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In Reply to: RE: 'Blade Runner: Final Cut' . . . posted by Billy Wonka on April 22, 2020 at 14:08:56
His "Tears in the Rain" monologue made that movie indelible in memory. One reviewer said it was the most moving death soliloquy in cinematic history. After filming it the entire movie crew gave him an onset ovation. His entire performance as an enhanced being was perfect. He was supposed to be superior in physical and mental aspects, but short in emotional development. All of the synthetics had that simple childlike aspect.
I thought it was very good. The problem with revisiting these classics after awhile is that we do it with a more critical eye. We start dissecting.
Edits: 04/22/20Follow Ups:
I have said for many years that is very difficult for older films to hold up with a modern eye. The reality is that we have advanced (most of us) and the films have not.
Take the horror movie "Halloween" When that came out it was one of the scariest films made - it was the first of it's kind - sort of - in that it was a modern Psycho. It inspired all the lesser slasher films that followed. There is no blood in Halloween either - which is a side issue.
But Carpenter liked the lengthy shots. There is a scene where the main protagonist Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) walks up to a house that goes for several minutes - just her walking up the street to a house where the killer resides. The audience knows Michael is in there and in the late 1970s audiences were yelling at the screen - don't go in the house - Micheal is there etc.
But today - it is "slow and boring" because audiences have moved on and that scene would be 8 seconds not several minutes.
Go back further to pretty much everything before 1960 and the acting is so comical - they just had no modern acting ability and no one talked like the way they talked in movies. I can't remember the term - "realism" but in today's films people talk like people talk in the real world not "frankly my dear I don't give a damn" or "STELLLLLLLLAAAAAAA" - I mean for a modern audience the characters - even in classic movies - have about as much depth as a cartoon. And even then a modern cartoon (animated feature) comes off more real.
So we have to try and watch these films with the lens of the time period it was made in and not by modern standards.
Science Fiction suffers largely because they usually rely on special effects - and what was GREAT in 1980 is basically beaten by every episode of Star Trek Picard - a TV show.
With Blade Runner - there are apparently 8 different edits of this movie and depending which one you saw - it may influence your entire take of the film. I remember seeing a non narrated version - a narrated version by Harrison Ford and an extended cut. Ridley Scott and Ford do not agree on whether Deckard is a a replicant. Ford says he is human.
"Being a Blade Runner means to slaughter replicants, which are physically indistinguishable from humans. Naturally, it's a job which quickly desensitizes one to human suffering, making the Blade Runners gradually lose their capacity for empathy, but technically, remaining human. It's the whole "he who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster," thing. From that perspective, no, Deckard is not a replicant. But it doesn't really matter. He might as well be."
I have not seen Blade Runner in many years but I suspect that pacing will be an issue for a modern audience and while I like Harrison Ford he more or less plays himself - that's not a bad thing - There are movie stars and then there are actors. Ford is a movie star.
Kevin Costner once noted that he had to choose movies that were good because he wasn't talented enough to carry (elevate) mediocre movies like a Jack Nicholson. An actor and a star can elevate mediocre material to some degree but Costner and arguably Harrison Ford can't.
I do remember I liked the little scientist guy in Blade Runner played by William Sanderson - he was memorable as Larry from Larry, Darryl and Darryl on the Bob Newhart Show (second series). I liked his small performance.
gotta disagree on Marlon Brando as Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire. He chewed up the screen. James Dean gave a similar performance in East of Eden which had some terrific shots as well. Speaking of Kazan flicks, "Baby Doll" is a fun one.
For an interesting and somewhat creepy little film from back in the day, check out Todd Browning's "Freaks".
Not sure how many "graveside service" scenes appear in film, but the very best is in Russ Meyer's "Mudhoney". It's a cringe-worthy scene and a hoot to boot! (The rest of the film is not so great.)
Another hootenanny of a film is "God's Little Acre" with a steamy performance from Tina Louise.
You can't dismiss Sunset Blvd or Fellini, Kurosawa and Bergman films just because they were made in the 50s and 60s. Welles' Touch of Evil has one of the best opening scenes in film history (even with Heston as a Mexican).
"Once this was all Black Plasma and Imagination" -Michael McClure
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