The Voight-Kampff Self-Test: Rethinking Blade Runner

“If only you could see what I’ve seen with your eyes.”

-Roy Batty

Even at the time, it seemed all too fitting that my first experience with Blade Runner came as an undergraduate.  There’s something in the film’s mix of genre tropes, in a visual universe that’s at once startling and familiar, and in a philosophical subtext that’s so blatant it’s practically text, that appeals to the young intellect trying to assert itself before it’s really earned the right to do so.

But that I still revisit it today, some 20 years on, suggests that there’s something more to the film, something in the alchemy of all those elements.  Why does Blade Runner still have that hold on me?  Why is its power stronger now than when I first saw it? Continue reading

The One That Got Me

It’s been a long while since the network formerly known as American Movie Classics has been anywhere near worthy of its original name.  And its current on-air lineup (series like Breaking Bad excepted) hasn’t quite helped matters.  Something like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is not really a classic, it’s not exactly American, and I’m not entirely sure it’s even a movie.

But there are always exceptions, and even AMC can have a lucky shot, as in the last couple of weeks it’s been running one film that may actually deserve the Classic label.
Continue reading