Monday, December 11, 2017

Bladerunner 2049

Last night on her streaming radio program Ancient of Days, Tessa B. Dick suggested that the new Blade Runner 2049 film is director Ridley Scott's vision rather than Philip K. Dick's. I think she makes an excellent point, and I would like to take it further. 

In many ways the first Bladerunner film was rather Scott's vision, too. Scott makes both films into a sort of sallow post-Christian showcase for cheap virtue signaling, an exercise in some sort of punk rock auto-destructive-ugly-human-self-image-freakout, and accomplishes very little beyond transforming cinemas around the world into "psychic-driving" laboratories for subjecting people to his trademark violence porn. Sitting through the film--like sitting through most of Scott's films--is equivalent to a kind of psychological self-mutilation; and there is an "addictive" quality to it, which is no doubt the point, anyway so far as Hollywood is concerned. I think Scott got away with such foolishness in the first film because, in terms of art direction and ultra-violence, it was so "new" in 1982, but in the second film viewing the same rubbish all over again becomes quickly boring, so much so that the new film serves to underscore the sensationalism that, it now seems obvious, is the essence of the original film. The new film absolutely stinks with cheap virtue signaling that in its way compliments the sickening images and violence, and, moreover, the film is larded with possible threads to be picked up in a franchise of yet more addictive--that is to say profitable--sequels.

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