We only know it's today cause of the sequel: https://twitter.com/bkMethod/status/1183784913209905152
The original only stated it was this month: https://gfycat.com/determinedenchantinggreatargus
That is a strong attention to detail/continuity. Kudos to the script supervisor.
I think this is a huge problem with the cyberpunk aesthetic today. What defined it was the fact how transgressive and original it was when it was first introduced. When I saw 2049 and how close it stuck to the original, it didn't seem futuristic but retro, including one scene with a CCCP advertisement which obviously made sense as a vision for the future in the early 80s but seems counterfactual now.
I think the movie would have benefitted from taking many more liberties with the setting to avoid this retro-futurism.
The first Blade Runner is a view of a dystopic future that raises a number of philosophical themes.
The second Blade Runner is a love letter to the first that also expands on some themes and further adds to the original myth. It’s kids playing in their dad’s sandbox once more.
If you started reworking the original BR environment, it would not work. The whole point is to throw you right back to the original, warts and all. You have to anchor it firmly, so that then you can take some liberties elsewhere (nuked Vegas etc).
fully agreed, but I wish it would have been as visionary and as much of a leap as the original movie. We seem to live in the age of love letters with star wars, comic book adaptions, ready player one, and soon a fourth matrix movie.
I would be really glad if we had more filmmakers work on truly new aesthetics instead of just paying homage to works of the 70s, 80s and 90s.
Then it shouldn't have been a sequel in the fist place.
I think I would have enjoyed BR2049 better had it been an entirely new movie and not a sequel to something. And if it didn't have Jared Leto overacting, of course, but I suppose that cannot be helped.
I'll highly recommend the movie adaptation of the novel, it's one of the more faithful ones. It seems to get lost among all the big-budget blockbusters that the other adaptations were.
Same weird thing as will the mass shootings. Mass shooting has been going on for a very long time in the inner cities, but it's only a big thing once middle class kids and adults start shooting everyone up.
Inner city "mass shootings" are phenomenologically distinct from the more modern mass shootings you blame on middle class kids and adults. The former are born of gang warfare, with specific targets and associated collateral damage, while the latter are much more random and difficult to explain. It's dishonest to group them together as certain groups do, particularly those who cite mass shootings as evidence for the need for gun control. The two problems have different causes and different solutions.
A Scanner Darkly was made by Richard Linklater. He used the same technique in Waking Life. Recently, it's also used in the Undone Amazon Prime series (recommended).
It is, IMHO, better than that trailer suggests.
This has been a novel about some people who were punished entirely too much for what they did. They wanted to have a good time, but they were like children playing in the street; they could see one after another of them being killed–run over, maimed, destroyed–but they continued to play anyhow. We really all were very happy for a while, sitting around not toiling but just bullshitting and playing, but it was for such a terrible brief time, and then the punishment was beyond belief: even when we could see it, we could not believe it. For example, while I was writing this I learned that the person on whom the character Jerry Fabin is based killed himself. My friend on whom I based the character Ernie Luckman died before I began the novel. For a while I myself was one of these children playing in the street; I was, like the rest of them, trying to play instead of being grown up, and I was punished. I am on the list below, which is a list of those to whom this novel is dedicated, and what became of each.
Drug misuse is not a disease, it is a decision, like the decision to step out in front of a moving car. You would call that not a disease but an error in judgment. When a bunch of people begin to do it, it is a social error, a life-style. In this particular life-style the motto is “Be happy now because tomorrow you are dying,” but the dying begins almost at once, and the happiness is a memory. It is, then, only a speeding up, an intensifying, of the ordinary human existence. It is not different from your life-style, it is only faster. It all takes place in days or weeks or months instead of years. “Take the cash and let the credit go,” as Villon said in 1460. But that is a mistake if the cash is a penny and the credit a whole lifetime.
There is no moral in this novel; it is not bourgeois; it does not say they were wrong to play when they should have toiled; it just tells what the consequences were. In Greek drama they were beginning, as a society, to discover science, which means causal law. Here in this novel there is Nemesis: not fate, because any one of us could have chosen to stop playing in the street, but, as I narrate from the deepest part of my life and heart, a dreadful Nemesis for those who kept on playing. I myself, I am not a character in this novel; I am the novel. So, though, was our entire nation at this time. This novel is about more people than I knew personally. Some we all read about in the newspapers. It was, this sitting around with our buddies and bullshitting while making tape recordings, the bad decision of the decade, the sixties, both in and out of the establishment. And nature cracked down on us. We were forced to stop by things dreadful.
If there was any “sin,” it was that these people wanted to keep on having a good time forever, and were punished for that, but, as I say, I feel that, if so, the punishment was far too great, and I prefer to think of it only in a Greek or morally neutral way, as mere science, as deterministic impartial cause-and-effect. I loved them all. Here is the list, to whom I dedicate my love:
To Gaylene… deceased
To Ray… deceased
To Francy… permanent psychosis
To Kathy… permanent brain damage
To Jim… deceased
To Val… massive permanent brain damage
To Nancy… permanent psychosis
To Joanne… permanent brain damage
To Maren… deceased
To Nick… deceased
To Terry… deceased
To Dennis… deceased
To Phil… permanent pancreatic damage
To Sue… permanent vascular damage
To Jerri… permanent psychosis and vascular damage
. . . and so forth.
