Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Top Ten Of... Blade Runner




 1982 Blade Runner

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10. Director's Trademark  Ridley Scott: [ceiling fan] There is a large ceiling fan in the scene with Leon and Holden.

9.  The film suffered at the box office, because it opened at the same time as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982).

8.  For the first aerial shot of the city, showing the Asian billboard for the first time, a kitchen sink can be seen masquerading as a building in the far background of the shot.

7.  This is Rutger Hauer's favorite of his own films.

6.  The 'snake scale' seen under the electron microscope was actually a marijuana bud.

5.  The scene with Chew was shot in a freezer and was ice cold, so the cast really were shivering.

4.  The set that was used during the climax of the film was later used in the music video for the song Tonight, Tonight, Tonight by Genesis in 1986.

3.  In 1997, a video game was produced as a "sidequel" to this film (that is, a story set during the time frame of this film which crosses over with the main action), reuniting actors Sean Young, James Hong, William Sanderson, Joe Turkel and Brion James, all of whom reprised their roles. The game also makes mention of Dekard, Holden, Gaff, and Bryant.

2.  Daryl Hannah still has the blonde wig she wore playing Pris.

1.  Harrison Ford became a spokesman for Japanese electronics throughout the 1980s following his role in this film.

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EXTRAS

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In an infamous incident, author Philip K. Dick publicly denounced the film after reading an early Hampton Fancher script. In the February 15, 1981 edition of 'Select TV Guide', Dick mocked the script (calling it "Phillip Marlowe meets The Stepford Wives (1975)") and Ridley Scott's previous film, Alien (1979). He then mailed a copy of the article to the 'Blade Runner' production offices. Ultimately, Dick would change his opinion about the project, largely due to the involvement of Jeffrey Walker, a publicist for the Ladd Company, who convinced Warner Bros. that Dick needed to be involved in the project (the original production company, Filmways Inc, had basically ignored Dick and kept him out of the loop). Walker kept Dick abreast of all major developments behind the scenes, and Dick eventually became a supporter of the film, even though Ridley Scott and he did not meet until after principal photography had wrapped.

Although Philip K. Dick saw only the opening 20 minutes of footage prior to his death on March 2, 1982, he was extremely impressed, and has been quoted by Paul Sammon as saying, "It was my own interior world. They caught it perfectly." However neither Ridley Scott nor screenwriter David Webb Peoples actually read Dick's novel.

When author William Gibson went to see Blade Runner, he was preparing to begin his first novel, "Neuromancer." However, twenty minutes into Blade Runner he got up and walked out of the cinema, because he was so shocked by the similarities between the film and his as yet unwritten novel.

At some point of the movie, each replicant has a red brightness in their eyes (Rachael in Deckard's home, Pris in Sebastian's). Deckard also has the shining in his eyes while talking to Rachael in his house. In July 2000, director Ridley Scott said that Deckard is, in fact, a replicant. Harrison Ford takes issue with this, however. "We had agreed that he definitely was not a replicant," Ford said. Rutger Hauer's autobiography expressed some disappointment with the same, because it reduced the final clash between Deckard and Batty from a symbolic "man vs. machine" battle to two replicants fighting.

Ridley Scott cast Rutger Hauer in the role of Roy Batty without actually meeting the actor. He had watched his performances in Turkish Delight (1973), Katie Tippel (1975) and Soldier of Orange (1977) and was so impressed, he cast him immediately. However, for their first meeting, Hauer decided to play a joke on Scott and he turned up wearing huge green sunglasses, pink satin pants and a white sweater with an image of a fox on the front. According to production executive Katherine Haber, when Scott saw Hauer, he literally turned white.

Among the folklore that has built up around the film over the years is the infamous 'Blade Runner Curse', which is the belief that the film was a curse to the companies whose logos were displayed prominently as product placements. While they were market leaders at the time, many of them experienced disastrous setbacks over the next decade and hardly exist anymore. RCA, for example which at one time was the leading consumer electronics and communications conglomerate, was bought out by one time parent GE in 1985, and dismantled. Atari, which dominated the home video game market when the film came out, never recovered from the next year's downturn in the industry, and by the 1990s had ceased to exist as anything more than a brand. The Atari of today is an entirely different firm, using the former company's name. Cuisinart similarly went bankrupt in 1989, though it lives on under new ownership. The Bell System monopoly was broken up that same year, and all of the resulting Regional Bell operating companies have since changed their names and merged back with each other and other companies to form the new AT&T. Pan Am suffered the terrorist bombing/destruction of Pan Am Flight 103 and went bankrupt in 1991, after a decade of mounting losses. The Coca-Cola Company, although still tremendously popular, suffered losses during its failed introduction of New Coke in 1985. The KOSS Corporation - whose logo is repeatedly seen in the opening scenes where Deckard is waiting to eat - survived a serious setback. The family owned, pioneer hifi headphone company suffered a major loss when it was discovered in 2010 that an employee, the CFO, had embezzled $34 million.


