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New York SF Convention 2002

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Rutger Hauer and Joe Turkel share their experiences
Rutger Hauer and Joe Turkel talk about Blade Runner. Photo courtesy of Rutger's site.

Patrick Meaney attended and shares his experience with us.

Saturday June 30, I was at the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Creators Convention in NYC, which was attended by Joe Turkel and Rutger Hauer. After, there was a screening of the film, which both attended; there they did a great question and answer session.

The biggest line at the convention was for Rutger, which was good to see. I decided to go to see Rutger after the line had dropped a bit, but by the time I decided to return, Rutger was gone. However, I did get to Joe Turkel as he was packing up. He was very nice, and had no problem talking with me even though he was packing up. I gave him a letter I wrote with some information about the newgroup, and, but he doesn't have a computer, so he won't be able to access it. However, he did say he would mail me something soon, which was nice.

After checking out the con, I went over to the theater, to see the film.. Before the screening, Rutger read a speech off his laptop, something he claimed to have used before, about the importance of fans and such. He fielded a couple of questions, and then it was time for the film. It was the director's cut, a pretty bad print, but it's still Blade Runner in a theater. I'd only seen it on my 13 inch TV, so I noticed a lot of little details that I hadn't seen before. The lighting and some of the effects are much more impressive on the big screen also. The thing that still surprises me the most after seeing the filma bunch of times is the quality of the music. Vangelis' music is a huge factor in the success of the film, perfectly complimenting the silent scenes in Deckard's apartment, and the spinner scenes.

There was a decent crowd there, probably about half the theater was full, but it seemed to be mostly serious fans. I saw a Blade Runner Rep-Detect hat, and a Blade Runner shirt. Most people seemed to be pretty knowledgeable about the film, and gave Rutger and Joe a big round of applause when their names appeared in the credits.

After the screening, Rutger and Joe Turkel did an hour long Q&A with the audience. Both of them were great, highly entertaining, even during a lot of off topic rants. Hauer confirmed that he crafted the speech at the end, by deleting almost all of what was a full-page monologue, and by adding the tears in rain bit. He felt that the film should end right after Roy's death, with the dove flying off, which I have to disagree with.

We need to see Deckard going with Rachael to show that Roy's lesson takes. Hauer said that Deckard being a replicant takes away a lot of the dramatic impact of the film, which I agree with. He said that a replicant saving a replicant lacks the power of a replicant saving a human. Rutger feels it was Ridley's vision that made Blade Runner more than the typical sci-fi movie. He signed on after seeing conceptual drawings from Ridley, and feels that it was Ridley's attention to detail that made the film work.

Turkel echoed this, stressing the importance of "conceptualization" when making a film. Hauer said that he would run ideas for the character by Ridley and use what they both liked. Hauer didn't seem to think much of Harrison Ford, he said that he seemed very indifferent, but it worked for the character. Turkel said his presence made it a very heavy film, which worked for the story.

Hauer said that Dick's book wouldn't have made a good film if it was translated directly to the screen, and that the changes they made were necessary. He basically said that the book doesn't matter, it's the film that comes out of it. Turkel said Kubrick had the same idea with The Shining. Ironically, the person who asked this question was writer Colleen Doran, who I had seen at the con earlier, and I doubt she would want Hauer involved with an adaptation of her material after that answer.

Hauer was very against the programming that television gives people. After someone asked him what his favorite film to work on was, he went on a rant, claiming that he was programmed to ask the question.

Joe Turkel wasn't as on topic about the film as Rutger, but he was still entertaining. He told a lot of stories about Kubrick, and made fun of the "digitilization" of pictures today. He stressed the attention to detail that Kubrick and Scott had as one of the reasons they were great directors.

After the Q&A, I gave Rutger a letter with information on the newsgroup, and he put it in a bag, so he may visit at some point. Both Joe and Rutger were available to fans after the Q&A, which was nice. Overall, they were great, having spent a 13 hour day with fans. The Q&A was taped, so you may see it on the upcoming DVD. It was a great experience. Seeing Blade Runner on the big screen alone would have been enough to warrant a trip to NYC, but to meet two of the actors, and hear them talk about the film made it even better.

Interestingly, Rutger said that Blade Runner is entering a decline. He claimed that the film would be vanishing from the public eye for a while, but I think with the new DVD, it will still remain prominent.


Check out photos and audio clips from this event on Rutger Hauer's own site.

Rutger Hauer will be attending the Collectormania2 Show in Milton Keynes in the UK on 20-22 September. There will be a showing of Blade Runner with Rutger doing a Q&A session afterwards as he did in New York. Check out Rutger's Site and the Show site. Rutger will also be visiting Stockholm for an SF Convention there 26-27 October.


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