I will however continue to regret not cracking that joke until the day I die.
One of my favourite details: there are only five* "healthy human specimens" in the entire movie. Everyone else is fat, old, scarred, suffering from a degenerative disease.
Deckard would probably notice this if he had any friends. Instead, he stays home and drinks surrounded by photographs.
*Cue a crack about Brion James
I’ve seen Blade Runner maybe 10 times. I saw it again Tuesday night, in digital projection for the first time, at the Grand Lake in Oakland. Wow. Beautiful.
Scott is an interesting filmmaker. Blade Runner and Alien are two of the best films ever made in my opinion. Everything else he's done is amateurish in comparison (also in my opinion), even the successful/fun stuff.
This makes me wonder whether there's something behind the greatness of those two films other than his direction. Maybe the writer/crew/cast/studio/producers had more power in his earlier films and used that power wisely?
There's an interesting passage on the wikipedia article for Alien:
> Scott had wanted the Alien to bite off Ripley's head and then make the final log entry in her voice, but the producers vetoed this idea as they believed the Alien should die at the end of the film.
All that aside, it's not always clear who "owns" a film. The director tends to get a lot of credit, but film-making is collaborative, and who's to say that the screenwriter doesn't get to decide what the film is really about?
That said, I’ll need a very strong recommendation before I see Blade Runner 2.
In Scott's most recent cut he changed it to "I want more life, father." Horrible change to me. Why change that?
At least I own the original on DVD and not some paid access to an online cloud copy that can be changed by others at will.
Perhaps because he felt the second version is even more powerful, what with the allusion to him being a prodigal son, Tyrell being a father/God, etc.
When Roy does that, he doesn't know either way. So whether Deckard is or is not a replicant, the nobility of the act stands.
Plus the whole point is in the ambiguity (including of the noble act).
Deckard (voice-over): I don't know why he saved my life.
Maybe in those last moments he loved life more
than he ever had before. Not just his life, anybody's life,
my life. All he'd wanted were the same answers
the rest of us want. Where did I come from?
Where am I going? How long have I got? All I could do was
sit there and watch him die.
BTW, the bird is probably artificial.
Rachael: Do you like our owl?
Deckard: It's artificial?
Rachael: Of course it is.
Deckard: Must be expensive.
Rachael: Very. I'm Rachael.
That said, it may be less clear then I remember. If found this GoodReads link where people are mulling this over.
Reportedly PKD once confirmed that in the book version Deckard was a human that had been dehumanised. Of course, it's PKD so it makes just as much sense the other way round (the "empathy boxes" make more sense as program-update devices than the sci-fi expressions of human religiosity and sentiment they were intended as)
It's pretty clear the film takes the opposite tack but it's a very loose adaptation
(and filmmakers have taken the opposite tack from PKD far more explicitly in e.g. Minority Report)
To take an example nothing to do with replicants: it's only the voice over that says Deckard could understand what Gaff is saying. This completely spoils the revelation at the end that Gaff speaks English perfectly well.
Declare is on the back foot for the entire movie. The theatrical cut desperately tries to blunt that, making for a confused experience.
In any case given there are multiple cuts of the film, I'll choose the Final cut minus the Unicorn dream as my ultimate version of the film.
I once had a very strange
conversation with a
the sort of person I don’t
normally interact with. We
were talking about whether
machines could be conscious.
He got very cross and said,
“No, of course they can’t,”
and I said, “Why not?” He
said, “Because they don’t
have a mother.” This is
almost what I’m beginning
to think might be an
HAL: I am a HAL 9000 computer. My instructor was Mr. Langley, and he taught me to sing a song. If you'd like to hear it, I could sing it for you.
Modern research child development pegs development of self-conscious to the way we are raised. We are born "pure animals" only feeling, and develop a self-image and awareness-that we are feeling through interaction with others, in particular the care-giver (.../mother).
It is by observing others in our animalistic state, reacting to us, that we develop our capacity for self-reflection -- which still isn't fully there at 4 / 5 years old.
To put this point most generously: self-consciousness describes a biosocial process by which animals acquire a recognition of themselves as conscious.
The claim is then a machine (an oscillating electric field) does not, nor cannot, participate in biosocial processes.
If you redefine consciousness to "seeming as-if conscious" then anything may be trivially true of a machine (or, of anything).
Finally, somebody gets it.