In Memoriam. These were comrades whom I had; there are no better. They remain in my mind, and the enemy will never be forgiven. The “enemy” was their mistake in playing. Let them all play again, in some other way, and let them be happy.
— Philip K. Dick, 1977
IIRC even Burroughs wrote that he was mistaken in advocating or defending junk―even though he was saying it doesn't have negative effects on physique, when he was already pretty old.
I'm not sure why, but 2020 was always 'the future' when I was a kid.
And it's here. And seemingly the same as it was in the 80's just with more fun games and lower interest rates.
Or possible 1969?
It's pretty much the hypothesis of the book 'The Great Stagnation'
Today, I'd be annoyed if my car needed anything beyond regular scheduled maintenance in that period. They're vastly more dependable, safer, better performing, and more comfortable.
The celebration itself I will always describe as quite simple, and laid back: I order a pizza from Pizza Hut, some Pepsi (and only those particular brands for reasons of verisimilitude), watch all three parts of Back to the Future (as the one long movie it has always been to me since I was a kid), and contemplate Gibson's Law.
Gibson's Law reminds us that "The future is already here, it is just unevenly distributed."
It's very easy to look at the technologies that past visions dreamed of and be disappointed in some that didn't make it existence in the present. It's tougher and more rewarding to ponder what we do have, how much the technologies in our pockets, on our walls, in our homes, would have startled and astounded friends or ourselves from the past, but that we take for granted simply because they exist, that they are something we use every day, that they've blended into the background.
It's easy to get lost in the spectacle of hover boards and hover converted cars in BTTF Part 2, but there's a surprising amount of technology that did exist in our 2015 that wasn't far from that vision. If you wanted Biometric thumb locks on your doors in 2015, that was rare, but plausible. It's possible there were some kids in 2015 high on Kinect games, and never before introduced to a classic arcade cabinet, to have the way-too-strong opinion that games that need hands are kids toys. They'd be really dumb kids on the losing side of that battle (all their friends with Wiis probably laughed at them), but it was imaginably a briefly valid opinion. BTTF Part 2 faired a lot better in the brand game than Blade Runner or (especially) 2001, and the only heavily featured trilogy brand that didn't survive to 2015 was JVC merged to form today's Kenwood brand, but Kenwood will still sometimes sell JVC brand stuff for nostalgia's sake.
Anyway, long rambling above aside, it is weird that we've crossed into the "future" from when we were kids, but it's an interesting opportunity too, to contemplate where we are and where we are going. To quote one Dr. Emmett Brown, "It means that your future hasn't yet been written, so make it a good one."
...it's just less Neuromancer/BR/etc and more David Brin's "Earth".
It feels like all we're left with is retro-futurism to get our fix.
It's now been a generation since and while the world is filled with tragedy, there has been no apocalyptic scale war in most living persons' memory. People don't need to escape to a fantasy world where the future is bright; we live in a bright future already. So we see more media around dark futures, new wars, and apocalypses; because those are fantasies in the minds of the modern viewers.
That's overall a good thing, though yes we miss out on a lot of that optimistic-futuristic creativity of the past.
Many writers in the 80s would still have been too young to remember WW2 (some might have even been born after it entirely) and there are still plenty of sci-fi stories and scripts being written which are based in the future.
I think the explanation is a simpler one: writers didn't know any better. In the 50s through to 80s exaggerated predictions were made based on observations of the way tech was advancing at that time (much of that kind of tech was new). However after people grew up and realised those predictions were vastly over optimistic they would then go on to set their science fiction stories at a more pragmatic date in the future. Sometimes writers these days don't even specify a date and I suspect that's intentional to avoid jokes about it's "predictions".
Simply put: Writers these days are just more aware of how quickly dates change and how long their content remains in the cultural conciousness.
It's also worth baring in mind that a lot of the time these kinds of stories are "alt universe" type stuff. ie based on some theoretically similar universe to ours as well as x number of years in the future.
For someone born in the 50s , reality caught up with predictions pretty fast, even overtaking them
A ton of the sci-fi from after WWII has cold-war undertones, nuclear fallout / post-apocalyptic, block politics, space race between US/USSR, etc.
Cyber punk started at the end of the Cold War, when the total nuclear war risk was less present.
I read your comments about 3 months ago on a FORTH post:
And you mentioned that you are developing a game that completely emulate C64 interface and players have to write programs to control the starship through it.
THis is very interesting idea (I'm actually playing an elevator emulator which has the same idea), and I'm wondering if you have a homepage or something?
Thanks in advance! Wish we could see some serious programming games in the future. Whenever I play System Shock or Alien Isolation I think that the hacking part could be more interesting by actually asking the player to do some simple programming...
In the west...
Eden of the East takes place on November 2010, but the air date was November 2009. The "near-term future" allowed for futurism thoughts.
