Blade Runner (Beware: SPOILERS!) About Deckard

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Zen Butler, Jul 23, 2004.

  1. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    Spoilers: Proceed with Caution!!


    If it were so explicit, the is Deckard a replicant? debate wouldn't have been so prominent until finally Ridley Scott announced that his intentions where that he was. This only recent.
    Although, I prefer the Director's Cut, with "Deckard a replicant", many of the lessons lose a bit of their impact. Almost a human learning a lesson on being human, although he is a replicant. This is one area of the film I agree with Jack Brigg's observation. "These additions appear to be afterthoughts" (paraphrasing). I'll expand and say it contradicts a bit. Now we can view the film either way. Some of Scott's additions are a mere annoyance. The absence of the lifeless voice-over was a very welcome modification for me.
     
  2. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    Ugg, here we go again.

    (BTW, that response was in relation to this subject being brought up yet again in a thread dedicated to the SE DVD being released...all discussion was subsequently moved to this proper thread....just in case someone thinks i was thread farting...is that a HTF cliche? [​IMG])
     
  3. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    I don't think I can accept Riddley Scott's authority on this subject. [​IMG] How dare he make Deckard a replicant,
    while it certainly ain't so in the original novel ('Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?' by Philip K. Dick)? I happen to have read and loved that story a long time before I ever saw Blade Runner, and I even think that the change also distracts severely from the original atmosphere and message.


    Cees
     
  4. Connor S.

    Connor S. Auditioning

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    You guys do realize that the dream was in the first screening and the studio told him to remove the scene because viewers were "confused", right?
     
  5. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    I know, I got pulled in again. Well, what else are we going to do?
     
  6. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    Cees, I'm surprised. I was starting to think I was a solo Dick fan here at HTF. Every Philip K. Dick thread I have started has gotten exactly 0 replies. Good, well constructed thread titles too. Being a Dick fan before Blade Runner, I'm surprised, I feel Scott's film surpasses its' source.
     
  7. Mike_Richardson

    Mike_Richardson Supporting Actor

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    Cees, that's totally my point as well. Cheers.
     
  8. Ray H

    Ray H Producer

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    Scott thought it was a brilliant idea and despite its origin as a misunderstanding, he used it.
     
  9. Connor S.

    Connor S. Auditioning

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    The book also had a character's main focus being to find a real sheep. The book and the movie are two different pieces of art. Comparing the two is foolish, whether the DC is dealt in this comparison or not.

    As for the message of the film, whether or not Deckard is or is not a replicant, the message is still clear. And that it still draws out the question of what humanity truly is. That despite Deckard being a replicant, he still retains the human spirit.

    As for the unicorn dream, I have always interpreted it in two ways. In one scenario Deckard is a replicant and I don't think I need to explain the irony and message of such an ending. But the other way to interpret the scene is to say that Deckard is a human in only physical definition. At the beginning of the film it is apparant that the character is tired of chasing runaways. That he fears these creatures in many sense and has resulted in a hint of prejudice that rests inside him. However as he goes deeper into the case we witnessing more and more replicant characteristics residing within the character. He collects pictures, listens to ancient music, and even falls in love with one. Until eventually he becomes one with them in spirit. His deepest desires and dreams are the same as their's. It is only until Gaff leaves the orgami that Deckard realizes his place. That he will in turn be chased as a replicant himself and and that similar to Roy's and Pris' love, their's in time him and his love won't last. But then again who does?
     
  10. Jay Pennington

    Jay Pennington Screenwriter

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    It's a film, not the original novel. A film is a director's statement. What he says the movie means, the movie means. Period. It has no bearing on the meaning of the source material--even the work of the screenwriter (for good or ill).
     
  11. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Oh no. A director (or a writer or a painter) is responsible for the attempt to create a work of art and try to put a certain meaning in it (or not).
    As a viewer (reader, watcher) I have my own responsibility. And must look and think and ponder and make out the truth and logic in that work. We cannot have the director simply coming later and tell us what we saw (or had to see). If he does, he's too late.


    Cees
     
  12. Connor S.

    Connor S. Auditioning

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    Sorry if I came out as a little hostile in that post. It was not intended. But back on topic, IMO the message of morality resting in humanity should already be apparant with or without Deckard being a replicant. That morality is bound by no limits. And that a replicant, an artificial being, can hold more humanity than many of humans represented. That he himself can go through his own journey as we all do in life. That the creation carries the same will and spirit as the creator. That Deckard found humanity in his own light, demonstrates the true nature of human spirit. And brings to question of what exactly it means be human. All such attributes such as love, hate, fear, hope, and defeat existed within the replicants. Perhaps I'm wrong, but wasn't that the true message of the story?
     
