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Thread: 3x3: Best Unanswered Questions

  1. #211
    New Romantic Pogue Mahone's Avatar
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    I actually do disagree to the extent that Scott's intentions matter all that much. It's his movie and he has made the film the way he wanted it to be. But what could have been an interesting and subtle subtext is now thrown right in our face to no great purpose and, to my mind the greatest crime: it adds absolutely nothing to the story. So there you go. Ridley Scott cracked corn and I don't care.

  2. #212
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    Musashi:
    Not to in any way argue with you, what are your thoughts on the above linked omitted scene? It's from the On The Edge of Blade Runner documentary. It is a scene that I feel runs counter to the Deckard-was-always-a-replicant. But I'm not sure if I'm right about that. What do you think?

    (And yes, I'm well aware that the scene isn't in the film, I just think it points to the possibility of Scott making his decision on the nature of Deckard at a later point, definitely after shooting ended.)

  3. #213
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammet View Post
    Musashi:
    Not to in any way argue with you, what are your thoughts on the above linked omitted scene? It's from the On The Edge of Blade Runner documentary. It is a scene that I feel runs counter to the Deckard-was-always-a-replicant. But I'm not sure if I'm right about that. What do you think?

    (And yes, I'm well aware that the scene isn't in the film, I just think it points to the possibility of Scott making his decision on the nature of Deckard at a later point, definitely after shooting ended.)
    If we're scrutinizing the Holden hospital scene for evidence pro or con, I think the most telling bit of dialogue is Holden's 'They're no goddamn different than you or me!' and 'They're almost us!' On the face of it, he's describing how difficult it's becoming to detect replicants. But it could just as easily foreshadow Deckard's replicant-cy.

    It's important to point out that, just because Gaff knows Deckard is a replicant, it doesn't mean he knew it from the start of the film - he could have learned of it at any point in the story...and it's all the more poignant that, at the end, Gaff doesn't just let Rachel go, he lets Deckard go.

  4. #214
    Dingus Social Worker Christien Murawski's Avatar
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    It's too bad he won't live.


    -xtien

  5. #215
    Mad Chester
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    Yeah but then again, who does?

  6. #216
    Administrator World's End Supernova Tom Chick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Penny Dreadful View Post
    Or maybe it's merely saying that humans and replicants do both dream of the same things after all
    Wait, really? This is how the anti-replicant faction hand waves away that Gaff knows the contents of Deckard's dream? Man, that's a real stretch.

    So Gaff knows that replicants have been implanted with unicorn dreams? Replicants we haven't seen have had that dream? Or we just haven't seen the replicants having that dream? Yet the movie shows us Deckard having that dream precisely after the audience has been introduced to the implantidea? And at the end of the movie, Gaff announces his presence by dropping an origami unicorn because he knows that the human Deckard has had the same dream some other replicants have been implanted with?

    That's some serious contortion to get around what is otherwise a pretty obvious point.

    -Tom

  7. #217
    Social Worker Nikolaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Penny Dreadful View Post
    3. The Thing - Was MacReady or Childs a Thing?
    Great pick. Also, whose shadow was it on the wall (probably Norris')?

  8. #218
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    Quote Originally Posted by Musashi
    If we're scrutinizing the Holden hospital scene for evidence pro or con, I think the most telling bit of dialogue is Holden's 'They're no goddamn different than you or me!' and 'They're almost us!' On the face of it, he's describing how difficult it's becoming to detect replicants. But it could just as easily foreshadow Deckard's replicant-cy.
    See, what I took from it was that Holden and Deckard had a history, that they've known each other for some time and that back in the good old days, tracking skin-jobs was fairly easy. So in order for Deckard to always have been a replicant, he'd need to be some super-special-extra kind of model that was ahead of his time, by far.

    But anyway, what I like about the possibility of him being a replicant is that he's so broken, tired and run down, yet clings to life, that he can easily pass for human. And I suppose that's the same reason I have for disliking that making him a replicant as an unambigous fact.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Chick View Post
    Wait, really? This is how the anti-replicant faction hand waves away that Gaff knows the contents of Deckard's dream? Man, that's a real stretch.
    Yes. We also have a secret handshake and gather in dusty caverns every other Tuesday.

