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Blade Runner News Archive - 2004 (Apr-Jun)

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Please note that most links are not revised. Although correct when originally written, the nature of news means that I cannot guarantee that any particular link will still be valid today.

30 Jun 2004 'So Long Been Dreaming is "an anthology of postcolonial science fiction short stories written exclusively by people of colour"' - according to, it includes a short story called "Rachel" - 'a tidy riff on Blade Runner from the Replicant's perspective'.
26 Jun 2004 Joanna Cassidy participated in an event, 40 Fabulous Faces, where celebrity women were asked to create self portraits, the sale of which will benefit the charity of their choice, (she named the International Institute of Traumatic Healing). The portraits went on sale on eBay. Joanna's portrait has her description, "This probably would have taken a year to do it justice, but instead I attacked it fast and furious. I loved doing it. The result is a self-conscious collage. I can't analyze it. I'll leave it up to the buyer. There is something there, though." Unfortunately, most of the portraits in this effort failed to sell - perhaps because with a starting price of $250 and limited to USA only, they closed off most of their potential buyers before starting.
25 Jun 2004 In my occasional celebration of the totally obscure Blade Runner reference, (i.e. BR as cultural reference point), here is a review on The Art Institute of Portland’s annual fashion show. In an amusing article, Jill Spitznass (must remember that name for my novel...) comments, 'I loved Stina Johnson’s skirt and tube top combo, made of woven black elastic and silver rings — very “Blade Runner” goes to the Oscars.'
23 Jun 2004 Spiked offers another view on the potential reality of flying cars, (to add to that of Syd Mead earlier this month). Given the current number of car accidents in two dimensions, I still can't see flying cars happening on a large scale in the foreseeable future - certainly not until flight control is copmpletely automated, but the cost of creating the infrastructure to control that is prohibitive.
20 Jun 2004 "I AM ALIVE AND YOU ARE DEAD" - A Journey Into the Mind of Philip K. Dick. By Emmanuel Carrère and Translated by Timothy Bent. A book that apparently has an 'alternative' way of telling a biography - one that Charles Taylor of The New York Times savages mercilessly.
18 Jun 2004 Film endings - sometimes brilliant, sometimes controversial, sometimes multiple alternatives. Blade Runner - which ending do you prefer? There are many views on both. The Age has an article on endings, including a bit on BR. The view expressed is certainly not mine, but of course one of the great things about BR is that there can be so many interpretations living side by side.
17 Jun 2004 The Chronicles of Riddick has a more positive review in The Advocate, this time with a more direct reverence to Blade Runner - to its "gloominess" (what others might call a certain style).
16 Jun 2004 The Blade Runner Chronicles - a Fan Film in production - has a teaser trailer up. Check it out - it is looking very good.
16 Jun 2004 The new Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame in Seattle that I've mentioned here before is ready to open. This Friday, the doors will open and many SF fans will pour in and hopefully be impressed. Many props from SF film and television are already there including a spinner from Blade Runner. Check Reuters for more details. For a sneak peak review, check Slashdot. Apparently another feature in the museum is computer-generated cityscapes, including BR, of course.
15 Jun 2004 The Stepford Wives - obviously the original has strong parallels with BR. The new one, being bigger budget, with populist stars and made as a comedy, is unlikely to match the original's bite. Perhaps summed up in this review in NewYorkPress (end of page) where Armond White finds the humanity missing from the humans and references Rachael's crying in BR as the symbol that the makers of the new Stepford Wives should have taken note of. Or are we simply now in a place where Hollywood not only makes the robots in their latest films look like cute and unthreatening machine toys, but they may as well replace the humans who offer nothing more themselves.
14 Jun 2004 Blade Runner architectural - influence, or simply description? Is the description even accurate? You decide in this Guardian review of the Peter Jones department store in London.
11 Jun 2004 The Chronicles of Riddick was not a film I was expecting to be mentioned alongside Blade Runner, although actually it is more the Akron Beacon Journal movie critic admitting the possibility that his mildly negative review might in retrospect look like some of the negative reviews of BR when it came out. Though he thinks not. If a major SF action film does indeed try to introduce some depth, philosophical questioning and emotional complexity, then I am all in favour, even if in the end they are not fully realised. The trailers look good.