And before you hate on Eden of the East... remember that Kenji Kamiyama (its director) was also the director to Ghost in a Shell: Stand alone complex. Kenji is a veteran of the Sci-Fi anime genre.
I think "near term future" is cooler anyway. Stargate SG-1, back in the 90s, was contemporary but invoked futurism occassionally.
"Far future" stories of the 70s are either the Jetsons or Star Trek. Star Trek frankly is a fantasy series with a venier of sci-fi (filled with Elves, and Orcs... I mean Vulcan, and Klingon)... while the Jetsons shows how out-of-date the future can be in times of actual progress.
"Near Term future" ages more gracefully: its reminiscent of the era it was built in (ex: Stargate SG-1 still feels 90s), but still has enough "future optimism" to excite audiences during their air date.
Now that I think of it... the "Futuristic" stories of the 2010s decade was "The Avengers". Heli-carriers, Vibranium, Space-tech, Iron-man suits, Sentient AIs (two of them! Vision and Ultron) and even time-travel. You've got it all.
Plenty of optimistic "futurism". But instead of calling it the future, we're so optimistic these days that we pretend that these things are happening in the now.
It has some very good episodes and works today as retro-future. The aesthetics and the mood are nice.
The movie market itself has changed greatly from the 70s and 80s. There was no such thing as video streaming and the home video market was in its infancy at best. If you wanted to watch a movie at that time you probably had to go to a theater or maybe wait for a TV airing.
Blade Runner was considered a financial flop when it released, and even its (mostly superior) nostalgia-fueled sequel failed to do much more than break even.
These kinds of thought provoking films don’t appeal to a mainstream audience: to fill a modern theater, you have to provide something to the specific kind of audience that wouldn’t rather just watch a 10 part series at home.
So it’s either a mass-appeal big budget thriller with merchandising potential, or a low budget low risk movie.
Showing “the future” on screen isn’t usually cheap, either. And you can’t do a lot of world building in 2 hours.
I really hope the Amazon version of Consider Phlebas works out OK, even though its protagonist is fighting against the statistically demonstrated good guys.
it begins, though. love the movie otherwise
Burroughs wanted to make a movie out of The Bladerunner by Alan Nourse (what? another one? 1974) and when he realized it wouldn't happen, turned it into a novel instead.
Neither book has anything to do the movie we know. They just liked the title. And both Burroughs and Nourse got paid for it.
For example, Blade Runner has iconic Japanese cultural domination themes (ads, company names etc) because Japan was overtaking the US economically in the '80s.
Nobody expected decades of Japanese stagnation.
"The Space Merchants" still feels relevant because it's about the rise of multinationals, and they're still around. (England Made Me is about the same thing, but isn't science fiction.) "Rebel in Time" is about contemporary racism. "Grass", well, Grass is about a lot of things and it's hard to summarize but "Sideshow" is about our attitudes to religion and "the other".
Equally, for all of the 80s hairdos, Blade Runner is about the classic science fiction question of who gets to be human. And so I'd argue it hasn't really dated at all.
Agreed! Like much of Philip Dick's fiction actually. And it hasn't aged at all. The writing style maybe, but the themes are still compelling.
But the date shouldn’t be taken so seriously as “this is what the world will look like in 2019.” For stories made last century, any date after the millennium was “the future” in a symbolic way that let you do pretty much anything you wanted.
- By 2000 we'd have flying cars
- By 2000 we'd have entire meals in pills
- By 2000 there would be no cars, we'd travel in pods in tubes
- By 2000 there would be mass starvation because the world can only support 5 billion people
- By 2000 the northern and southern third of the planet would be covered in sheets of ice because of the coming new ice age.
- By 2000 we'd live underground because the mean surface temperature would be 135°F.
- By 2000 we'd be able to take vacations on a space station, the moon, and Mars.
- By 2000 it would be possible to fly to the other side of the world in just a couple of hours.
- By 2000 there would be an undersea transport tunnel between New York and Europe.
Have this intro title clip as my background on Facebook this month. And it is actually raining in LA today, for the first time in six months.
Blade Runner is playing Saturday at the Vista near Silverlake to commemorate.
but at least people dont smoke anymore
But anyways, and maybe it’s just because I’m a smoker, I love the cigarettes. The mix of high-life and low-life is the definition of cyberpunk: and nothing represents that more than a hazy smoke filled room of salarymen smoking and watching VR porn.
In fact, my interest in cyberpunk made me start smoking (and other stuff) because my 16 year olds self wanted to be like Case and his dope hexogonal dex pills!
Unfortunately my implants got fried by a neuro-virus and never managed to jack in and see the beauty of the matrix. One day... (in the off chance I’m still alive)
there s interesting fan work on reproducing Deckard's newspaper
(btw you'll notice that jwz.net is not an HN fan)
What really baked my brain is that I showed Back to the Future to my 9 year old son this week and realized that 2019 is already more than 30 years from 1985 and in the movie, Marty went back in time 30 years to 1955. Damn.