    Any idea why no one else working on the film thought that Deckard was a replicant, even 20 years later, save Scott and one other guy? Because they're lolstoopid like the ones who don't agree with you that the point of Blade Runner is that Deckard is a replicant, or can there be another explanation? I personally would hesitate to call that many people ignorant, but I'm going out on a limb here guessing you won't.

  9. #219
    6th Grade Spelling Bee Loser World's End Supernova Rimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Chick View Post
    I hate that people still think this. The movie as shot makes it clear that Deckard is a replicant. It isn't even a question! It's a stated fact! Urk. Gah. Blurgle. Stupid Harrison Ford. Ugh.

    -Tom
    He wasn't in the novel.

  10. #220
    6th Grade Spelling Bee Loser World's End Supernova Rimbo's Avatar
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    Even worse, whasterface kills his goat.

  11. #221
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rimbo View Post
    Even worse, whasterface kills his goat.
    Damn it, Rimbo. It was a sheep.

  12. #222
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Solomon View Post
    Damn it, Rimbo. It was a sheep.
    Edit: Double damn it! I looked it up and you're right, Rimbo, it was a goat.

  13. #223
    6th Grade Spelling Bee Loser World's End Supernova Rimbo's Avatar
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    It's ok, the book's title probably mucked with your memory. Either that, or you're a replicant, and it was inserted into your brain.

    IIRC, it was a black female goat. Considering I read that book exactly once in 1992, I'm gonna be impressed if that's correct from memory.

  14. #224
    New Romantic corsair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Solomon View Post
    Damn it, Rimbo. It was a sheep.
    Do Androids Dream of Electric Goats?

    He had a sheep, he got an electric sheep, but alas....

  15. #225
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rimbo View Post
    It's ok, the book's title probably mucked with your memory. Either that, or you're a replicant, and it was inserted into your brain.

    IIRC, it was a black female goat. Considering I read that book exactly once in 1992, I'm gonna be impressed if that's correct from memory.
    I read the book in 1982 and would have sworn it was a sheep, but Wikipedia insists it was a goat.

  16. #226
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammet View Post
    See, what I took from it was that Holden and Deckard had a history, that they've known each other for some time and that back in the good old days, tracking skin-jobs was fairly easy. So in order for Deckard to always have been a replicant, he'd need to be some super-special-extra kind of model that was ahead of his time, by far.
    Deckard and Holden may very well have had history; doesn't mean it's 20 years of history. Could have been five years for all we know. And I think the implication, if we accept that Deckard is a replicant, that he is in fact a very special one indeed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hammet View Post
    Any idea why no one else working on the film thought that Deckard was a replicant, even 20 years later, save Scott and one other guy? Because they're lolstoopid like the ones who don't agree with you that the point of Blade Runner is that Deckard is a replicant, or can there be another explanation? I personally would hesitate to call that many people ignorant, but I'm going out on a limb here guessing you won't.
    We don't know that - we only know the impressions of people who have spoken out on the matter, most of whom disagreed with Scott's decision to make Deckard a replicant. Harrison Ford, Hampton Fancher, David Peoples, etc. While I respect their opinion, Scott made the call to plant the clues necessary to see Deckard as a replicant. It's his film. Everyone else is hired help. The rest of the crew and talent might have divergent opinions, but the call to make Deckard a replicant is, was, and always will be Scott's to make. I'm sure there is a mixture of attitudes among the BR crew regarding Scott's decision, but nobody's taken the time to survey everyone involved - and why should they?

  17. #227
    Mad Chester
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Chick View Post
    And at the end of the movie, Gaff announces his presence by dropping an origami unicorn...

    -Tom
    Why do you believe he "announced his presence" to Deckard at the end of the movie?

    And it's pretty funny that you consider me a part of something called an "anti-replicant faction". I'm just discussing some alternate interpretations here.

