Blade Runner: The future is the past

Deckard (Harrison Ford) and Rachel (Sean Young) in a scene from Blade Runner (1982), directed by Ridley Scott (photo credit: Warner Bros.)


The future is now the past. Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep Sheep?, first published in 1968, became the movie Blade Runner in 1982. It became my favourite sci-fi film, indeed one of my favourite films of any genre. And now it has come of age. The original futuristic locations of Blade Runner were set in November 2019.

The encounters between Deckard (Harrison Ford) and Rachel (Sean Young), and between Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer and Pris (Daryl Hannah) under Ridley Scott’s direction and cinematography by Jordan Cronenweth were stunning movie scenes. The words (written by David Peoples) of the Dutch actor, Hauer, who sadly passed away in July this year, stand out for their cavernous emotion; a monologue in the rain, spoken as his replicant character comes to the end of his life:

“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.”

A death soliloquy that matches any from Shakespeare. Look out for the Nexus-9 replicants. They’ve got to be out there somewhere.

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