The Essential Movie Library #21: Blade Runner (1982) - The Culture Files Blog - Los Angeles magazine
 
 

The Essential Movie Library #21: Blade Runner (1982)

The journey from overlooked to legendary

As every buff knows, Blade Runner was originally dismissed by both critics and the public only to become to movies what The Velvet Underground & Nico was to music. By the end of its decade the film’s status had gone straight from overlooked to legendary entirely bypassing the merely popular, with director Ridley Scott’s indelible sense of design and lighting and every signature motif down to the steam rising off the streets eventually rendered cliché by every aspiring filmmaker who followed. Reviewers who knew their McLuhan on an intellectual level but apparently not a visceral one complained that Blade Runner was all medium and no message; but set in a future-L.A. that is the Hong Kong of the American west coast—a maelstrom of neon and smoke, decay and stimulus—this picture is the mutated offspring of noir and futurism, and the ultimate example of how a cult in the making can see a movie on its own terms.

What Scott’s movie shares with the Philip K. Dick source novel is an inkling of humanity as not blood and sinew but memory and pathos, and for all the ways that Blade Runner is supposed to be so cerebral and sensory, there are few moments in modern film more moving than the final “tears in the rain” reverie of Rutger Hauer’s dying android. Listening to it, his own death having just flashed before his eyes, Harrison Ford’s private eye—bastard descendent of Kiss Me Deadly’s Ralph Meeker—returns to the Bogart where he began. The most influential American film of the last 40 years.

Read them all:
The Essential Movie Library #20: Persona
The Essential Movie Library #19: The Shop Around the Corner
The Essential Movie Library #18: Lost Highway
The Essential Movie Library #17: Tokyo Story
The Essential Movie Library #16: 8 1/2

The Essential Movie Library #15: City Lights
The Essential Movie Library #14: Seven Samurai
The Essential Movie Library #13: Lawrence of Arabia
The Essential Movie Library #12: Citizen Kane
The Essential Movie Library #11: Jules and Jim
The Essential Movie Library #10: My Darling Clementine
The Essential Movie Library #9: Double Indemnity
The Essential Movie Library #8: That Obscure Object of Desire
The Essential Movie Library #7: 2001: A Space Odyssey
The Essential Movie Library #6: Casablanca
The Essential Movie Library #5: The Lady Eve
The Essential Movie Library #4: The Third Man
The Essential Movie Library #3: The Passion of Joan of Arc
The Essential Movie Library #2: Vertigo
The Essential Movie Library #1: The Godfather Trilogy

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  1. Miguel posted on 05/10/2013 12:47 PM
    This movie pretty much set the bar of the darker side of science fiction. It deviated from the fairytale style sci-fi its predecessors set.
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