  18. #228
    New Romantic RichVR's Avatar
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    I see both sides here. And it seems that a lot of it is because of how/where/when the person first saw the movie and what they decided "the answer" was. I'm on the Deckard was a replicant side. But my first view of the movie was that he wasn't. Why? Because I originally saw the theatrical release. I thought that he might be. But the end of the movie didn't seem to support it. Having watched the director's cut, I changed my view.

    But I believe that it's the kind of film that ultimately allows different views. I'd add to the list 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Shining. The thing that I love about really good movies, I mean quality shit, is that you can have a feeling about a film. Sure, I believe that my feeling and indeed the facts here, show that Deckard was indeed a replicant.

    And a really good example for me is Being There with Peter Sellers. The wife and I literally had (and still to this day have) an ongoing argument about what the last scene meant. My feeling is that Chance (the gardener) is actually supposed to be the second coming of Christ.

    Thus he walks on water while he can stick his umbrella into it.

    My wife believes that he is so honestly unaware of his limitations, having never had them, he was like some kind of Zen person. He didn't sink into the water because he just didn't expect to.

    Who is right?

  19. #229
    New Romantic Pogue Mahone's Avatar
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    Dude, Rich, he's a replicant. That's not even in question. The debate here is whether it makes a bit of goddamn sense that Deckard is a replicant.

  20. #230
    Neo Acoustic Austin Arlitt's Avatar
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    Even I agree (at least to the best of my memory) that it might introduce some inconsistencies to the plot, but the evidence is clearly stronger that he is, and the defense I gave somewhere earlier in this thread is a good reason to prefer it artistically.

    If you think about it, it's actually more consistent with Dick's writing, always pulling reality out from under you like a rug, even at the expense of coherence or consistency. (The best version of this [ie with flaws] is The Electric Ant.)

  21. #231
    6th Grade Spelling Bee Loser World's End Supernova Rimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Austin Arlitt View Post
    If you think about it, it's actually more consistent with Dick's writing, always pulling reality out from under you like a rug, even at the expense of coherence or consistency. (The best version of this [ie with flaws] is The Electric Ant.)
    Except that, as above, he wasn't a replicant in the book.

  22. #232
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rimbo View Post
    Except that, as above, he wasn't a replicant in the book.
    It's true, he wasn't - but it is totally in keeping with Dick's fascination (some might say obsession) with paranoia and loss of identity.

  23. #233
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    Quote Originally Posted by Musashi View Post
    It doesn't matter what Dick 'would probably want'. It's Scott's film, not Dick's.
    What would Scott's film have been without Dick, though? Without Scott, Dick's work would have been what it is.

    Yeah, I think it DOES matter - but only so far as to suggest that Scott wasn't doing what one can assume Dick would have wanted, when he - later on - included the footage he claims he always intended to put in.

    I'm not sure why you think all footage is fully intended to go in a movie, but it's very, very normal to shoot all kinds of endings and twists - and then decide later on. Since Ford DIRECTLY refutes Scott about the ORIGINAL intention - I think it's safe to say there IS some doubt as to the original intention. It's just a matter of who you really want to believe.

    Personally, I don't know - I'm just saying there's no way to be certain, just going by Scott.

    Scott didn't make a film slavishly devoted to Dick's intentions. By any reasonable metric, Scott did a piss-poor job of adapting Sheep - if one's intention is to be faithful to the source material. Where's the police station full of replicants? The pet goat that Deckard wants as a pet - and in fact is the reason he takes the job, so he can afford to buy it? Gone. Rachel killing the goat? Gone. His wife, or the mood organ? Gone. The need for offworld emigration (radiation left over from WWIII, or World War Terminus as it's called in the book) isn't discussed at all. Sure, we see the blimps and hear the advertisements, but they don't say why people need to leave Earth.
    You obviously don't understand what I'm saying when I'm saying I agree the film isn't the novel. I'm talking about a single character and I'm arguing that Dick PROBABLY would have wanted ambiguity in the film about the same thing he chose to make ambiguous in the novel. Is that so hard to believe?

