It’s been a messy couple of weeks on all fronts so tonight I’m closing the shades, turning off the lights, and watching The Final Cut of Blade Runner. This is one of my all-time favorite movies and this cut is the best of all of them. BR laid so much groundwork for later futuristic/cyberpunk anime, films, and books that I consider it one of the works by which everything else must be measured (good or bad).
I see it in the obvious cases of Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, Lain, the Sprawl and Bridge trilogies, Minority Report, Fifth Element, nearly everything that is set in some time after now. It also seeps in around the edges of less futuristic ones like Sin City or even Streets of Fire. It shaped my perception of what ‘The Future’ looks like even though I am convinced of the truth of Gibson’s observation that “Upon arriving in the capital-F Future, we discover it, invariably, to be the lower-case now”. When I visit LA or San Francisco these days and look out on a rainy night I can’t help but picture Deckard and Rachael running through the wet, dark, city. Walking down some “interstitial” street between neighborhoods and districts, at some point you’re hit by four or five cultures worth of sounds, smells, voices, languages, signs, and advertisements. Cityspeak may not be here yet, but when you have an Indian selling Japanese comic books to Mexican kids who will then buy a Taiwanese bubble tea from a Korean ice cream shop it isn’t hard to imagine.
[Artwork by KR0NPR1NZ@Pixiv]