Arts feature

How Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic, Blade Runner, foresaw the way we live today

7 March 2015

9:00 AM

7 March 2015

9:00 AM

In 1977 a journeyman actor called Brian Kelly optioned a science-fiction novel called Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The book’s author, Philip K. Dick, had been writing science fiction since the early 1950s. He was 49 years old, with 30 novels behind him. He had a cult reputation, but he barely scraped a living. Kelly only paid him $2,500, but Dick was happy with this windfall. He’d written this book for half as much, back in 1968. After five more years, and many rewrites, Dick’s book finally became a film. Directed by Ridley Scott and renamed Blade Runner, it’s now commonly — and quite rightly — regarded as one of the greatest science-fiction movies ever made.

Now finally, after all this time, comes confirmation of the long-awaited sequel — directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Harrison Ford again, reprising his leading role as robot hunter Rick Deckard. Ford says the script is ‘the best thing I’ve ever read’. Will Scott’s direction be just as good? Here’s hoping.

In the meantime, if you can’t wait for Blade Runner 2 (or whatever they eventually decide to call it), from 3 April you can marvel at Scott’s original masterpiece on the big screen once again, as Blade Runner: The Final Cut returns to cinemas nationwide, courtesy of the BFI. Novelistic in its detail, operatic in its intensity, Scott’s direction still takes your breath away. Yet the most striking thing about Scott’s film — and Dick’s novel — is that they both foresaw the future. After all these years, Blade Runner remains an unforgettable experience. But since 1982 it’s become something else as well — a futuristic metaphor for the way we live today.

Dick delighted in making (almost) accurate predictions: nuclear meltdown in the Soviet Union by 1985 (Chernobyl blew up in 1986); artificial life by 1993 (Dolly the sheep was cloned in 1997). Written half a lifetime before the world wide web, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? displayed similarly spooky powers of prophecy. Anyone with a Facebook page will recognise the creepy appeal of Buster Friendly and his Friendly Friends, a never-ending chat show that broadcasts 24/7 throughout Dick’s novel. And anyone who’s searched for instant solutions to their problems in cyberspace (or been prescribed anti-depressants to boost their serotonin levels) will recognise Dick’s Mood Organ, a sly machine that conjures up all manner of emotions, from ‘awareness of the manifold possibilities open to me in the future’ to ‘the desire to watch TV, no matter what’s on it’. As Dick observed, ‘The greatest pain does not come zooming down from a distant planet, but up from the depths of the heart.’


Scott’s movie retained relatively few of these sci-fi specifics, but he preserved the book’s pervasive air of virtual paranoia — its inherent uncertainty about the boundary between what’s real and what’s unreal. Harrison Ford’s Blade Runner hunts down replicants who’ve become too human, and ends up wondering if he’s a replicant himself. Are his memories really his own, or were they implanted by a higher power? ‘It’s not just “What if…” It’s “My God; what if…”’ stated Dick, of his attitude to science fiction. Watching Blade Runner today, you can’t help wondering if his nightmares have come true. What is the meaning of memory, now everything is a click away on Google? Is the internet transforming us into replicants, incapable of proper empathy? Will anything be left of us, once our entire lives are online?

Initially, Dick was rather disparaging about Blade Runner (he called it ‘Philip Marlowe meets The Stepford Wives’) but once he saw a rough cut, he was won over by Scott’s film. He didn’t mind at all that the film was so different from his novel. ‘The book and the movie do not fight each other, they reinforce each other,’ he said. ‘The human brain craves stimulation, and this movie will stimulate the brain.’ Dick never made it to the première. He died of a stroke, a few months before the movie opened. He was 53.

Ridley Scott had had a big hit with Alien, and Harrison Ford had had an even bigger hit with Star Wars — but despite this winning team of hot star and hip director, the initial response to Blade Runner was tepid. Its first cinematic outing made a mere $14 million, barely half its production budget. The critics were underwhelmed. Janet Maslin of the New York Times called it ‘muddled yet mesmerising’, yet the intrinsic ‘muddle’ of Blade Runner is what makes it so mesmeric, then and now. The film (and the book) is built on an unanswerable conundrum. As robots evolve, at what stage do they become human? And as our lives become more and more computerised, at what stage do we start to become machines?

