Vangelis

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Blade Runner • Tears in Rain • Vangelis

Blade Runner (End Titles)
Vangelis
Blade Runner (End Titles)

Blade Runner (1982)

Vangelis

Probablemente ostente el título de film de culto por excelencia de los años ochenta. Film-noir scy-fy con tintes filosóficos y una deslumbrante puesta en escena que todavía impacta tres décadas más tarde. No pasa lo mismo con su banda sonora, que acusa el paso del tiempo como casi cualquier cosa que provenga de aquellos años: infinitos colchones de sintetizadores en sequencer, saxos melódicos, voces, climáticos teclados. Hace pocos años conoció una edición por partida doble.

Tears in Rain
Vangelis
Tears in Rain

Vangelis - Tears in Rain

I don’t know why he saved my life. Maybe in those last moments he loved life more than he ever had before. Not just his life - anybody’s life; my life. All he’d wanted were the same answers the rest of us want. Where did I come from? Where am I going? How long have I got? All I could do was sit there and watch him die.

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Blade Runner love scene

Blade Runner 2049

Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner has been considered by all to be a one of the greatest films ever put to screen. The film follows Rick Deckard, played by Harrison Ford, a retired police officer (Blade Runner) living in futuristic Los Angeles 2019. Deckard is called in once again to “retire” a group of rogue replicants, led by Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), who have escaped their slave labor from the Off- World colonies. Through the film Deckard meets Rachael (Sean Young), a replicant who is unaware of what she is, who shows Deckard another side to replicants that causes him to question his mission.

When first released Blade Runner was a critical and box office bomb, but over time it has been heralded as a masterpiece, a true indication of a film being way ahead of its time.  As a film student it almost sounds cliché to love this film and call it a masterpiece because it is such a flawed film. There currently exist seven different versions of Blade Runner which is why the film has been so divisive over the years. The final cut released in 2007 was what changed the minds of critics and audience members everywhere. The removal of the voice over and the “happy ending” and the inclusion of the unicorn scene have formed the work of art we witness today.

As far as my thoughts on Blade Runner, well, you just read them. I saw Blade Runner (the director’s cut) during some time in middle school, old enough to understand but not wise enough to get it. When I first saw it I really enjoyed it mostly because I love Harrison Ford and will watch just about anything he’s in. I’ve always had an adoration to science fiction as well; so on my first viewing I already called it a masterpiece, visually. I never understood the subtext and why it was truly regarded as a masterpiece until I saw the final cut. This version allowed for a cleaner way to tell the story and present the age old question: Is Deckard a replicant? After watching that version I have been obsessed with this film; I own every version of Blade Runner, even though I only watch the final cut, I read countless articles almost daily about the themes and various techniques presented in Blade Runner, and even my senior sweatshirt has the nickname “BLADE RUNNER” printed on the back. I hate being asked what my favorite film is and I always respond with “I haven’t experienced enough film to have a favorite” but if I honestly had to choose my answer would probably have to be Blade Runner. It always seemed like the perfect film that should not be touched to be remade or have a sequel… until now.

In 2015 a sequel was announced setting the film thirty years later with Ridley Scott set to produce and Harrison Ford planned to appear in the film as well. When the story broke my first thoughts were instant anger. I’ve never been fond of remaking a film or giving an older film an unwanted sequel; Zoolander 2, Independence Day: Resurgence, because it somewhat taints whatever magic the first one had. I genuinely had the fear that Blade Runner was going to be ruined. I told others that if this movie is bad I will cry in the theaters because the disappointment would have been too much to be angry about. Later on there were announcements of cast members, writers and a director; Denis Villeneuve, Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Robin Wright, Jared Leto, original writer Hampton Fancher! Even with all this I was not fully persuaded to the idea of a Blade Runner sequel. And then the first teaser trailer dropped. December 19, 2016 I was waiting in the car of a mall parking lot and I get the notification on my phone and watch the trailer half excited. After a minute and a half I put my phone down in silence and tears star welling up in my face. I find myself crying in a mall parking lot. It’s not because I’m appalled by the trailer but rather in awe of its beauty, thanks to cinematography by the great Roger Deakins. From that moment all I knew was that I wanted October 2017 to get here faster, I was hooked. This was my most anticipated film of 2017.

Jump forward to today, October 8, 2017, Blade Runner 2049. I was unable to see it opening night which is what I typically do for most films I’m excited about. I usually see movies with my dad and he was busy working to go with me for those first two days. I get antsy when I can’t see a film the day it comes out mostly because of potential spoilers but also because I love the feeling of seeing a film on the first day before most. I go in watching it on the biggest screen my local theater has and I’m trying to hide my excitement just in case I am disappointed, but at this point what is there that can disappoint me? After two hours and forty- three minutes I walk out, come back home and silently enter my room where I burst into tears. I look like I had just lost a family member; my face is drenched with tears and wet with mucus it’s almost embarrassing what I looked like. But I’m crying not because I was disappointed, but because I was moved, I was astonished, I was happy. There has finally been a sequel in my lifetime that holds a candle to the original while also being its own thing. It took me a good while to type this up because it was too hard for me to collect my thoughts and write this. I ‘m honestly crying at this very moment because this film lived up to my expectations and then surpassed those expectations. This film is the definition of art. My eyes take in every frame like a fine dish at a high end restaurant, I savor every moment never feeling bored. My ears respond to this beautiful score by Hans Zimmer in collaboration with Benjamin Wallfisch (It 2017) and pick up on callbacks to the original and causes my heart of soar because I adore Vangelis’ work on the original. This is Ryan Gosling’s best work as Agent K on the hunt for this undiscovered truth. I honestly have said too much by saying nothing at all and I wish I could pour my thoughts on this page but I couldn’t bear spoiling this for anyone. All you need to know is that this is truly a masterpiece that is worth the most expensive IMAX tickets and I would go out of my way to say, as I bite my tongue, that Blade Runner 2049 is better than its predecessor. 10/10.

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Vangelis - “Love Theme of Blade Runner” (Tema de Amor de Blade Runner).