Mar 102012

Blade Runner is not a perfect movie. Among its flaws, Harrison Ford, playing the lead role of Deckard, was the weakest link in a cadre of actors who were otherwise everything you could have wanted. But it’s a movie that makes a deep impression, or at least it does if you’re at the right age, at the right time of your life when you see it. At the right time, it seems profound.

How long do we have? We don’t know. No one knows. It’s a shame we won’t live . . . but who does? A blade runner, a hunter of rogue replicants, of skinjobs, realizes too late that life is precious, even artificial life. He realizes, as we all will eventually, the ultimate tragedy in the loss of a lifetime of unique experiences as all those moments pass away and doves fly off in the rain. Maybe he realizes that he, too, is a replicant. But does it really matter? They’re only accelerated versions of us, their energy draining away to the vanishing point before they’re ready. And who is ever ready?

A video artist named Francois Vautier extracted 167,819 frames from Blade Runner‘s final-cut version and assembled them into a gigantic virtual wall of images — a square of approximately 60,000 pixels on one side alone. He then created a virtual camera as a roving observer of the mosaic, passing over the frames in a compressed version of the movie itself. If you’re a Blade Runner worshipper, as I am, it’s a cool thing to see.

Unsurprisingly, the longest segment of dialogue in this homage to Ridley Scott’s creation is the sequence of words spoken by the combat replicant Roy Batty as he dies, having just saved his hunter to live for . . . however long Deckard may have left to live. So, in addition to embedding this interesting Vautier video, here also is that scene from the movie:

BLADE RUNNER revisited >3.6 gigapixels from françois vautier on Vimeo.



“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.”

  12 Responses to “LIKE TEARS IN RAIN”

  1. I thought Ford was chosen specifically because he COULDN’T act like a real human being.

    Only kind of a joke.

    • It’s a talent that has served him well over a long career. 🙂

      • Are you saying he’s old?

        Or that his movies suck so much that watching them makes time slow down?

        I liked some of his movies…except that piece of steaming shit that George Lucas crapped out a couple of decades ago.

        Actually, you know, if Star Wars was about Han Solo rubbing his wookie and not little Puke Streewalker having sex with his sister and daddy in a rubber suit, I might actually be interested in watching the movies again.

        Or if the incest porn was better…I mean, softcore incest porn is like jerking off in your sister’s bra. Why not go full bore and just roofie her??? It’s not like you don’t know which drink is hers at the dinner table.

        • Oh shit. I was going to say something about Harrison Ford, but by the time I got to the end of your comment I had lost my train of thought, along with my composure.

          • I made you cry? I feel a livejournal poetry/whinefest coming on….

            Dear LJ,
            Why does my secret love phro always hurt me?
            His loving is all I desire/ it’s all I think about/ he’s a hot, tastey bagel/ and I’m an anorexic model.

            Sobbingly yours,

  2. ’80s Sci-fi is soooo much better than today’s sci-fi. I need to steal a time-travelling DeLorean and zoom back 30 years in time, steal a first-print edition of the Blade Runner video tape, bring it back to our present time, and spawn a parallel timeline with me as King of the World and Islander as my personal cyborg butler (and I promise he will have a head).

    • Would you like clotted cream with your scone?

      • No Islander, you bad cyborg. How many times have I told you that I like clotted cream with a cone? Not a scone!

        Actually, I just found out that I’m allergic to cones. I shall have my clotted cream with a pyramid.

  3. Alright I’ll say it, I’ve never actually watched Blade Runner in one sitting.

    *runs away and locks self in cupboard*

    However young Harrison Ford (read: Han Solo) was pretty friggin’ sweet.

  4. fucking love Blade Runner. One of the films we studied in my Exestentialism and Film class. the panel room is cool, too

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