This thoroughly modern riddle is what gives Blade Runner its staying power, but such profound questions were far too tricksy for the film’s money men. The studio imposed various changes, including a corny film noir voice-over, in an attempt to explain away the film’s multiple complexities. Several alternative versions subsequently emerged, of which Scott’s ‘Final Cut’ is the finest, but even the Chandleresque original was a triumph. Scott said he wanted to make a film ‘set 40 years hence, made in the style of 40 years ago’. Thirty-three years hence, it still feels intensely contemporary. The only thing that’s dated is the computers — and the shoulder pads.

Fittingly, for a film about the perils of technological innovation, it was new technology that kept Blade Runner alive. Home video was the latest gizmo, and Blade Runner quickly climbed to the top of the rental charts. Movie execs may have been confused by its ambiguities, but movie buffs revelled in them. Within a year, the film had spawned its own fanzine. In 1983, the assembled nerds of the World Science Fiction Convention voted it the third best science-fiction movie of all time. Scott went on to direct a string of smart Hollywood hits: Thelma & Louise, Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven… In 1992 he made the so-called ‘Director’s Cut’ of Blade Runner — actually a creative compromise between Scott and the studio. In 2007 he made the ‘Final Cut’ that’s now on general release again.

After Dick’s death, Hollywood finally woke up to the cinematic potential of his dark vision. A slew of adaptations followed. In 1990 Paul Verhoeven made Total Recall, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, based on Dick’s We Can Remember It For You Wholesale. In 2002 Steven Spielberg made Minority Report, starring Tom Cruise, based on a short story Dick wrote way back in 1956, in his twenties, when he was just starting out. Spielberg’s film grossed more than $130 million. Dick’s original fee for this story was $130. ‘Often, people claim to remember past lives,’ he said in 1977. ‘I claim to remember a different, very different present life.’ Our robots may not be quite up to scratch — not yet — but Philip K. Dick’s Mood Organ is already with us. In the parallel universe of the internet, the different present life that he remembered is not so far away.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10


Show comments
  • SackTheJuggler

    I’ve never been quite sure why Philip K. Dick is held in such high regard. He knocked out the same novel about 50 times in his career. Read one and you’ve read them all.

    • gerontius redux

      We like re-telling a good story.

    • Rickety Janes

      …’Man in the High Castle’ = ‘VALIS’ = ‘Do Androids…’ = ‘Minority Report’?
      lol…no….just, no.

      • SackTheJuggler

        The general concept of ‘reality isn’t real’ or ‘I’m not really human’ is common to every book I’ve read by him. Man in the High Castle and UBIK and A Scanner Darkly and The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch. Maybe not VALIS, but frankly I wasn’t able to tell what that was meant to be about at all. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think he was a bad writer, just that I’m not particularly interested in the themes he returned to again and again and again.

        • Rickety Janes

          the reality thing figures almost not at all in ‘Androids’….MITHC was the only one where it was integral to the plot…for the rest, its just a little trademark, if that…

        • Joshua Ben Paskowitz

          totally what is real what is human youve got it down!lol

        • 4d3fect

          “every book I’ve read by him” oh, you’re so cute

          • SackTheJuggler

            Thank you – so I am often told.

        • john p reid

          MArshian time slip, or Ubik. Confession of a crap writer,or screamers, the one about the paper cup?

        • Fed up with psychopaths.

          His books not only make you think, but they are funny! How come nobody ever seems to talk about this?
          Dick never took himself seriously at all.

    • Max Permissible

      He was a bloody awful writer just like all the other “cult” favourites and banged out his terrible sci-fi novels to keep his head above water. A bit like Lionel Fanthorpe except he took himself way too seriously.

      • Fed up with psychopaths.

        I’m sorry you are not intelligent enough to enjoy the books.

        • Max Permissible

          I’m sorry that you are such an uneducated dullard that you are unable to distinguish good writing from bad. I am also sorry that you can’t be bothered to refute me, rather than posting a lazy ad hominem.

          • Fed up with psychopaths.

            Ditto.

        • Jody Taylor

          An entirely risible comment – gratuitous too.

    • Russell Eberts

      Don’t talk sh*t about Tom Petty, bro. Even if most of his songs sound very similar, he’s still a legend.

    • john p reid

      Ok some of his films deal with what is laity and pre cognition, minority report- (the golden Arm AKA next) and the surrealism of Scanner darkly, with Total recall,

      But flow my tears the policeman said isn’t like any of them
      Nor is radio free Albemuth.

  • SteveGJ

    Dolly the sheep was not artificial life by any rational meaning of the term. Dolly was a clone made from the a cell of an adult creature. In itself, a very important development but it wasn’t artificial.