    And for what it's worth, there is a bit in the novel where Deckard is outright accused of being a replicant.
    Yeah, and that's part of the ambiguity. It's never proven or demonstrated clearly. Much of the novel is about things that appear natural but aren't - and you're never certain. I think it's part of the whole dystopian atmosphere - and about how unnatural we become, and how little that might matter. It's scary.

    Truth is, we will never know what Dick would have thought of Deckard being a replicant in Scott's film. Just because he doesn't go that route in his book, doesn't mean Scott doesn't do so in his film. And we can argue all we want about what Dick would have wanted, but that doesn't have any bearing on what Scott did...which is make a film in which Deckard is a replicant.
    You really don't get what I'm saying. I KNOW what Scott did in the last versions.

    My point is that there's enough "evidence" to cast doubt on Scott's later statements.

    Harrison Ford says they DEFINITELY agreed he was NOT a replicant.
    Script writer says he wasn't meant to be a replicant.
    Rutger Hauer says he was VERY surprised to hear about it and disappointed.
    The novel is deliberately ambiguous about it.

    AFAIK, this whole cyclical and rather pointless debate is about whether Deckard was ALWAYS meant to be a replicant, which some of you claim that Scott gets to decide - because he included footage to suggest that - and much later started to make it clear he always intended that.

    But the movie isn't just the final version, and it's not just Scott's work. It's all the people involved, including the script writer and the people playing the characters. If Ford was convinced he was playing a human - then I think that matters as much for his character, as what the director claims to have intended by shooting footage to support the opposite.

    Is it really so hard to believe that Scott filmed that footage, because the source material could easily be skewed either way - and he just wanted to cover all eventualities for the editing process?

  24. #234
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    BTW

    I know that Scott didn't want the voice-over narration from Ford (though it seems he did originally propose it) - and I know the original "upbeat" ending was not his intention.

    Do we have a source to prove that he was forced to hide the unicorn footage? Because I'm not sure why the producers would insist on that being removed.


    Another quote from IMDB:

    According to Ford, Ridley Scott and he agreed prior to shooting that Deckard was not a replicant, but then Scott went and shot it to imply he could be, which disappointed both Ford and Hauer.

    If it was always the intention, then why would Ford tell these lies?

  25. #235
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    A bit from wikipedia:

    These thematic elements provide an atmosphere of uncertainty for Blade Runner's central theme of examining humanity. In order to discover replicants, an empathy test is used, with a number of its questions focused on the treatment of animals—seemingly an essential indicator of someone's "humanity". The replicants appear to show compassion and concern for one another and are juxtaposed against human characters who lack empathy while the mass of humanity on the streets is cold and impersonal. The film goes so far as to put in doubt whether Deckard is human, and forces the audience to re-evaluate what it means to be human.[62]

    The question of whether Deckard is intended to be a human or a replicant has been an ongoing controversy since the film's release.[63] Both Michael Deeley and Harrison Ford wanted Deckard to be human while Hampton Fancher preferred ambiguity.[64] Ridley Scott has confirmed that in his vision Deckard is a replicant.[65][66] Deckard's unicorn dream sequence, inserted into the Director's Cut, coinciding with Gaff's parting gift of an origami unicorn is seen by many as showing that Deckard is a replicant—as Gaff could have accessed Deckard's implanted memories.[55][67] The interpretation that Deckard is a replicant is challenged by others who believe the unicorn imagery shows that the characters, whether human or replicant, share the same dreams and recognize their affinity,[68] or that the absence of a decisive answer is crucial to the film's main theme.[69] The inherent ambiguity and uncertainty of the film, as well as its textual richness, have permitted viewers to see it from their own perspectives.[70]

  26. #236
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichVR View Post
    My wife believes that he is so honestly unaware of his limitations, having never had them, he was like some kind of Zen person. He didn't sink into the water because he just didn't expect to.

    Who is right?
    Your wife.

    I actually just recently rewatched Being There, so it's nice and fresh in my mind. Chance as savior doesn't parse too much, because Chance seems blissfully unconcerned with other people. You'd expect the Second Coming to interact with people more, right?

