Saturday, July 14, 2007

In praise of Blade Runner

I admit it. Besides eating way more chocolate than is good for me and being unable to resist complicated looking earrings, I am a book junky and movieholic. I've been known to get up at four in the morning to watch a rerun of the film noir Scarlet Street, with Edward G. Robinson, and I'll happily go to NYC's arthouse The Angelica and see whatever is on any of the screens. Thanks to Netflix, there are always films at my house. So why am I so excited about the reissue of Blade Runner? Here's why:

1. It has bad actors giving stellar performances.
Sean Young is extraordinary. As the replicant who believes that she is human, who insists that the photos in her dresser are pictures of the mother who loved her, the mother whose death she mourns, Young will snap your heart in two. And Harrison Ford, who is usually as wooden as my dining room table, is a revelation. When he explains to her that her memories never happened, that the photos are doctored, that there was no mother at all--well, that moment is quietly brilliant. I loved this scene so much I had a character in my last novel, Girls in Trouble, thinking about it all the time.

2. It has layers of meaning.Trust me. Go see the film and then I will be happy to discuss the film for hours.

3. The book is based on a book, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick, who is a genius.

4. As a novelist and a screenwriter, I'm always interested in how a story is put together. What's really fascinating about this is that all the versions of the movie--the one with the voice over and the one without, the one with the happier ending and the one that is bleak--all of them work!

Please. See it, see it, see it.

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