    • little islander

      Fact got in the way of his narrative.

      • How about:

        “…nuclear meltdown in the Soviet Union by 1985 (Chernobyl blew up in 1986); artificial life by 1993 (Tony Blair became leader of the Labour Party in 1994)…”

    • lyovmyshkin

      Thank you!! Also, replicants aren’t God damn robots, they’re artificially engineered biological entities.

  • Captain Codloins

    A correction: Ridley Scott did not “direct a masterful version of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four”

    He directed a short commercial for Apple entitled “1984”

    • Ivan Ewan

      It was a very good commercial though.

  • Jason A

    He did not direct 1984, Michael Radford did. He directed a 1984 style advert for Apple.

  • loretta

    “comes confirmation of the long-awaited sequel — directed by Ridley Scott” NOPE, it will be directed by Denis Villeneuve, Scott will only be a producer due to his sequel to Prometheus. Do you ever check before publishing?

  • Solage 1386

    The film is shit. I’d prefer Zardoz.

    • Jody Taylor

      I prefer neither, but I agree with your initial observation.

  • Jody Taylor

    I’m sorry, but I find this whole film an appalling piece of drivel with no decent screenplay or characterization to maintain my interest beyond 15 minutes. Who cares if it was prescient? Chaplin’s “Modern Times” reflected the zeitgeist with more humanity and humour than the modern sci-fi, with its predictable range of ‘characters’ and bizarre ‘settings’ – not to mention their innate coldness – could ever muster, no matter how big the budget.

  • greggf

    “How Ridley Scott’s sci-fi classic, Blade Runner, foresaw the way we live today”

    What?
    Maybe 2115….

  • Hubert

    Replicants were made like Dolly – from cells and attached processor in book in movie they are just bioengineered

    • Jody Taylor

      Can’t you feel the real love and warmth in the room?

  • trace9

    & If Ford eventually bumps himself off with a vintage ‘plane – the ironies of real life..

    There was an Old Blade-Runner
    Who fell foul of a Pernickety Punner
    He crashed his plane
    – That Star Quite Vain –
    & His Oscar rammed straight up his Bummer..

    Ooh!

  • Gary Masters

    Nice review, but if all you get out of Blade Runner is a dark view of the future, you need to see it again and to think again about what is real and what is not an what is essential to be “human.” This is not your fault. But you do have an opportunity to get more.

    • Jody Taylor

      I saw little in the way of humanity in this film at all; perhaps a ‘representational’ view of some version of humanity, but no beating hearts, caring, sharing, emotion, emotional intelligence, complexity or real interaction.

      • lyovmyshkin

        Given that the notion of “empathy” itself is central to both the book and the film, I think you’ve slightly missed the point. If you’re seeking displays of the type of “empathy” that you find emotionally appealing then this isn’t your film. If you want to examine the concept and how things are when empathy both is and isn’t present then Dick and Blade Runner are relevant.

        • Jody Taylor

          I disagree: I think empathy entirely missing from the film and I haven’t read the book. And I’d go further and suggest that in order to understand when empathy doesn’t exist you have to recognize it when it does – and experience same.

          But I appreciate your thoughtful comments about it and your contribution to the discussion. Having taught the book for Advanced English (matriculation) I don’t think I’ve ‘missed the point’. It was part of a module called “Dystopian Worlds”.

          I’m afraid my own view of a ‘dystopian world’ is the one we currently inhabit. My favourite films are those which address moral questions we all face…justice, relationships, crisis, natural disaster, race, illness and death. One of the finest films ever made, IMO, was “The Sea Inside” – a Spanish film about a quadraplegic.

  • Steven

    Nobody re-watches ET like people re-watch Blade Runner.

  • cambridgeelephant

    Contrary to some of the comments posted below, BR was and is a masterful film. One of the the all time greats. And Dick was a remarkable writer.

    • Jody Taylor

      That is entirely your opinion! Mine is drawn from 50+ years as a cinephile, working in the TV industry, teaching, and post-graduate qualifications in film/cultural studies. And a regular subscriber to academic journals on film, for example “Cineaste”. In short, I don’t make my comments lightly.

      • cambridgeelephant

        It is indeed, ‘entirely my opinion’ !

        And what you’ve subsequently written is ‘entirely your opinion’.

        But as a self proclaimed ‘expert’ – tell me – say – three films that don’t cause you to gag – just curious.

        In fact, I’ll start. How about ‘Sunset Boulevard’ : ‘ 2001 a Space Odyssey’ and…’Carry On Up The Khyber’…..

