Wednesday, December 26, 2007

i know that the allegedly, supposedly, really final cut of blade runner is already available on dvd. just so, walking down k st mall past the crest theater, a local arthouse, i see a poster up for the allegedly, supposedly, really final cut of the film. it's not playing yet, but i guess it's on its way.

so i've changed my mind. i'm not a fan of the director's cut of blade runner. i think the movie loses a lot when the narration is subtracted from the story. there goes in my opinion a critical device often used in noir films. and the movie, which is presented so much like a noir feature, loses in the bargain.

and personally i don't care if deckard is a replicant or not. sure this is the bugaboo of many hard-core fans who think that deckard is artificial. i recall a clip i saw at youtube where ridley scott declares the added scene of the unicorn is an illustration that deckard is just that, a replicant. i think by keeping deckard human complicates things just nicely. so when we arrive at that brilliant rutger hauer speech at the end deckard is also filled with the love of life, anyone's life, even a replicant's life, like roy batty, like rachel. being human makes that love more complicit and deeper. the dichotomies of master and slave then dissolve, at least in the mind and heart of rick deckard.

just the same, i've avoided watching copies of the director's cut because i think the added scenes pad out the movie and the lack of narration flattens the pace of the story. the metaphysics of the movie ball up into a black hole of an overused trope: that mythical beast of purity, the unicorn. i don't own a copy of the movie because the theatrical print is long unavailable.

even the desire of seeing the director's cut induces dread. imagine my utter joy when a couple months ago a new tv channel, chiller, which specializes in horror films and tv shows, broadcast blade runner. my hands were shaking, i was in a cold sweat, as i held the remote and aimed it at the tv as i braced myself for the director's cut. instead it was the theatrical version. i could hardly sleep as i replayed the film in my mind all night, and when it was broadcast again the following week, i dropped everything for another viewing. i'd not seen the movie in a few years and i was on a high.

then when i saw the poster for the allegedly, supposedly, really final cut of blade runner my dread dried up. i'm looking forward to seeing it in the theater. maybe it's early onset old-timer's disease. but maybe, just maybe, i've been too harsh in my previous judgments and that there is indeed more than one way to sing a song. or maybe, just maybe, it's simply a strong desire to see a great, cleaned-up print of the film. perhaps it's too early to tell.


At 6:07 AM, Blogger Steve Caratzas said...

Blade Runner: The Double-Secret Really Really Really Final Cut played here a few months back. It didn't seem to me that anything was added, but rather subtracted.

Shots seemed somehow less poignant to me, and I had that terrible feeling you get when you watch a great film on TV: "Wait, wasn't there a thing he says here where such and such is explained?"

I agree wholeheartedly that removing the narration was a bad idea, and for two reasons. The first one you mention - that narration is a staple of noir; I'm totally with you - and the second one is sad to admit: Blade Runner is a truly boring film without it!

At 11:49 AM, Blogger Logan Ryan Smith said...

i disagree about the narration. the narration ruins the moodiness and pace of the movie. plus, the narration too heavy-handidly places the film in "genre" territory, irremovable from it. i think blade runner stands out because it's a genre movie (sci-fi) that bends and blurs genre lines. and really, blade runner is about the ambiance of the film. and the ambiance is created by the pace and the amazing sets.

lastly, i almost never like narration in a movie. a movie is to be told thru the visuals and the characters, not some over-voice explaining to me the things i supposedly wouldn't understand without it--even if that over-voice belongs to one of the characters.

but that's just me. i haven't seen the final final cut yet. i think it might be playing here somewhere. i should go see it.

At 6:12 PM, Blogger Catalin said...

For whole nother take, why not go back and read Philip K. Dick's original novel, "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"

I haven't read it since I was about twelve, just before the movie Blade Runner came out (which was, I believe, my first R-rated movie). I'd be curious what you think of it if you read it now, after all these edits of the film.


Post a Comment

<< Home