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I've seen things you people wouldn't believe


BLADE RUNNER - 1982


Is this to be an empathy test? Capillary dilation of the so-called blush response. . . fluctuation of the pupil . . . involuntary dilation of the iris?

Greetings, I am Dr. Eldon Tyrell. This Voight Kampff test . . . demonstrate it. I want to see it work on a person. I want to see a negative before I provide you with a positive. . . Okay, that's totally irrelevant to what I'm about to show you, but indulge me. Let's begin with a stare and compare of two hallmark feature films.

I call this little experiment . . . Metroblade.



METROBLADE
The Visual Similarities of Blade Runner and Metropolis

The visuals below highlight the similarities between Ridley Scott's Blade Runner and Fritz Lang's Metropolis. I'm a genius not just in genetic engineering and bionic technology, you know. I also have a knack for manipulating visuals in Photoshop. I colorized the Metropolis images with colors similar to Blade Runner's color schemes to get a better idea how certain frames have a remarkable similarity. In each pair of images, the top image is Blade Runner, the bottom image is Metropolis.














Of course this is all academic, you are made as well as I could make you. The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long. And you have burned so very, very brightly, Mofo members. Look at you. You're the prodigal sons and daughters. You're quite a prize. You've done extraordinary things. -- revel in your time.
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I've seen things you people wouldn't believe


Do you like our owl? Artificial, of course . . . . very expensive. I'm Rachel. And to answer your question, yes, I have info to share on Blade Runner. Allow me to show you a dialogue/poetry comparison between Roy Batty's Time to Die monologue and William Blake's America: The Prophecy poem.

Roy Batty in red

Poet William Blake in black

.....Fiery the angels fell
.....Fiery the Angels rose

.....Deep thunder rolled around their shores
......as they rose deep thunder roll'd

.....burning with the fires of Orc
.....indignant burning with the fires of Orc

.....I've seen things you people wouldn't believe
.....They look behind . . . and believe it is a dream

.....attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion
.....shoulders rend the links, free are the wrists of fire

.....c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tanhauser Gate
.....who serpent-form'd stands at the Enitharmon Gate

.....all those moments
.....all rose before the aged apparition

.....will be lost in time
.....lost a portion of the infinite

......like tears in the rain
......his tears in deluge piteous

......Time to die
.....The times are ended



Now. . . . May I ask a personal question? . . . Have you ever retired a mofo member by mistake?



I've seen things you people wouldn't believe


You're in a desert, walking along in the sand when all of a sudden you look down and see a tortoise. It's crawling toward you. . .You reach down and flip the tortoise over on its back. The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over. But it can't. Not without your help. But you're not helping. Why is that, Mofo members?

Relax . . . They're just questions. I am Holden. It's a test, designed to provoke an emotional response. And for another test, let's examine The Eye of Blade Runner.



The Eye of Blade Runner

Very few films that show a character's eye close up have become as iconic as the eye that fills the frame in the beginning of Blade Runner. It reveals a reflection of the industrial landscape, the smoke stacks erupting with balls of fire as the camera glides over that landscape.

Whose eye is that? Some have suggested Tyrell, though we never see him till later in the film. The most popular answer is, it was Holden's eye, who was standing while puffing on a cigarette allegedly looking out the window. . . waiting for Leon to arrive.

The separate visual cues were there, cutting from the exterior of the pyramid, then to Holden looking intently from the interior, and back and forth. But the separate visual cues simply do not fit together as a cohesive sequence.

Maybe it was "meant to be" Holden by the filmmakers, but it is physically impossible for it to have been him. Estimating that Holden hovered around six feet tall at most, the window opening once seen from the interior is at least eight feet high up the wall or more. Even with a pyramid slant wall, the only thing he would be able to see is the night sky and spinner cars zipping by.


I color tinted the sections of the wall to show the difference in height between Holden and the bottom of the window. For that reflection to take in the entire landscape as it is shown, he would have had to been on a much higher level of the pyramid building, which towered over the industrial landscape.

Not to mention a flood of bright light is pouring in through the window....which not only the eye reflection shows no such bright ambient light, the intense light pouring in would have visually flooded his eyes, obscuring his view to see anything at all. Holden's line of sight does not match with the window up above, so the only thing he would have seen is . . . the interior wall.

As the beginning scene comes to a close, the camera zooms in close to a window, and now we can see someone's head. Is Holden stepping on a ladder for those shots?

The opening scene is a powerful visual, a film hallmark held in high regard for years. So this misfire of presenting a visual impossibility is hardly a scene killer. When watching a masterpiece like Blade Runner, turning a 'blind eye' to a flaw like this, is a fan's prerogative.


All that said. . . . Shall we continue? Describe in single words. Only the good things that come into your mind. . . about your mother.