        And incidentally, how on earth can you teach a film for ‘Matriculation English’ ? Unless it’s ‘Hector’s House’ or ‘Pinky and Perky’ ?

        Surely there are better way to grasp a basis of English, than a rather complex, futuristic, Scfi adaption of an American cult novel ?

        • Jody Taylor

          I didn’t set the syllabus and I also didn’t say I agreed with the choice of film. Students these days are taught to be visually literate because so much of their experience involves the visual (as is axiomatic).

          Those films you mention don’t interest me. “2001” bored me rigid; I recall that I fell asleep. In terms of mainstream I’d say “In the Name of the Father”, “Vertigo”, “Psycho”, “Cape Fear”, “Picnic”, “Chinatown”, “The Age of Innocence”, “Les Enfants du Paradis”, “Le Grand Illusion”,”His Girl Friday”, “The Blue Angel”, “The Bicycle Thief”, “The Man Who Wasn’t There”, “The Big Lebowski”. Oh, there’s just so many fine films that I could spend hours talking about them…..

          • john p reid

            Does a film have to not bore you to be any good, 2001 is interesting because it’s boring
            Check out Max Headroom,20 minutes into the future, the film Blade runner could have been.
            crone burgs the Fly also deals with death,reality, no transformation, the way Blade runner doesn’t

            And Gattaca is a far better film on genetics,and Eugenics

          • Jody Taylor

            I must be engaged with a film, yes, to get into the spirit of its values and messages. Without empathy I cannot believe in any film because I don’t care what happens to the characters. And I wonder if it’s a boy thing..being interested in films about science fiction and the future; in short, those kinds of films always at more than arm’s length to emotion and real human experience. I don’t mean this comment to be either flippant or patronizing – it’s a legitimate question.

            If I drill down to it, I guess I’m saying that films about scientific subjects per se don’t interest me because I can never suspend disbelief and I don’t care about the characters or their predicaments. Same with sci-fi and fantasy literature (Tolkien in particular) – it bores me catatonic. And I was a high-school English teacher. Being a people person, these are the things which energize my imagination and capture my attention.

            For me, a film like “Bad Day at Black Rock” – where nothing much happens but where its central characters are in an emotional and environmental vacuum and experiencing existential angst – is a superb experience because of fabulous writing and even better acting (if that’s possible). Not a film about “reality” per se, more a film which adopts some of the philosophical models – albeit in a less extreme form – of the post-modernist, existentialist writers. Same with Nicholas Ray’s “Johnny Guitar”. You have to suspend belief but the characters are real and the words are great.

            These are films concerned with the motivations, desires, morals and values of character; not some sterile, scientific projection of a future world. These I find emotionally arid.

          • john p reid

            fair enough Gattaca,is not to far from reality, a person instead of being discriminated by Age,sex,race is by the state knowing his DNA is not as pure as others
            The fly a metaphor for someone in denial that their body is changing ,they have an addiction for sugar, that is destroying his body, then when he relishes he’s dying,a metaphor for AIDs

            Max headroom, that the pressures of advertising manipulating the media, that advertising can be destructive, with comparisons of human body parts for sale,and no morality.

            Films out this year high rise, a sort of mixture of Lord of the flies,cannibal holocaust, attack the block and Golden girls

            Man in high castle, that people would be subdued by a nazi take over of the U.S.,
            District 9 being another story with Metaphors for Apartied.

          • Solage 1386

            I like films to be beautiful; nothing much else matters. Also, I’ve only seen six films which I consider to be “perfect”: The Innocents, Walkabout, A canterbury Tale, Onibaba, Pather Panchali, and Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors. What d’you think?

          • Solage 1386

            ……no, more than six! I missed out Cabaret, A Taste of Honey, Whatever Happened To Baby Jane, If…, Woman of the Dunes, The Colour of Pomegranates, The Red Shoes, Blood of A Poet, and even The Devils! No doubt I’ll think of some more later on!

          • Jody Taylor

            “The Red Shoes” – one of my all-time favourite films!! I also like some of the other films on your list. Not sure about “The Devils”.

            At this moment I’m stranded in upper Norway on a broken down Hurtigruten ship and not feeling very happy. We’ve been sitting here 24 hours and I’m bored rigid – even my iPod has crashed and I’m without music. If I see another ice-covered mountain and fjord again in my life it will be too soon. They are skipping most of the ports to try and get us back to Bergen on time: oh goodie, more sea travel in treacherous conditions!!

