According to my youngest son, I am a poor father. One of my many failings has been in his movie education. The latest complaint concerns the fact that he has never seen Bladerunner.
In my defence, my son has plenty of time to play on computer games, which he could have been using to watch movies. To be fair to him, he is a second year university Business Management student, he works a part-time job, and he is a climber. But still, I think he can shoulder some of the blame here.
So, last night we eventually settled down to watch Ridley Scott’s 1982 classic, Bladerunner. A necessary film to watch in anyone’s top list or canon of must watch movies. I remember clearly watching it for the first time, and reading Philip K. Dick’s original story, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.
I, along with my friends, was convinced most of my teachers were replicants.
The first thing which struck me, as the opening sequence of the movie began, was the setting date – 2019. Next year. There is definitely a lot of rain, where I live, but not the Tyrell Corporation’s dominant pyramidical building.
At this point, for the record, I’ve always thought that Deckard was a replicant.
So, how can you be creative like a Bladerunner. Their job is to ‘retire’ replicants, right? Isn’t that the opposite of being creative?
One of the Bladerunner’s jobs is to identify the replicants. In a world where so much is replicated, and the real and synthetic can’t easily be told apart, you need someone to look and to question and to identify what isn’t real.
Isn’t that your job as a creative?
To look at everything around you. To question everything around you. Then what you identify becomes the focus of your creativity, whether it is a painting, a photograph, a poem, or a novel.
Deckard, as already mentioned, is a replicant himself. This is the reason why he is brought out of retirement when the Nexus 6 replicants arrive back on earth. They literally are super-human, so they need to bring in someone, or something, who can match them. It is also why Gaff constantly follows Deckard around all of the time.
The photographs on the piano in Deckard’s apartment are there to reinforce his implanted memories, just as the photograph Rachel brings with her to prove she is human is.
As creatives, our vision is constructed from our memories, the people around us who have influenced us, and the situations we have found ourselves in, the books we’ve read, the movies we have watched, and the music we’ve listened to. Out of all this we gain our sense of who we are.
The Nexus 6 replicants are pursuing something greater than the menial work they were created to do. They have realised that they can be much more than they are. Roy Batty tells us, ‘I’ve seen things you wouldn’t believe’, and isn’t that our job as a creative?
We might not have a four-year life date stamp, but what could we achieve in that time, if we imagined we did?