Monday, November 05, 2007

Blade Runner, the Jason Vorhees of film

I never understood the hype about Blade Runner. I saw it as a kid and didn’t care for it (probably too young) and when I rented it again as a slightly older kid I was still far from impressed. I always found the voiceover to be stiff, so much so it ruined the film for me. (Let’s all come out and admit it: Harrison Ford is not much of an actor. There. Feels good, doesn’t it?)

I suppose I could have found something more redeeming in one of the many re-releases that eschewed the voice over and happy ending, but by the time the “director’s cut” was playing for a year straight at the midnight show I just didn’t give a damn. But now the final, perfect, true director’s cut, or something along those lines, is out in theaters and I can finally see this film the way it was supposed to be experienced. Perhaps I will and perhaps I will finally understand why throngs of geeks salivate over what I always found to be a poorly acted, nice looking mess.

More interesting to me is the idea this raises over directorial (or authorial, or artistic) intent versus outside influence and finished product. Or, is a piece of art ever finished? How do you know? They say that Elizabeth Bishop had a poem of hers taped on the wall by her desk for something like nine years. She knew there had to be another stanza between the penultimate and final, but it took her that long to write it. She just knew it was not done. (I would have just moved on. Wouldn’t you?) So if Blade Runner can keep coming back like a slasher from an ‘80s horror film then how can anyone be so certain their favorite film (or book, or paining, or song) is really the perfect vision of what the artist intended? Perhaps it was just rushed or re-cut by the studio, or god knows what. Something to ponder this Monday morning, y’all, if you’re of the mind. Hardly mind-blowing but what do you expect? It’s early.