            Avoid Hurtigruten!!

          • Solage 1386

            Sounds like A Night To Remember!

          • Jody Taylor

            No, it’s ENTIRELY forgettable and so is the whole notion of “cruising”. It’s the pits! The EXPENSIVE pits. If another message comes into our cabin via the intercom I’m going to ram the phone down somebody’s throat (or the alternative!).

      • “…and it was like swallowing castor oil!

        So you know it was good for you…

        • Jody Taylor

          LOL

      • lyovmyshkin

        No humanity in Roy Batty and his mourning for Pris? No humanity in his final exaltation and acceptance of death? No humanity in “Tears in Rain”? No humanity in the greatest film score ever produced?

        Weird.

        • Jody Taylor

          Well, your observation about these aspects doesn’t mean they’re actually right. None of these comments are statements of fact. And the ‘greatest film score every produced’? Surely you jest? I wouldn’t dignify that comment by saying any more.

          I find any kind of ‘humanity’ in this film, and similar types, to be manufactured and representational. Something very post-modern but nothing resembling the real thing since it is not based on a continuum of character development. Just like the Japanese Noh theatre – thought bubble…”real feeling of grief” over here!! Read the signs, but that’s all.

    • lyovmyshkin

      Amen.

  • Curnonsky

    The “Director’s Cut” version is proof positive that studio execs are more often than not right when they try to prune self-indulgent directors’ bloated films. It’s just soporific, and frankly the original doesn’t hold up very well either though mercifully it’s shorter.

  • I’d rather read Anthony Trollope, Patrick O’Brian, and Jane Austen.

  • jim

    So many people here seem to hate Blade Runner. How can this be?. Philip K Dick originally saw Robert Mitchum as Decker when the book was published in 1968 . Ford is not in the Mitchum class but he makes a decent effort and the whole “futureshock Philip Marlowe” idea does work .Rutger Hauer , Joanna Cassidy and others are very striking but it is in depicting the hellish multi-culti stew of city life that the film excels. Bad enough in 1982. So much worse now and more to come. I love this film.

    • Jody Taylor

      You see, there’s my problem right there…”the hellish multi-culti stew of city life”. I don’t want to have this represented, much preferring classic noir with its intriguing characters and very human motivations and desires to show me life on the mean streets. Otherwise, a film like BR is making a cold and forensic case about life devoid of any characters/characterization for whom I can feel empathy and with whom I can relate in any way – not to mention the lack of sharp, congruent and clever dialogue which keeps me listening and thinking years after I’ve seen the film.

      And I’m sorry to have to add that this kind of film is typical of the newer generation of American films where everybody is so self-actualizing, damn earnest and inexorably boring.

      • jim

        I’m a noir devotee too and find Blade Runner quite a noirish tale. I like Hauer’s “Time to die” scene and the way M.Emmet Walsh tells Ford he needs the old Blade Runner back in the game. Scott is a cold fish as a director but sci-fi is a dish best served cold anyway. It’s one of those immersive film experiences and it’s also one of my youthful affections I’ve managed to hold onto as I get older. But I suppose we’d both prefer “Build My Gallows High” or “Sweet Smell Of Success”. Can anyone even write like that anymore.?

        • terence patrick hewett

          Hitchhiker’s Guide? Red Dwarf?

          • jim

            Fair enough.No one likes Blade Runner.

          • Jody Taylor

            The first is relentlessly dull and unfunny, the second momentarily funny but really belonging to the British undergraduate genre of “anarchy”. 2 stars.

          • terence patrick hewett
        • Jody Taylor

          Brilliant comments and I totally agree with your comments on writing!! “Sweet Smell of Success”? One of the most ‘dystopian’ films one could find and written by the amazing Clifford Odetts.

          • jim

            Saw in one of your earlier comments where you name checked your favourite films. I concur. I also share your skepticism about 2001.I thought I was the only one. I don’t know how how a cinema full of dopers in 1968 managed it but I’ve always found it heavy going though it gets better as it goes along and the scenes with HAL near the end do generate their share of dread and unease. On the whole though I’ve never liked Kubrick except for Strangelove though with the years I have become very taken with Barry Lyndon. A captivating film. Still feel that Blade Runner successfully welds noir to sci-fi and perhaps it’s the noir which prevents it toppling into Kubrick pretentiousness and tedium. Next time you watch it try and see Ford as Mitchum. It’ll help.

