I went the other day to see the “final cut” of Blade Runner on the giant screen at the Uptown Theater the other day, and if you’re a fan of the movie you should find a theater way it’s playing. I’m too young, of course, to have seen it in theaters in 1982 but it occurs to me that that wouldn’t have been the proper, voiceover-free version anyway and that since it wasn’t especially popular on first release there are probably lots of people who’ve seen it on DVD or TV but never on a large screen. It makes a big difference to such a visually poetic film.
Meanwhile, it’s just so rich and textured, so you notice new things each time. My observations for this go-round, fittingly enough, have to do with the way the movie portrays the climate. I remembered, of course, that the story is set in Los Angeles and that it’s raining constantly, but the striking thing to me on this reviewing is that the LA setting appears to play no other role in the plot. The striking cityscape doesn’t even bare any real resemblance to LA. Meanwhile, not only is it pouring but nobody mentions this as if torrential downpours are a common phenomenon. Just a couple of years ago, I would have overlooked all of this (the LA setting just flashes briefly across the screen at the very beginning and the rain, in part, is just a kind of noir cliché) but in the contemporary context it obviously has a certain resonance and melds with the subtle suggestions (the book is very heavy-handed and clear on this point) that there have been massive die-offs in the animal population.
UPDATE: Brian Beutler whines IRL that I failed to mention that he was present for this afternoon cinematic excursion. This, in turn, raises the question of whether it’s really wise to admit to having been at the movies in the afternoon, but my official position is that since I’m blogging about it right now I was actually working.