Tag: Harrison Ford

Like tears in rain

Wednesday, 24 July, 2019

Near the end of Blade Runner (the original, not the remake), the leader of the rebel replicants faces death, having failed to find a way to extend his artificial life. In the film, Roy Batty, played by the late Rutger Hauer, is the bad guy who needs to be stopped by Rick Deckard, played by Harrison Ford. So they pursue each other through a bleak, rain-sodden cityscape. When cornered, the dying AI android, utters five sentences that speak to the possibilities of the future. He helps us imagine a scenario where humans will live among the stars, where new wonders are waiting to be experienced.

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

Waiting for Blade Runner

Monday, 6 April, 2015 0 Comments

First, the bad news: The Blade Runner sequel won’t start filming until summer… that’s next year. Now, the good news: Harrison Ford will be reprising his role as Rick Deckard, and Ridley Scott, who directed the science fiction classic, will return as Executive Producer. Released in 1982, Blade Runner was critically-acclaimed for its cinematography, special effects, scoring and dystopian vision. The dialogue sizzled, too. Here’s Deckard interrogating Rachael, a NEXUS-6 model replicant, played by Sean Young:

Deckard: “You’re reading a magazine. You come across a full-page nude photo of a girl.”
Rachael: “Is this testing whether I’m a replicant or a lesbian, Mr. Deckard?”
Deckard: “Just answer the questions, please. You show it to your husband. He likes it so much he hangs it on your bedroom wall.”
Rachael: “I wouldn’t let him.”
Deckard: “Why not?”
Rachael: “I should be enough for him.”
Deckard: “One more question. You’re watching a stage play. A banquet is in progress. The guests are enjoying an appetizer of raw oysters. The entree consists of boiled dog.”

While we bide our time until the sequel is released, here’s Blade Runner Reality, an Instagram site crafted by Ryan Allen that’s “Dedicated to finding reality that looks like #BladeRunner.” The images come with appropriate dialogue: “That gibberish he talked was city-speak, guttertalk, a mishmash of Japanese, Spanish, German, what have you.”

Blade Runner

The Conversation

Tuesday, 11 June, 2013 0 Comments

Those wondering about Edward Snowdon, his motivations and deeds, might consider watching The Conversation, Francis Ford Coppola’s brilliant, paranoid psychological thriller from 1974. Starring Gene Hackman, with supporting roles by John Cazale, Cindy Williams, Harrison Ford and Robert Duvall, the film addresses the social role of technology and examines the effects of spying on the human mind and the cost of being forced to keep secrets against one’s principles.

Although Gene Hackman’s character does not understand the true meaning of the conversation he has recorded, he finds it deeply troubling. Sensing danger, he is increasingly uneasy about what may happen to the couple involved once the client hears the tape, so he plays it again and again throughout the film, gradually refining its content, constantly reinterpreting the speakers’ emphasis on particular words and phrases, trying to figure out their meaning in the light of what he fears.

The horrific tension so brilliantly portrayed by Gene Hackman in The Conversation comes to mind in considering the mental condition of those whistle-blowers who make confidential material available to the public. How do they deal with the risks? How do they cope with the often unforeseen consequences of their actions?

“Bless me Father for I have sinned. Three months since my last confession. I — these are my sins. Took the Lord’s name in vain on several occasions. On a number of occasions, I’ve taken newspapers from the racks without paying for them. I’ve — deliberately taken pleasure in impure thoughts. I’ve been involved in some work that I think, I think will be used to hurt these two young people. It’s happened to me before. People were hurt because of my work and I’m afraid it could happen again and I’m — I was in no way responsible. I’m not responsible. For these and all my sins of my past life, I am heartily sorry.” Harry Caul (Gene Hackman)