…it never manifested, not even a little bit. Just remember that.
Obviously a fascinating cult film and a phenomenal atmosphere thing, but the perpetual nightscape, constant acid rain, smokestacks belching fireballs into the black muck, too many people, vast disparities between street culture and high-rise corporate sanctums, flying taxis, huge video billboards, Times Square meets corporate Bangkok meets smoggy Seoul meets endless squalor….Blade Runner was basically over-imagined, over-produced and quite delusional.
Three and 1/3 years ago: Ridley Scott‘s Blade Runner milieu — nightmarish, gloom-ridden, poisoned — is obviously a trip in itself and great to wallow in, but the sprawl of real-world Los Angeles has exposed that realm as absolute noir-fetish fanboy bullshit.
“Blade Runner 2049 is, of course, a prophecy of ecological run to come, and that’s where we’re definitely heading with criminals like Scott Pruitt running the EPA,” I wrote on 10.7.17, “but BR49‘s idea of what Los Angeles will look like 32 years hence is almost surely just as ludicrous as Scott’s.
The twin Blade Runner realms have sunk their visions into our heads and will probably never be dissipated. But facts are facts. Los Angeles of 2021 doesn’t bear the faintest resemblance to Ridley Scott’s nightmare city. Because 39 years after the release of Scott’s film, today’s Los Angeles isn’t even accidentally reflected by Scott’s toxic metropolis. Air quality and Long Beach oil refineries aside, there isn’t even a coincidental depiction that rings true.
George Orwell’s 1984 wasn’t validated by reality 37 years ago, but it has been semi-validated since, at least as far as everyone having lost their privacy and paying obsessive attention to Big Brother-ish Twitter banshees doing their level best to intimidate, condemn and control.
But the Los Angeles of today isn’t even suggested by Scott’s toxic metropolis. Air quality and Long Beach oil refineries aside, there isn’t even a coincidental depiction that rings true.
Excerpt: “Where did the Blade Runner universe actually come from? From legitimate fears of industrial ruination, of course, but also from the despairing, fatalistic moods and attitudes that once resided inside Philip K. Dick, Ridley Scott, Hampton Fancher, David Peoples, Jordan Cronenweth, and, one could argue today, from the devotional geeks who regard the handed-down Blade Runner vision as absolute gospel, and have now made a film about that devotion.”