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Blade Runner (1982)


5th October 2019

Before writing about the main feature I wish to warmly applaud Ben and Anne for the first short film made from their collaboration: an interview at Sky Garden with the artist and actor Phil Philmar, who spoke highly of Blade Runner and who greatly assisted my understanding of it. There were three other short films: New Devonia, The Last Job on Earth and The Internet is after Your Job. Only New Devonia sent out a few rays of hope, with it's still surviving fish, in the face of the abyss we seem to be propelled to plunge ourselves into. Blade Runner is not a feel good film and in places is too violent for me to watch. The humans, who are responsible for the creation of "the replicants", are rapidly losing control over them and the only way to stay in command is to exterminate them. However the replicants are determined to master the humans and they are evidently physically stronger. Both sides are equally vicious and relentless in their determination for supremacy. Everyone is under suspicion. The film is set in an unrecognisable Los Angeles deluged in continual rain, although Deckard's coat never appears to get wet. The buildings are empty and in a serious state of disrepair. Strangely the only occupation is always on the top storey. The only relief from fear and gloom are the brightly lit shops, advertising hoardings and Chinese eating stalls. We were delighted to welcome to the discussion group four young people for whom this was their first experience of our cinema and they entered in the discussion with enthusiasm. We encouraged them to become regular attendees. Considering this film was made in 1982 no-one was surprised by the male dominance exhibited. It is interesting that the film is set in November, 2019 and that the fact that the prediction of computer user and voice recognition and a series of very advanced A.I. have been realised; something I am sure I would not have believed in 1982. Many unanswerable questions are raised in the film by the use of symbols and memories. Did the unicorn mean Deckhard too was an android with an implanted memory? Did the rusty nail stabbed through the replicant's palm signify a Christlike memory? What was the significance of the little folded paper figures? Only one person thought the ending even approached happiness in the fact that Deckhard and Rachel were allowed to stay together, although Rachel's life would only last about two more years; the premiss being two years is better than nothing. Weird, bleak, grey, wet and dismal were among the one word summaries of the film offered by the group. Everyone enjoyed the short films and congratulated Ben and Anne on theirs in particular. Sonia

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Rusthall Community Cinema, Sunnyside Community Hall, Rusthall Road, Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells, TN4 8RA.  hello@RusthallCinema.club