And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Do Androids Dream of Ridley Scott?

Blade Runner is one of those movies that helped form my love of SF. It entered my juvenile mind and exploded several cells while I attempted to process it and left me altered and skewed toward the genre. First off, Daryl Hannah as Pris, if this isn't a teenaged boy's dream, I don't know teenage boys. Then there is Rutger Hauer as Roy, the philosophical, maniacal replicant with a soul. Somewhere, somehow, that scene on the rooftop, in the rain, will come back into my writing, I know it will.

I remember seeing the original movie, I think it was at a friend's house who had HBO, or maybe it was one of those free weekends they used to offer. But I do remember watching it when I was still in high school. I saw it on the big screen when I went to college, at the University third-run movie theater. It still blew me away. I think it was after this point that I found out it was based on a book by P.K. Dick.

Then Ridley recut the movie and rereleased it. I think I saw it again in the theaters as the Directors Cut. I guess the studio forced Ridley to put a happy ending on the original, so now he got to redo it being slightly darker. To tell you the truth, I don't think I remember the difference between the two.

And now Ridley has recut the movie again. I appreciate his fanaticism. Any story you write or tell is never truly finished. As a creator you always feel the need to adjust it, push it more, change some of the focus of the story, see if you can make it better. You should resist this impulse with all your will once you get the story into "final form" (read as rewritten, edited and polished). Sure, if it hasn't been published, what's the harm besides wasting time that you could be spending on writing the next new thing. At some point, though, you have to let it go.

Ridley, Mr. Scott, let it go. Don't be a George Lucas.


Matt Mitchell said...

I'll be watching for the "re-cut," but I have to say I liked the original much better than the "Director's Cut." It seems now that I think about it that the only real difference was that Harrison Ford had no internal monologue in the DC, like he did in the original.

Steve Buchheit said...

Well, that's just silly. The whole movie is done as a noir rip-off/update. There's got to be that internal dialog. I admit it's been a long time since I've played my DVD (replaced the VHS tape). I guess I need to do that soon.

This is also one of those movies my wife says, "I don't get why boys go all crazy for this." Sigh.

Ken McConnell said...

I think the internal monologue deal was a producer's wish to make it accessible to joe public. But like Han shooting first, if I saw it and loved it one way first, don't change it up again later and claim you were wronged.

I too loved that film and saw it in the theaters. To this day, it still works and is not easily dated.

Jim Wright said...

Yeah, this is easily one of my all time favorites. Everything is just so perfect. Frankly I like both versions, the internal voice-over theatrical cut and the director's cut. I'm supposedly getting the final cut (or whatever Scott is calling it) for xmas in HD. Damn well better, or I'll buy it myself the day after.

Steve Buchheit said...

I'm not sure I'm going to buy the new one until I see some reviews of it.