Enhance 224 to 176
August 31, 2013 6:50 AM   Subscribe

Fragments of a hologram rose: Re-seeing Blade Runner - Tears in rain Memories of missing words, stories and concepts; All-seeing eye Entering picture space with the Esper; The city and the city The architecture of Los Angeles, 2019; Painting the future Syd Mead’s production art; Spinner and gun Tools of the job
posted by fearfulsymmetry (18 comments total) 57 users marked this as a favorite
Knowing that Mead was involved with Elysium, I was disappointed that there were no future car designs in that movie. They seemed to be driving 2000 era cars in 2150.
posted by octothorpe at 7:24 AM on August 31, 2013

Great post
posted by KokuRyu at 8:33 AM on August 31, 2013

Gaff's deleted script is excellent. Thanks for posting.
posted by arcticseal at 8:39 AM on August 31, 2013

This is all fascinating (great post) but I was dismayed when I clicked the links to get the Flash placeholder. WTF with that web design choice, webmaster?
posted by immlass at 8:56 AM on August 31, 2013

Blade Runner is one of my favorite films and the architecture is one of the biggest reasons for that (combined with the Vangelis score and permanighttime lighting, the atmosphere is just perfectly dreamy), so it's fascinating to see some in-depth thoughts on that. Also interesting is that I never picked up on the possibility that the film's LA is overpopulated; it still feels like a vast, empty, hollowed shell and that particular sense of space has been a big influence on some of my own projects. It's neat to think that that's accidental.

One clarification, though: Blade Runner was released two years (1982) prior to Neuromancer (1984); Gibson famously despaired that the film would steal his thunder because the visions were so close. Thinking about it now, Blade Runner would be a good role model for adapting Gibson's work to screen. Maybe what keeps most of those from not quite working is the immediacy and concreteness; the Sprawl's world would work wonderfully with a dose of dream logic.

I hope the sequel never happens.
posted by byanyothername at 9:27 AM on August 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

Scott is a fan of The Ink Spots, an African-American group popular between the wars. He had already used one Ink Spots song, I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire, for his ‘Share the Fantasy’ television commercial for Chanel No. 5 perfume a few years before

This perhaps explains this song's use in Logorama — a nod to film directors often doing commercial work to pay the bills.

Great, great post.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:04 AM on August 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

That dude's web-page layout is dire. The content looks good though.
posted by Sintram at 10:05 AM on August 31, 2013

Also interesting is that I never picked up on the possibility that the film's LA is overpopulated

It didn't seem that way to me, either. The vast empty apartment building where Sebastian lives, the generally empty streets (with crowds only seemingly appearing in nightlife areas), and the lonely sense of isolation that seems settled onto all the characters all seem to describe the same desolate, depopulated world described in the book.
posted by nzero at 11:34 AM on August 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

"Hologram Rose" was Gibson's first published story.
posted by grobstein at 12:23 PM on August 31, 2013

Wow, mind blown: that cool gun that Leon uses in the first scene, the one that seemed so incredible in its perfectly imagined near-futureness? It was actually a real, stock, unmodified COP .357 Derringer. You could actually own and use that gun.
posted by Meatbomb at 12:32 PM on August 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

I was dismayed when I clicked the links to get the Flash placeholder. WTF with that web design choice, webmaster?

Agreed. Note to Flashblock users: scroll down.
posted by Rash at 1:25 PM on August 31, 2013

The commentary tracks I've listened to all seem to agree that the movie was essentially a happy accident, made by entirely ignorant people (Ridley Scott included) putting together what they thought was going to be at best a popular B movie.

I really don't know what to think about that, as it's definitely an exceptional movie in terms of content.
posted by tychotesla at 2:10 PM on August 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

This is probably a good time to recommend that people who are really into this stuff (or are radical leftists/commies/socialists/historians) read R.U.R., the play from 1920 by Czech playwright Karel Čapek that coined the term "robot". As I remember it the play as a whole is essentially grappling with ideas of labor, exploitation, and the meaning of humanity during the era of mechanization. In other words, it's still relevant and interesting.

Whether or not Ridley Scott knew what he was doing when he wrote in the meeting between Rachael and Deckard, that moment of doubt during first contact between a protagonist and an android seems like it could support a research paper or two (wish they were mine). To paraphrase a professor of mine from back in the day, to look at an android is to look at ourselves. A slice of it from Rossum's Universal Robots:

HELENA: (jumping up) Oh, that's absurd! Sulla isn't a Robot. Sulla is a girl like me. Sulla, this is outrageous! Why do you take part in such a hoax?
SULLA: I am a Robot.
HELENA: No, no, you are not telling the truth. I know they've forced you to do it for an advertisement. Sulla, you are a girl like me, aren't you?
DOMIN: I'm sorry, Miss Glory. Sulla is a Robot.
HELENA: It's a lie!
DOMIN: What? (Rings) Excuse me, Miss Glory, then I must convince you.
DOMIN: Marius, take Sulla into the dissecting room, and tell them to open her up at once.
HELENA: Where?
DOMIN: Into the dissecting room. When they've cut her open, you can go and have a look.
HELENA: No, no!
DOMIN: Excuse me, you spoke of lies.
HELENA: You wouldn't have her killed?
DOMIN: You can't kill machines.
posted by tychotesla at 2:25 PM on August 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you're a fan of Syd Mead's visual and mechanical design work, maybe you would enjoy Turn A Gundam? It stands alone on its own quite nicely, and Mead's work is found quite prominently all over, though the overall feel is much more hopeful and less… noir.
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:47 PM on August 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

Speaking of Blade Runner, I've been enjoying these insanely detailed action figures by sculptor Scott Pettersen.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 7:41 PM on August 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

Yeah good one the Esper discussion is fascinating.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 12:58 AM on September 1, 2013

This discussion of the creation of the "Hades landscape"---the city skyline at night---is amazing.
posted by Mapes at 6:53 AM on September 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

This has some great photos and bits of information that I hadn't come across before, thanks! It is amazing how well Blade Runner holds up visually and how dense it is atmospherically even given how fragmented the actual process sounds. I suppose that's how most things do get made though.

It's cool that Bryant's office is actually a permanent fixture. It looks like it's a cafe now?
posted by lucidium at 2:34 PM on September 1, 2013

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