  13. Jay Pennington

    Jay Pennington Screenwriter

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    Well, true, Cees--what something means to one personally is one's own interpretation, and is just as legit--for that person.

    Me, if someone wants to maintain that the Mona Lisa is a statement about the state of women in Renaissance Italy, and Leonardo had stated "this lady wanted a portrait so I painted her and that's it", I'd stick with the latter. (I made up the examples, of course.)

    A "what it means to me" argument is very different to "what it means" argument. And the director of a film has the ultimate say in the latter, imo.
     
  14. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    I agree! This is why I wish the Wechowski brothers would do their own commentary track for the Matrix box set. I heard they were concerned that their statements about what meaning they intended to put into the films would become gospel, with no one ever doing any more interpretation after they'd said what they intended. But that's an unfounded concern, because what an artist may *intend* to put into their art's subtext is not always what actually ends up in it. Who knows how it all ends up there -- some is conscious and intentional, some is unconscious though still intentional (even if they aren't aware of their intent at the time), and some is unintentional and probably doesn't mean anything.
     
  15. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    Alex, bravo. I missed seeing that sig pic around here.



    Well said Cees. And I prefer the Director's Cut for many reasons. I have problems with this "spell it out for me" type of direction. I didn't like it, in the theatrical version with the flat, noir type narration(implying one thing). Or the inserted scenes of the DC(implying another). Part of the beauty of my favorite film of all time is in its' imperfections. I think neither version is void of faults and I can understand the differences in preference across the board.

    I do agree that a film is the directors, regardless of its' source. Doesn't mask the fact though, that there is some confusion here in his vision and it's not our(the viewers) fault.
     
  16. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    For the record, original screenplay writer, Hampton Fancher toyed with Deckard as a replicant
    as well as re-writer David Peoples who expanded on it, with his voice over writes. This notion was never originally Scott's or his own idea.

    Most importantly, if we're discussing where the source of this implication stems, it is from its' source, Philip K. Dick originally. A very observant Fancher picked up on this, and he didn't care much for the novel his first run.

    I'm suspect if all that throw themselves into the debate know that the often playful Dick himself is responsible with the toying of this. It's subtle and is not an underlying hint or message.

    The controversy(better worded, debate) is, as it should be, with Scott's two obviously very different suggestions. Not what he(and he not the first) implicates.

    If you want your arguments to hold any water, drop the Deckard is or isn't a replicant
    as support. If loyalty to the film's source is your problem, there are far better elements in which to take issue.
     
  17. Jay Pennington

    Jay Pennington Screenwriter

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    Well, I guess I just prefer to differentiate between different types of analysis. There's the kind that only considers the work of art itself, within its own rules and context, taking no outside factors into consideration, and this is of course legitimate.

    But this kind of analysis should exist within its own context and not be used to pooh-pooh the stated intentions of the art's creator!

    Making up an extreme example that is not meant to suggest participants of this thread have taken this anywhere near this degree:

    If I were to make a film about the horrors of child abuse, and I was told by pedofiles on the internet that it was "really" about the joys of man-boy sex/love, I'd be obliged to tell them they were "wrong". People could make their own interpretation, but no one's going to tell me what my statement is. I'd know what it is.
     
  18. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    That's the point Zen!

    I hate artists who create work and then later force me to listen to their explanations and clarifications of what they apparently left out of their work in the first place. Be it intentional or not.
    As I said: they're too late. I can politely point them to their work and say "see? it isn't that clear at all".

    And a new version of something that has been published already is a new work of art. The old one cannot be retracted (although it can effectively, and perhaps even legally, be destroyed - but that's entirely something else).


    Cees
     
  19. Mike_Richardson

    Mike_Richardson Supporting Actor

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    I don't disagree with you about Ridley Scott, but do you hold the auteur theory to be true with EVERY movie?

    I certainly wouldn't go along with that all the time -- there are certainly instances of producers and writers sharing as much or more so in the meaning of a film than a director. Not in the case of BLADE RUNNER, but definitely in other instances.
     
  20. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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    Where do you get this impression? Not from the novel that I read.
     

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