I've seen things you people wouldn't believe


You remember the spider that lived in a bush outside your window? Orange body, green legs - - watched her build a web all summer. And then one day there's a big egg in it. . . . The egg hatched. . . and a hundred baby spiders came out . . . and they ate her.

Implants. Those aren't your memories, Mofo members, they're somebody else's. I am Rick Deckard. Now let me show you the memories of directors and artists who weighed in on Blade Runner . . . . .



Directors And Other Artists On Blade Runner


Steven Spielberg - Director, Producer

I thought Ridley painted a very bleak but brilliant vision of life on earth in a few years. It's kind of acid rain and sushi. In fact, it's coming true faster than most science fiction films come true. Blade Runner is almost upon us. It was ultranoir.


Terry Gilliam - Director, Writer

After The Fisher King, Richard LaGravenese who wrote the film, and I went to the studio with his script for Philip K Dick's A Scanner Darkly. Nobody's done a Dick novel right yet; Blade Runner was stunningly good, but Dick's idea was missing - that people were killing replicants to buy real animals.


Tony Scott - Director, Producer

Blade Runner for me is...Ridley's movie. Cause Blade Runner took a piece of his soul as well. Yeah. It was very hard. He did Blade Runner at a time when the film community, Hollywood was not ready for...that sort of obsession with detail.


Paul Verhoeven - Director

I have to continuously run old movies to keep my faith in cinema. When I feel very depressed I look at Ivan the Terrible or The Rules of the Game or Metropolis or even Blade Runner, say, or The Terminator or something like that, or every Hitchcock movie – or maybe 50% per cent of them.

I need them – sometimes I come home completely depressed and I have to put them on. It’s so difficult in an industry where the parameters have become so much those of pure entertainment, to still keep your belief that cinema is an art.


Guillermo Del Toro - Writer, Director, Producer

This movie is one of the movies that changed my life. I came out of it and I was not the same person. This movie, to me, embodies the elegance, the power, the uniqueness, of a film experience. Blade Runner is simply one of those cinematic drugs, that when I first saw it, I never saw the world the same way again.


David Fincher - Director, Producer

The voice-over in Blade Runner, if you listen to it, sounds like a guy reading prose while he's sitting on the john.


Michael Crichton - Writer

But by "Blade Runner" in the 1980s, a different image of the future had emerged - a hodge-podge city that had grown organically, and was full of chaotic disconnects. It envisioned an Asian model of urban growth, and indeed many urban landscapes today look as if they are right out of Blade Runner.


William Gibson - Writer

"Blade Runner came out while I was still writing Neuromancer," he wrote in his online diaries a couple of months ago. “I was about a third of the way into the manuscript. When I saw (the first twenty minutes of) Blade Runner, I figured my unfinished first novel was sunk, done for.

Everyone would assume I’d copped my visual texture from this astonishingly fine-looking film. But that didn’t happen. The general audience didn’t seem to get it, relatively few people saw it, and it simply vanished, leaving nary a ripple. Where it went, though, was straight through the collective membrane where it silently went nova, irradiating everything from clothing-design to serious architecture.

What other movie has left actual office-buildings in its stylistic wake? The future we live in today is something not only the '50s could never have dreamed of, but I think would have regarded with deep and genuine horror. As far as the '50s is concerned, we're living Blade Runner and Neuromancer right now."


Christopher Nolan - Director, Writer

I have always been a huge fan of Ridley Scott and certainly when I was a kid. Alien, Blade Runner just blew me away because they created these extraordinary worlds that were just completely immersive. I was also an enormous Stanley Kubrick fan for similar reasons.

Before the shooting began, Christopher Nolan invited the whole film crew to a private screening of Blade Runner (1982). After the film he said to the whole crew, "This is how we're going to make Batman."


Zack Snyder - Director, Writer

I first saw Blade Runner when I was 16. It rocked my world. All those incredible images were burned into my psyche. It's one of those movies you can't help but quote, an involuntary reference source that will be recycled throughout cinema forever. It's like a lesson from the master saying, 'Go out into the world and do good.'


Duncan Jones - Director

It looks like I'm going to be doing another science-fiction film next. I love Blade Runner, it's one of my favorite films, and I've always been really... depressed that there was never - not a sequel, because I don't think it's right to make a sequel about Blade Runner, but no one's really tried to make a film which was set in the same kind of world or had that same kind of field.

The only reason that I mention Blade Runner is because there?s something about that particular film, where they really created a believable and realistic living breathing futuristic world. For all of the other films that have tried to do that I don't think anything has come as close the way Blade Runner has to creating something believable. Something that feels real and organic.

It's like going to a real city and shooting a film there. You just get a sense that this place exists. In most of the science fiction films, it always feels a bit fake and a bit flat, but Blade Runner really didn't. That's the aspect of Blade Runner I'm hoping to capture.


