29 January 2008

Next subject: Kowalski, Leon. Engineer, waste disposal

Finally got round to watching "Blade Runner: The Final Cut" this evening, so stop reading now if you have yet to see it.

It was great to watch on a big screen, and hear Vangelis' soundtrack in full force. I don't think that there were any radical changes in the story, it seemed more to be a tidying up of poorly edited shots, with one or two inconsistencies removed. The interesting thing that struck me was that the eye motif, if anything, seems more pronounced in this cut. From the lingering opening shots of flames reflected in an eye (and who's eye is it meant to be?), through the extended scene of Roy gouging out Tyrell's eyes, and most telling, the unicorn dream scene which is now experienced by Deckard with his eyes open, it all seemed to me as if Ridley Scott was returning to the 'window of the soul' motif to hammer it home, much like a person who realises a conversation that they started has run away from them, and desperately wants to get the last word in.

The original cut was ambiguous. It was a film that left open enough questions and interpretations to start many a late night conversation, not all of which revolved around Deckard's humanity. The problem with the latest cut is that much of that ambiguity is removed, and I don't think that this is a good thing.

A major difference between films and plays is that a film is a snapshot frozen in time; it is of a moment, and for better or worse reflects that moment. A play is a fluid dynamic medium for thought, open to the interpretations and revisitations of countless directors, and what it means grows and evolves. Not so for a film, it should remain of the moment and not be subject to revisionist ambitions even of its original creators.

Furthermore I don't believe that twenty years later you actually can go back and re-cut a film to make it the way you "originally intended", time has passed and you are a different person, with different thoughts and motivations based on a wealth of experiences gained since its first release. You are making the film as you would today, regardless of what motivation you think you have, and I can tell you the film I would make today is very, vrey different to the one I would have made aged 15.

Except for the flying cars, every film should have flying cars.


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