01/06/2009. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
pub: BFI Publishing/MacMillan. 96 page illustrated enlarged paperback. Price: £ 9.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-8517062-3-8.
check out website: www.palgrave.com
Books about the film 'Blade Runner' sell remarkably well. This one from the BFI is on its eighth reprinting would should speak for itself how well it's done since its first printing in 1997. Unlike the Paul Sammon book on the subject, there are over twenty full colour photos from the film in it and many aren't the standard stills you've seen in the media mags.
OK, I guess that's got your attention. Like all these BFI books, they are pocket-size and don't take up much space if you want to take them on holiday or a trip for a quick fix. Author Scott Bukatman quotes from various sources but also expresses his own opinions on all things 'Blade Runner' and often reminds of things you might have forgotten or over-looked. 'Blade Runner' itself is supposed to be a futuristic slang for 'Bounty Hunter' for instance.
Watch the film again and do the substitution even if the film title itself was chosen because it needed something shorter and more commercial than 'Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?' It'll be interesting one day if someone decides to make a film closer to Phil Dick's original book as there's still plenty of time to manoeuvre without either clashing.
Bukatman spends a lot of time debating the differences and merits of being human and Replicant and how close the two are. I never realised that Roy Batty actually represents a racist aspect of being in the minority before. Replicants were created to do the dirtiest jobs off-world and what do they get for their labour? Four years life before a genetic based shut-down or if they rebel, getting shot dead by a Blade Runner.
No wonder they rebelled and with such a short life expediency, I doubt if their voice would ever be heard. Surprisingly, had Batty not killed Tyrell then his work with the extended life for Rachael would probably have advanced the Replicant place in society. A total home goal.
From the above, you should have spotted that I got something from this book that I hadn't from the others I've read on the subject. There's also a full list of the film's credits plus a comprehensive bibliography in case you've missed any books discussing the subject. There's a lot of material for such a small size so it's worthy of your consideration.
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