    I love the idea of Chance as a Zen master. Then again, I would, as it would nicely justify my own life spent watching way, way too much television.

  27. #237
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    Allow me to re-iterate: nobody's opinion on this matter holds any weight other than Ridley Scott. Nobody. Not Ford's. Not Hampton Fancher's, Michael Deeley's, Rutger Hauer's. Not the lighting technicians, nor the people running craft services.

    Look, here's an analogy. Let's say you're moving to a new house. You hire movers to help out. Let's call the movers Harrison, Hampton, and Philip. Let's say Philip was the architect of the house, but fell on hard times and had to start this moving company. When you get to the new house, do you start taking suggestions from the movers where the furniture should be placed? No, of course not. They're hired help. They're doing the heavy lifting to help you achieve the living space you desire. Philip may have wonderful ideas about where to place the curio cabinet. He may even suggest you put the curio cabinet where he put his curio cabinet when he owned the house. Harrison may disagree about where you want the curio cabinet. Hampton might complain his house doesn't even have curio cabinets, and that you have horrible taste for putting a curio cabinet in your house.

    But it's your curio cabinet. Your house. Your furniture. When it comes to decorating your house, the only person whose opinion matters is you. Everyone else?

    Movers.

    Hired muscle.
    Last edited by Musashi; 05-11-2012 at 06:44 AM.

  28. #238
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    Musashi: They may not matter in a debate of Deckard's identity. That the film was shot, cut and released without Scott telling a single person of his crew or his producers about this rather major point until 10 years after release is what some of us find very, very curious. Again. No one is debating what Scott has said, nor is anyone debating that the unicorn is a sign that shows Deckard is a replicant. The debate concerns whether Deckard was always a replicant and if so, why no one else knew about it.

    By the way, was the unicorn included in the "accidental" showing of a director's cut that night in 1990? It seems that it wasn't, but I might have misunderstood that.

    Here's a clip of Scott describing Deckard as a character. Not a word about him being a replicant, obviously, since that on the whole isn't very important.
    Last edited by Hammet; 05-11-2012 at 07:28 AM.

  29. #239
    Neo Acoustic Austin Arlitt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rimbo View Post
    Except that, as above, he wasn't a replicant in the book.
    I thought it was obvious from context (particularly the part where I brought up an otherwise unrelated short story) that I meant the themes of his work as a whole.

    There's a parallel to be drawn to the subtle/explicit argument that's been going on, where what seems obvious to some of us might need to be explicitly stated like this for those of you on the other side.

    But I agree, the book is almost wholly different in its details. That's just not what we're talking about.

  30. #240
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammet View Post
    Musashi: They may not matter in a debate of Deckard's identity. That the film was shot, cut and released without Scott telling a single person of his crew or his producers about this rather major point until 10 years after release is what some of us find very, very curious. Again. No one is debating what Scott has said, nor is anyone debating that the unicorn is a sign that shows Deckard is a replicant. The debate concerns whether Deckard was always a replicant and if so, why no one else knew about it.

    By the way, was the unicorn included in the "accidental" showing of a director's cut that night in 1990? It seems that it wasn't, but I might have misunderstood that.
    I'm kind of puzzled why you assert this. Plenty of people knew about it. Many disagreed with Scott, some vocally, others less so. But it wasn't done without anyone's knowledge.

    As for the unicorn sequence, Scott dilly-dallied about for some time trying to figure out exactly what the dream sequence would be. He knew there would be one, and that it would point towards Deckard being a replicant, but he didn't know the exact substance of the dream. It was only when the film was in post-production that he decided on a unicorn. He filmed the sequence and put it in the film - but when the financiers (Tandem Productions) found out, they were unhappy...primarily because the sequence was unscripted and Scott had shot it outside of the budget. They also didn't understand it, and thought it was fruity. So they ordered Scott to remove it. That's why the unicorn sequence isn't in the Theatrical Release.

    The 1990 showing was actually the Workprint version marketed as a 'Director's Cut' Scott disowned this version of the film, although it is included on the recent 5-disc Blu-ray edition. It does not include the Unicorn Sequence.

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