Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die...

the above quote comes at the end of one of my favorite all-time films blade runner dir. by ridley scott, adapted from the novel do androids dream of electric sheep by that mind-fuck of a brilliant novelist philip k. dick, and spoken by rutger hauer as replicant roy batty to harrison ford's deckard whose job is to kill replicants if and when they go rogue and return to earth.

in a movie packed with rich visuals and tremendous scenes [such as batty meeting his maker tyrrell; when tyrrell asks what he can do for batty, hauer grits out in anger and frustration, 'i want more life, fucker!'] batty's bloody acquiesance to the brevity of life, and its beauty, bewitches me. hauer as batty transfigures the pulpy dialogue. this is one of his finest moments onscreen in any movie hauer has worked in.

here we see the whole of human questing and questioning on display in the actions and expression of rutger hauer as roy batty. what is life, what does it mean to live, what happens when i die, are all questions that haunt every human, and perhaps one of the functions of art, why art in any and every form is so necessary is that it furthers this haunting quest. which in the end might indeed be the alpha and omega of beauty.

at any rate, if one needed evidence of commercial cinema as a valid art form, then this penultimate scene is it. i've not mentioned ford's role here for he is a cypher to batty. hauer i don't think ever got his due. and in my opinion [was about to say, humble, but fuck that] hauer is one of the finest actors ever to grace the screen. this scene is proof enough of that.


At 10:49 PM, Blogger Okir said...

I love that film, too (have actually taught it), and have always found that last scene very moving. An amazing job of acting by Hauer.

At 1:15 PM, Blogger dfb said...

yea the last scene ans speech make the move - i think i like alien better -but ruger hauer is roy batty

ast year i ended up watch the scene in other languages - all on youtube - here is the spanish version

At 3:08 PM, Blogger Logan Ryan Smith said...

i've always really liked hauer, myself, but he's just made terrible decisions down the years. he probably could have been considered one of hollywood's best actors if he had just gotten himself into good movies.

"the hitcher" is another one of his really great films.

as for his b-flicks, i'd recommend "split second".

At 10:11 PM, Blogger richard lopez said...

jean: have been taught that movie too in college. a fiction to film class.

daniel: alien is the other ridley scott film i adore. the scott bros -- ridley and tony -- are terrific flashy, hyper-stylized, filmmakers that can make a pile of shit entrancing, such as gladiator or days of thunder. but for me ridley's only films are blade runner and alien.

logan: hauer, even in crap, is great. don't know the mechanisms of hollywood that make gifted actors such as mickey rourke or rutger hauer toil in b-movie swill, while so-so character actors, such as tom cruise, become huge mega-stars. whatever. hauer is great, period.

At 10:40 PM, Blogger Okir said...

I taught Alien and Bladerunner in the same class; that was fun. But hey, have you ever seen what I suspect was Rutger Hauer's debut film, Turkish Delight? It's been many years since I saw it, but if I recall, it was a (Swedish?) art film about two free-wheeling sexually promiscuous hippies, and what happens to them when they encounter "real life." Or something like that. Wouldn't mind seeing it again.

At 11:52 PM, Blogger richard lopez said...

jean: don't know that film. just watched on the first 10 minutes of the hitcher. brilliant, c. thomas howell, a good actor is pulled up by hauer's abilities. why the need to remake a classic film is beyond me.

At 12:52 PM, Blogger Logan Ryan Smith said...

I have no idea why they'd remake The Hitcher, either. But it's the same people that remade The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, one of the most perfect films ever.

They have no shame, apparently. Maybe they're also the same people that remade Psycho shot for shot.

At 11:23 PM, Blogger richard lopez said...

logan: texas chainsaw massacre is indeed one of the most perfect films, ever, of any genre. but i admit to enjoying the remake. not the same film, at all, but a cheap bloody good time.

didn't see gus van sant's shot-for-shot redo of psycho. as much as i admire van sant i couldn't bring myself to see his version. what's the point. you can't improve on the maestro.

did see a trailer for a remake of day of the dead, romero's third in his zombie film series. and why redo that? pointless and shameless.

and the remake of the hitcher? well, fuck, i WON'T be missing that.


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