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What you need to know about the original ‘Blade Runner’

By in Press Enterprise on October 4, 2017

By Rob Lowman

Some films stick with you.

As Harrison Ford, star of “Blade Runner” and “Blade Runner 2049,” explains, “You always want the audience to go home with the refrigerator question, which doesn’t occur to them until they get home and open the refrigerator and suddenly the light comes.”

Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner” has pretty much kept the refrigerator door open since its release in 1982. That’s pretty remarkable, because as Ford wryly notes “not enough” people saw it when it was first released.

It premiered two weeks after Steven Spielberg’s kid-friendly sci-fi movie “E.T.” and the googly-eyed alien was still dominating the box office. After a moderately successful opening, “Blade Runner” sort of slipped off everyone’s radar.

Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard watches for pursuing a in Ridley Scott’s 1982 “Blade Runner.”

Unlike the optimistic “E.T.” “Blade Runner” was a dark, dystopian view of the future wrapped in an enigmatic neo-noir mystery. Black dominated Scott’s visual look, observes Denis Villeneuve, the director of “Blade Runner 2049,” the new sequel to the original. It stars Ryan Gosling and Ford, who reprises his role of Blade Runner Rick Deckard in a new mystery set 30 years after the first.

The original film was not a flop, but its tepid business didn’t scream sequel, either. Nevertheless, those who saw “Blade Runner” kept standing in front of the refrigerator thinking about it. The movie provoked a number of philosophic and existential questions about what it means to be human.

On a plot level, people argued whether Deckard, whose job it was to “retire” rogue androids called replicants, was human or not. Were his memories, like those of other replicants, implanted and not his own? Are memories what make you a human being?

With midnight screenings and the home video boom, “Blade Runner” began to gain more and more devotees in the years […]    

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