          • Jody Taylor

            Great comments; thanks!! I doubt a change of actors would see me more enthusiastic about BR, really. I’ve given it enough chances. Agree entirely about your comments on Kubrick. Yes, “Barry Lyndon” is an interesting film though I found the eponymous character strangely unsympathetic. Was it Ryan O’Neill? Perhaps. Your point is well taken about BR and the noir connection; after all, this genre wasn’t the exclusive prerogative of ‘crime’ films per se. What about “Leave Her to Heaven”? Noir takes many forms. I have an interesting book on the subject which I’ll revisit it when I return to Australia in June.

      • Zanderz

        “BR is making a cold and forensic case about life devoid of any characters/characterization for whom I can feel empathy and with whom I can relate in any way”.

        That’s the point of the film. All the characters and many of the settings are distant, hidden and manufactured by their circumstances. The questions it poses indirectly (what is humanity, emotions, memories etc) are what makes the film interesting. I like a film that makes me question things without spoon feeding me – BR does that.

  • Herman_U_Tick

    Sean Young anyone…..

    OK, I’ll get my coat.

  • lyovmyshkin

    It’s my all time favourite movie but this article was a graduate level piece of fluff littered with errors.

    How does this magazine pay its bills?

    • Jody Taylor

      I’ll assume that’s a rhetorical question.

  • lyovmyshkin

    One of the things I love about Scott is his commitment to examining ideas over time and also across films. I’ll be a bit pretentious here and call it meta-directing. There are meta-thespians too! Joe Pantoliano is one.

    One of the themes constantly revisited by Scott is our relationship with the other, even when the “other” is essentially responsible for our creation.

    What do all the Androids in the Aliens franchise do when they encounter more powerful life forms? They instantly and instinctual admire them and often a form of contempt for the weak humans emerges.

    In Sheep it is the Androids who cannot functionally comprehend empathy, altruism or human attachment. They are strangely detached from even preserving their own lives. Deckard, in the novel, remarks on the strange torpor that would overcome the Androids when they approached death. In the film, this is reversed. The rebelling (and descending) Replicants are humanized by their attachment to sentimental photos and their exaltation, in Batty’s case, in the face of death. Compare this with Deckard who is happy to shoot women in the back in pursuit of his vocational aims. A man who is happy to callously disabuse a Replicant’s illusion of a normal human life – granted her by the false implanting of memories by Tyrell.

    The ultimate moment of pathos for me in BR is the scene in which Deckard recounts Rachel’s memories for her (with the splendid Vangelis track “Memories of Green in the backround), all at once an entire imagined life is violently yanked from her. Nothing, now, is real. She has been living in a complete fantasy world and my heart BREAKS every time I watch him do that to her. Once again, the humanity lies within the Replicant’s, not the supposed humans.

    Deckard, belatedly, realizes what he has done and lamely tries to retract, his attitude is akin to someone who has made a simple faux pas, not someone who has just devastatingly reordered a beings entire existence. They’re just “skinjobs” after all.

    From there on Deckard begins to change and the process of realizing the truth of what he is really doing is delivered in one of the most revelatory and stunning scenes in cinema history: you’re a replicant, Deckard. Don’t believe me, here’s a dream of yours. Inescapably brilliant. The circle is complete, what Deckard did to Rachel has now been done to him. But escaping the illusion, although possibly painful, is not an act of bondage but the freedom from the chains of illusion.

    It is a story of emancipation and celebration of humanity that screams from the gloomy, crowded and desolate wasteland of a possible future.

    Then there is Gnosticism, Yaldaboath and the Demiruge, but that’s another story entirely.

  • john p reid

    As 12 of Dicks books have been made into films or TV pilots (13 if you include Total recall twice) and many of his books have influenced other Films or Tav Martian Time trap, or the three stigmata of Palmer Elderitch – with Inception, I notice the similarity of Perky Pat computer game with candy crush,Being suggested on Facebook

  • john p reid

    Kurt Vonegat, John Wyndham, JG Ballard,anyone

    • Jody Taylor

      What do you say about Kurt Vonnegut?

      • john p reid

        Sure it’s dated in terms of technology, but the stories are relevant,all be it corny

  • albert pike

    1984 was also pretty visionary. Though for obvious reasons the media cannot explain why.

  • Fatima Phoenix

    Now that the technology is available, maybe Ridley Scott should also do the Robots and Empire trilogy of Isaac Asimov. Brad Pitt would make for an interesting R Daneel Olivaw.

Close