According to Paul Sammon, who toured the set in 1981, the level of detail on everything (what Ridley Scott refers to as 'layering') was amazing, even though much of it would never be seen on screen. For example, written on the door of a bus was "Driver is Armed; Carries No Cash", whilst written in tiny print on the parking meters was "WARNING - DANGER! You Can Be Killed By Internal Electrical System If This Meter Is Tampered With". Also written on the parking meters was the rate - 1 minute parking cost $3. On a magazine rack were to be found magazines with mocked up twentieth-first covers; these magazines included Krotch, Zord, Bash, Creative Emotion and Droid. A skin magazine called Horn had headlines reading "The Cosmic Orgasm", "Hot Lust in Space", "Tit Job Review", "Scratch and Sniff Centrespread." Crime magazine Kill had covers reading "Multiple Murders - Readers' Own Photos", "98 Dead in Spinner Dive", "Death Penalty Snuffs 12 Jurors in Freak Accident." Another magazine, Moni, had headlines "Earthlings: Pay Big $ to See Future" by M. Deeley, "Higher Tech" by L.G. Paull and "Illegal Aliens" by R. Scott.

Ridley Scott and Jordan Cronenweth achieved the famous 'shining eyes' effect by using a technique invented by Fritz Lang known as the 'Sch├╝fftan Process'; light is bounced into the actors' eyes off a piece of half mirrored glass mounted at a forty five degree angle to the camera.

Philip K. Dick first came up with the idea for his novel 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?' in 1962, when researching 'The Man in the High Castle' which deals with the Nazis conquering the planet in the 1940s. Dick had been granted access to archived World War II Gestapo documents in the University of California at Berkley, and had come across diaries written by S.S. men stationed in Poland, which he found almost unreadable in their casual cruelty and lack of human empathy. One sentence in particular troubled him: "We are kept awake at night by the cries of starving children." Dick was so horrified by this sentence that he reasoned there was obviously something wrong with the man who wrote it. This led him to hypothesize that Nazism in general was a defective group mind, a mind so emotionally flawed that the word human could not be applied to them; their lack of empathy was so pronounced that Dick reasoned they couldn't be referred to as human beings, even though their outward appearance seemed to indicate that they were human. The novel sprang from this.

The first draft of the script which became Blade Runner was written by Hampton Fancher in 1978 under the same title as the novel. In this initial script, the story focused less on human issues than it did on environmental issues and larger questions of God and mortality. It refers to replicants as "androids" and makes it clear that Deckard is human. The Voight-Kampff test can spot androids after five or six questions (not the thirty questions required in later drafts); Rachael is detected after thirteen questions, not a hundred. The sixth android, Mary, is present in this draft. Instead of finding Tyrell at the Tyrell building, Batty goes to Tyrell's mansion, and he kills Tyrell, along with his bodyguard, a maid, and his entire family; he later kills Sebastian. The androids in this script have no obvious reason to be on earth; there is nothing about them wanting to live longer, they are simply on earth killing people for no apparent reason. At the end of the script, Rachael kills herself, as she knows if she doesn't do it, Deckard will have to. The script ends with Deckard wandering into the desert with the intention of dying, but upon seeing a tortoise struggling to turn itself over, he decides to live on. Fancher produced his second major draft on 24 July 1980. A number of scenes in this script made it into the final film - the opening scene is almost identical, as is the briefing scene with Bryant, Deckard searching Leon's hotel room, and Deckard using the Voight-Kampff machine on Rachael under the supervision of Tyrell. Differences included a smaller role for Gaff, and a larger role for the Esper, which is a talking computer. The script ends with Deckard bringing Rachael out to the countryside so she can see snow for the first time, and shooting her. The last scene sees him driving back to the city musing about how the ability to choose is what makes us human. This version of the script also included Mary as the sixth replicant (still called androids at this stage). The third major draft of the script was written by David Webb Peoples, dated December 15, 1980. The film opens in an 'Off-world Termination Dump', a dumping ground for dead androids (by now called replicants). Two work men are shoveling bodies into a pit, when one of the bodies comes to life (Roy Batty). He pulls Mary and Leon from the pile and they kill the workmen. This version introduced the snake scale storyline, but does not have the chess game featured in the final film. Other differences include: a new replicant called Roger, who attacks Deckard in Leon's hotel room; a scene where Chew's frozen body is discovered and knocked over; in this draft, Tyrell turns out to be another replicant, after Roy kills him, Roy demands that Sebastian take him to the real Tyrell, and Sebastian reveals that Tyrell had an unnamed disease and was placed into a hibernation unit to await a cure. Roy demands that Sebastian wake Tyrell up, but Sebastian reveals that Tyrell died a year ago during a power outage at which point Roy kills Sebastian. After Tyrell's death, the entire replicant line is put on hold. There is also a scene where Deckard forces Gaff to take the Voight-Kampff test and subsequently kills him. This draft also ended with Deckard killing Rachael, but the scene now takes place on a beach. The final scene sees Deckard waiting in his apartment for the police raid due to his murder of Gaff.
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