Monday, October 16, 2017

Movie Monday: Blade Runner 2049

The original Blade Runner is one of my husbands absolute favorite films, he owns every version that has ever been released, including two copies of a few of those. I'm a fan too, but not quite to that extent. My draw to the sequel was mostly curiosity after having seen the trailer and heard the hype amongst our artist friends, along with being a fan of Ridley Scott and Denis Villeneuve. Greg and I both saw the original in the theater back in 1982, it was one of those films like Star Wars and the Matrix that caused a ripple in artistic direction.

"Ryan Gosling plays an LAPD officer heading for an encounter with Harrison Ford’s Deckard in a film whose sheer scale leaves you hyperventilating" ~ The Guardian

Although Santa Fe, New Mexico isn't quite the "movie town" that Los Angeles is, we do have lots of industry people living here which is most likely why we have an awesome new theater called The Violet Crown Cinema located at the Rail Yard, the new arts district.

So, over a week ago now, we purchased our tickets online and headed over to a 10pm showing after making ourselves a delicious meal. Since Santa Fe tends not to be a "late night" we thought the show would be fairly empty, especially since we were the only ones in the theater when we bought our tickets online. To our surprise, by the time the film started the theater was almost filled from teens to the silver hair community like Greg and myself.

Blade Runner 2049 is an extraordinary visual epic, which had me gasping at rich hued landscapes, in fact I had a hard time keeping my convulsive utterances silent. The set design, use of color, sound and music push this lucid dreamscape into new boundaries of cinematic excellence. Even the opening scene with the Columbia picture logo suggests you are entering something visionary in film history.

The story begins thirty years after the first film in wasteland Los Angeles with Ryan Gosling and his very cool futuristic car. Gosling is an LAPD officer named "KD6.3-7" hunting first generation replicants. As I write this it occurs to me that this film , like the first, is going to be more for men than women Although not quite as patriarchal as the first Blade Runner, this futuristic dystopia is very male driven, despite several strong female characters like Lieutenant Joshi played by Robin Wright. My favorite scene is with a female character we encounter working with an insect in what appears to be a tropical forest, this is the only scene with nature and offers some hope due to her very creative power of imagination.

It's pretty amazing to conceive that the first film was based on the simple short story "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" by Phillip K. Dick. Hmmm, could the middle initial in Phillips name be a reference to our protagonist?

Ryan Goslings character K is subjected to a “Post-Trauma Baseline Test” each time he returns from a mission where he responds to specific key words. The test contains a verse from Nabokov's novel "Pale Fire", a nice little piece thrown in to compound the mystery and captivate book nerds.

I couldn't help but remember of Somni-415 of Cloud Atlas throughout this majestic journey into a surreal nightmare that suggests humans and their need for greed and technology have led is down a very dark future. I didn't have a problem with the length of the film, 152 minutes, in fact I was thrilled that the eye candy continued for as long as it did and delighted in the slow pace of the journey.

What fragrances shall we associate with the dystopic worlds of the Blade Runner films, would they be the same or different? Dark, dusty, melancholic and lifeless are some descriptives that come to mind. Blade Runner 2049 references a tree which made me think of frankincense when I saw it onscreen. Since frankincense has a bit of a dusty element in some varieties that could work nicely as a note to build upon. My fragrances featuring frankincense would be Vespertina and Chaparral, which don't quite work. Perhaps Figure 1: Noir, what do you think?

Images: Stolen movie promotional material from various sites on the internet.

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