07 Jun 2004 So when exactly can we all fly around in spinners? According to Syd Mead, it could be a while...
02 Jun 2004 I recommend Donnie Darko to any BR fan, not because it is any way similar, but because it reaches beyond the obvious in a way that most films don't. But why should this film, like Blade Runner, not have done well at the box office? It did okay in NY and LA and very well in Britain (where the downbeat theme song became the 'surprise' Christmas number one song). And then into DVD where it has certainly made its money back. And now? Well, the Director's Cut of course. And just like BR, there is scope for the OV and the DC to co-exist. More on all of this in The Seattle Times.
31 May 2004 Ever thought what the BR city would look like if it wasn't dirty and dark? Well, Isabel Carlos has and it looks a bit like Sydney. Isabel is curator-in-chief of the 14th Biennale - a major international arts event in Sydney. "Carlos says she has shaped the 10-week event to offer a promenade of art through a city she once perceived as a clean and light version of the film Blade Runner." So as people walk through the city, they will see some of the art outside the museums, perhaps enticing them in, but also celebrating the city itself. Read more in the Sydney Morning Herald.
29 May 2004 So what do you know about Gnosticism? An ancient, disappeared and then revived again religion, it is incorporated into many things. The Matrix stuff, the His Dark Materials trilogy (good reading!) and of course PKD. To find out more, why not read the Weekend Australian.
28 May 2004 Although the BR comparisons are usually positive, there are sometimes the weird "this is not" Blade Runner comparisons, such as this MacNewsWorld article that tells us that Toronto's new Air Canada terminal has cool but unreliable features in the same way as Microsoft Windows...
27 May 2004 Regulars here will know that I delight in finding the occasional extremely obscure Blade Runner comparisons that sometimes appear in news articles so it should be no surprise that I just have to alert your attention to this article talking about dead wasps hanging over a child's bicycle - yes, that is just soooo Blade Runner...
27 May 2004 Is 'Casshern' likely to replace Blade Runner as the de facto dystopian future vision? Well, no, but it certainly sounds interesting in this IHT review.
27 May 2004 One of the technologies in Blade Runner that people are forever pursuing is the Esper computer - specifically the program that allows zooming in on details of images. So, no surprise that it is referenced in articles talking of detectives using similar software to enhance individual video frames to find incriminating evidence. This MTV article is about alleged video of underage sex by R. Kelly which some might find disturbing.
26 May 2004 Blade Runner II is a reality! Err... okay that's true, but of course it doesn't refer to a film. We're talking boats here. The first Blade Runner was built in 2000 by Aveco and the second is twice as long - "a 75m motorised shallow water barge to be used to transport wind turbine blades from Newport to Southampton". Bet you really wanted to know that! The irony is that it comes from Teesside which inspired the opening Hades cityscape in BR. Read the article if you like.
21 May 2004 One cannot look at the array of interesting films presented in a film festival like Cannes without finding something that can have the Blade Runner adjective applied somehow. The film that pops up this year is 'Clean', by Olivier Assayas. The Toronto Star says it "opens on a smashingly Blade Runner-ish vista of Hamilton's industrial harbour, and continues to look smashing for the rest of its running time"
20 May 2004 David Jung is an artist inspired by Blade Runner. His 'Maker Day' exhibition at the Numark Gallery (Washington) even has a Nexus 7 exhibit you might like to see. However, given the Washington Post's review, perhaps you won't.
19 May 2004 The disaster movie 'The Day After Tomorrow'has faint echoes in Blade Runner - a post-disaster world. What the environmental disaster has been in Blade Runner is open to interpretation, but there is no doubt that the world is no longer healthy. And this new film? Well, it is based on the extremes of scientific possibilities, but yet is rooted in real science. What is perhaps odd is it being used in political games. But maybe that was inevitable given the US government arrogance ignoring the warnings and shunning international treaties signed by almost every other country in the world. But when the USA has 4% of the population of the world and creates a quarter of the world's air pollution, it is clear that the oil lobby are just as strong in this arena as when they promote the USA engaging in stupid wars. Guardian article.
