of the power of the images, the glare? Also! But the deconstruction of these images reveals, in my opinion, central moments with regard to the question – not the answer – what constitutes humanity. These include the importance of remembrance as a major instigating moment, the lostness in the pseudo- objectivity of the “post-industrial” age, the illusion about the power of technology and the illusion about the impotence of the “technological” social fabric, feminine and “the” male view, which is not necessarily manifested through personalization on gender, about loneliness and connectedness, separation and context – and perhaps more. Also, by the way, how we (also movies): see. “Blade Runner” has the “advantage” – like few other films in the sea of the (cinema) pictures – to be able to reveal new discoveries at every sight. That depends on each and every individual.