Mamoru Oshii - Director, Writer

People tend to classify my movies as cyberpunk fictions but I personally don't think they are. There are some films that I really enjoy such as Blade Runner, and they may have been helpful in making my movies to a certain degree, but I think many filmmakers consider so other than just myself.

When you create a film dealing with humans and cyborgs, you have no choice but to refer back to Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, as this movie is probably the foundation of movies with this theme.




I leave you now with this parting question. Remember when you were six? You and your brother snuck into an empty building through a basement window. You were going to play doctor? He showed you his and when it got to be your turn, you chickened and ran. Remember that? You ever tell anybody that? Your mother, Yoda, anybody, huh?



I've seen things you people wouldn't believe


Six, seven, go to hell, go to heaven! . . . Did you get your precious photos? Someone was there? . . . Men? . . . Police . . . men? I'm Roy Batty. Since it's photos you hold so precious, let me show you some publicity stills for Blade Runner . . . .


Blade Runner - Publicity Stills
















Now . . . Let's talk about what I hold precious. It's not an easy thing to meet your Maker. Can the Maker repair what He makes? I don't mean to simply be modified. Had in mind something a little more radical. . . . I want more life, Yoda.



A flub I've always latched onto since I was a kid was the different dialog by Leon.

In the initial interrogation scene it was ; "Let me tell you about my mother"

But in the car playback scene it is "I'll tell you about my mother!"

Odd.



I've seen things you people wouldn't believe
Strictly speculation, but that is likely the result of Ridley going off script. The original Fancher/Peoples script, Leon never even mentions his mother. So Ridley must have decided to add the audio playback in the car, and not unusual that Brion James and Morgan Paull were recorded more than once for that scene, with Brion slightly altering the dialogue inadvertently in one of the takes. Why Ridley didn't use the final film version audio from that scene as the playback in the car, who knows.



Very nicely done job on those Metropolis images OP, definitely helps highlight the influence on Blade Runner.

I have always wondered as well whether one of the other big influences on the film was Tarkovsky's Stalker, that came out three years earlier and visually it focused very heavily on the idea of derelict industry/history as having a kind of romantic beauty. That aspect to me is really key to Blade Runner, you have the grand futurism of Metropolis but cluttered/declined imperfections of the setting help humanise it.



I've seen things you people wouldn't believe
Thanks, MoreOrLess.

I've seen others suggest BR has influences from Stalker. Also seems strange some have called BR the father of Cyberpunk. Biopunk, yes, but I don't really see it as Cyberpunk.



I've seen things you people wouldn't believe


1 - 1 - 8 - 7 at Hunterwasser. . . . That's the hotel where I live. Nice place, I guess. It's not fancy or anything. To be real honest, I'm actually sleeping in the hotel lobby. I am Leon. And speaking of lobby, I have some Blade Runner lobby cards to show you . . . .



Blade Runner - Lobby Cards













I gotta go now, see if I can find my back-scratcher. After all . . . . Nothing is worse than having an itch you can never scratch.



Thanks, MoreOrLess.

I've seen others suggest BR has influences from Stalker. Also seems strange some have called BR the father of Cyberpunk. Biopunk, yes, but I don't really see it as Cyberpunk.
Kubrick's influence on Scott gets talked up a lot but for me Tarkovsky seems stronger. Kubrick was generally very modernist visually, even something like Barry Lyndon is filmed in a harsh angular fashion with IMHO the intension of alienating the audience in what are generally cautionary tales.

Scott though I think has the same kind of more organic eye as Tarkovsky(or Mizoguchi before him), both in terms of design work and camera work that tends to be looser and more flowing. The intension as well for me is fundamentally different, the world of Blade Runner for me isn't an alienating places like say A Clockwork Orange but rather somewhere than enhances the emotion of its story.

Even pre Blade Runner I think you could say that Scott's Alien draws some pretty clear visual influence from Tarkovsky's Solaris as well.



I've seen things you people wouldn't believe
Kubrick's influence on Scott gets talked up a lot but for me Tarkovsky seems stronger. Kubrick was generally very modernist visually, even something like Barry Lyndon is filmed in a harsh angular fashion with IMHO the intension of alienating the audience in what are generally cautionary tales.

Scott though I think has the same kind of more organic eye as Tarkovsky(or Mizoguchi before him), both in terms of design work and camera work that tends to be looser and more flowing.
Yes, a good point. Kubrick was really big on symmetry, which is not a priority for Ridley.

You have nice gif making skills .
Thank you, Scarlet! Btw, while I did make the gif in this thread, most of the ones I use in the Rate the Last Movie you Saw thread are cinemagraphs available on the web.