17 May 2004 In DADoES, one of the most interesting things not translated to the film Blade Runner is the Penfield Mood Organ. With a fifth of people in modern Western society suffering from some sort of mental issue each year and a significant portion of those suffering from serious depression, one wonders what we would do if we could simply 'change our mood' artificially. Well at least Newsweek Health is wondering about it. Too many drugs are anathema to some of us, (particularly people like me who have to live our whole lives with a predisposition to depression), and the answer has to be self-neuro control. But what if the automated version was available - what would I - what would YOU do? And would you use it even if you didn't need it?
17 May 2004 Blade Runner is more than just a film from 1982. It is a continuing artistic influence - a part of culture and sub-cultures all around the world. An example of this is James Zabiela sticking it in his DVJX1 to play with it on screen at one of his gigs. Okay, even I'm not sure exactly what that means, but Resident Advisor tells you all about James and what he is up to.
16 May 2004 Sir Ridley Scott is making one of seven short films as part of 'All The Invisible Children' which is "a unique project featuring seven short films about the plight of children around the world." Read about the project in the Scotsman (after other news of Eddie Izzard, etc.)
14 May 2004 With our robot servant tending to our needs and our robot pet to love, what better than to settle down to play a virtual computer game? And where better than E3 to find out what's new? Read all about the biggest games show at the BBC or Newsweek.
12 May 2004 In the last article, we were presented with the artificial human in fiction. In this article, we are presented with the artificial animal in real life. We are, at the beginning of the 21st Century, already straying into DADoES territory. In a world where some people name their car and even talk to it, (albeit in my case more swearing than talking), it is no big surprise that the increasing presence of robot animals are gaining an emotional place in our society. Not just as toys, but as real pets, imbued with emotional ties and even anthropomorphised. Except that your robo-cat can also double as your iPod. And after the obvious dog and cat, where do the robo-pet makers go next? A sheep? No thanks. I'll have me a baby triceratops please.
12 May 2004 As we face a Hollywood Summer filled with artificial people, as in I, Robot, Van Helsing starring Frankenstein's 'monster', Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and the Stepford Wives remake, there will inevitably be many articles on robots and recreating humanity. This NYT article republished in the International Herald Tribune is one of the intelligent views on the history of the robot in fiction and puts forward that ever more relevant possibility that perhaps we are increasingly relating positively to the robots in fiction because we are gradually becoming more like them.
05 May 2004 Is the futuristic rebuilding of Beijing BladeRunneresque or simply the application of the latest architectural technology to bring the city into Olympic mode? Read and decide for yourself.
04 May 2004 A Scanner Darkly - another of PKD's stories coming to film - looks like being at least interesting. Joining KeaNeo are Winona Ryder, Robert Downey Jr and Woody Harrelson, although according to Empire, as Richard Linklater is rotoscoping and animating the thing, he has more control than most directors on the end result.
29 Apr 2004 Do you think the 1995 Judge Dredd film cityscape owed a lot to Blade Runner? Then you won't be surprised that the new Dredd films also will. "The film will be dark, more like 'The Crow' with the look of 'Blade Runner,' but dark comedy must have a role in Dredd's world," says producer Silvio Astarita as reported in this Comic Reel article.
29 Apr 2004 'In the liner notes to this DVD, Tartakovsky notes that some of his most profound influences included Conan the Barbarian, The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, Star Wars, Blade Runner, and Seven Samurai. Suffice to say, if this range of influences sounds good to you, chances are you will adore Samurai Jack.' Interested? Read the DVD Talk article. Or Digitally Obsessed.
29 Apr 2004 Well, I have to mention Kill Bill 2, or as I prefer to think of it, the second half. And of course Daryl Hannah's great role having a big fight with Uma. This article includes some comments by Daryl.
28 Apr 2004 Occasionally the 'Blade Runner' spiders bring me back the odd completely not Blade Runner related article, but sometimes they are curiously related in a roundabout way. As in this definitely not electric sheep - an article in the Guardian which is very ... errr... interesting...
