Thursday 27 March 2014

Sunday Runner

I'm not really one for a tremendous amount of running, which is why this isn't at all about running. I'm not going running on a Sunday. I mean, I have done, but I don't talk about it. The title is misleading. Deliberately so. That's what I do here. Mislead. Deliberately.

What I am really one for is a tremendous amount of Blade Runner. Back to back. You are probably wondering how someone back-to-backs a single film. Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe you already know. Well, there are five versions of the film and a about two days of special features. There is a whole replicant reference to be had there, but I'm going to move on. I like to all-in-one-go this, starting with the workprint and ending with the retrospective documentaries. I don't tire of this. Not yet. It happens at least once a year. Actually, it happens at least twice a year.

This was enabled when I was given a five disc DVD boxset for one of those present giving things that happens throughout the year. I can't remember which one it was, which isn't really important. What is important is that I have been enabled, and I know who that enabler is. I think it was a birthday. The selfish Christmas.

Anyway, That's why I am talking about it now. I'm doing it this Sunday. I'm busy. Don't call me to do your things, because I have a doctor's appointment, or I'm washing something, or I have actually made real plans with real people, and I'm too wrapped up in writing this to check right now. If it is you that I have made plans with, it isn't that I have forgotten, it is just that I live in the moment. Right now. Now this one. And, now.

Not really. I've forgotten. I won't have when I check, but that'll be not now. That will be later. Maybe before Sunday. Maybe not. It will be.

Im not likely to invite anyone, because it renders the obligation for pants equal to, or less than, zero. It's harder to get mustard on your pants if you're not wearing them. Fact. Unless you keep them in the kitchen, or in a mustard cupboard. Also, fact. I have mustard on my favourite shorts at the moment, and I've washed them a couple of times, but I can still see the stain. This too is a fact. A sad fact. This might be about as informative as I get. Conjecture!

What I really like to do is lead into the viewing with PKD's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, because then you have the whole picture. You understand the whole process. The transition from Dick's head to Final Cut, and in the end that is what I'm there for. The process from one to the other. All those minds and hands that bend it from beginning to end. It's heavily documented.

I'm actually not aware of a film that is as heavily documented. Look, maybe those Middle Earth movies, but the whole production of Blade Runner is an incredible thing. It's an arduous creative journey. A journey of censorship and creativity, in which prejudices and conflict abound. There is even a death that comes early on in the piece. At one stage it would've seemed late, but the story just kept going. It is a story of relationships and passion. People find treasure, and there are technological changes that redefine possibilities. It is an incredible journey of realisation and the beauty in imperfection.

That's what I am there to engage with. It's part of the reason I really like Philip K. Dick too. He was amazing. Like otters. Otters are amazing. But, the beauty of PKD's work went beyond the sum value of the individual piece that spanned thirty years and amounted to some fiftyish novels and a five volumes of short stories. The whole body of work is itself something to be appreciated and understood.

Dick was prolific. The guy basically never switched off. For three decades he wrote immensely personal works on fear, paranoia, responsibility, sexuality, love, prejudice, politics, philosophy, religion, community, nationalism, illness, and war in a format that was easily accessible.

Great tracts of his mind are laid bare, and we are able to watch how it changed. We can see the same ideas go through a half dozen distinct variants before reaching their most iconic. In some cases even the earlier, often distantly related, drafts of later works were published as whole and complete works in their own right. It is like living in somebody's creative process, and not just somebody, but Philip K. Dick. It is a truly astounding thing to which to be granted access.

That is what the whole of The Blade Runner Experience offers us. An insight into an incredible process, but it also offers us the opportunity to see how Dick was popularised. It is an exquisite thing.

And for the record, if you are going to watch one version of this film, it really should be The Final Cut. They did a really bang-up job. They really, really did.

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