27 Apr 2004 If you want to know the Science Fiction future, then don't bother with L.A. - you need to check out Liverpool. this is where you'll find the international centre for science fiction studies. Home of the Science Fiction Foundation Collection and also Andy Sawyer, director of science fiction studies at Liverpool University. Check out what the Liverpool Daily Post has to say about this.
27 Apr 2004 Syd Mead (Visual Futurist on BR) has influenced many others. One of those is Alex Rockman who creates amazing images of a genetically modified future as reported in the Grauniad.
14 Apr 2004 I've mentioned this before and now it is up. A 10-metre high beacon of light in Middlesbrough that can change colour by having a text message sent to it. Read about Spectra-txt.
14 Apr 2004 More on Daryl Hannah.
14 Apr 2004 More on the SFM.
14 Apr 2004 For non-UK TV viewers, this is totally meaningless. For UK TV viewers it is ... well ... fairly meaningless. Apparently Linda Barker's favourite movies are Blade Runner and LotR. Like you cared. And yet, in a funny kind of way, it is strangely interesting in a perverse kind of way.
13 Apr 2004 Catch up with Daryl Hannah who has been doing much more lately than just her chilling role as Elle Driver in Kill Bill. On ESPN of all places.
13 Apr 2004 Megazone 23 Part 1 is coming out on DVD according to AnimatedBliss. "A classic title from the eighties’ 'Golden Age of Anime,'the three-part Megazone 23 is a refreshing blast of intellectual science-fiction and rousing action in the tradition of The Matrix and Blade Runner. Megazone was anime’s first successful OVA ('original video animation') release and was used by Harmony Gold to create Robotech the Movie in the eighties."
11 Apr 2004 "Game on as Hollywood logs on to the PlayStation generation" - The Observer reports on top directors taking control of video games. For instance, Ridley and Tony Scott areseeking a game designer to form a partnership with them. "RS reasons that games offer greater creative potential because they are less costly to make than films and not limited to two or three hours. 'The idea that a world, the characters that inhabit it, and the stories those characters share can evolve with the audience's participation and, perhaps, exist in a perpetual universe is very exciting to me,' he said." Also reported in IHT.
08 Apr 2004 The Las Vegas Mercury talks about the automotive industry and conspiracies. Also talks of the Las Vegas car show which will feature Gene Winfield (BR car maestro) with "The Thing"--a 1927 Model T coupe he originally modified for drag racing in the 1950s.
08 Apr 2004 Cyberpunk visionary Richard K. Morgan takes on the future - as reported by Metroactive. He talks of the upcoming film version of his book, (a Joel Silver film) "'I've seen an early draft. They've given Kovacs a daughter, to humanize him. They've taken this scary, heartless mercenary and given him the disfiguring scar of morality.' Even so, Morgan is looking forward to seeing how modern special effects will re-create the brutal, pitiless world he's imagined for the year 2550. Citing Ridley Scott's Blade Runner as an example of a science fiction film that still holds up after time, Morgan explains what he sees as the major problem with futuristic films and books. 'The thing about Blade Runner,' he says, 'it was made 22 years ago, but it still looks like the future. That's no mean achievement. I can't think of any other science-fiction movie, with the possible exception of Alien, that still looks like the future. Every old science-fiction film about the future--and many of the books--seem horribly, horribly outdated now. There's a shot of a computer and you think, 'Aw man, I have something more sophisticated than that on my desk at home.' In Blade Runner, you watch it today and it still looks like the possible near future.'"
08 Apr 2004 Progress on the Sci-fi museum I have previously mentioned that is being built in Seattle. Two months to go according to Seattle P-I. One of the main four sections of the museum is "Brave New Worlds" which features Blade Runner and "uses sophisticated computer technology to look at some fantastic futuristic worlds" and also "looking at what kind of choices we need to make now to avoid such places."
01 Apr 2004 Quite often, things in the real world are positively compared to Blade Runner. Sometimes the comparison is good or bad depending on how you feel about a rainy, overcrowded, futuristic society. And sometimes the comparison reflects something that is just plain bad - as in this article about AIDS in South Africa.

If you see a Blade Runner article not listed, please send me the link so I can add it.