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Blade Runner News Archive - 2005 (Oct-Dec)

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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.

31 Dec 2005 Honda's robot Asimo is now five years old and while last year it was learning to run, this year it has been learning how to do simple tasks in an office environment. (See Reuters.) MRZine looks at what that actually means and includes a fantasy plot for a film where, like Blade Runner, new Coffee Bots, having replaced "Office Ladies", develop political consciousness... Very amusing. After that the article gets serious about female, youth and worker demographics and attitudes and their future impact on Japan, so if that doesn't interest you, you might want to stop reading at that point. (Though I found it interesting.)
30 Dec 2005 BBC Radio 4's Today programme had a four minute piece yesterday on the influence of Philip K. Dick on Hollywood. Click here to listen to it (in .ram).
27 Dec 2005 Vincent SchiavelliCharacter actor Vincent Schiavelli has died. I'm sure if you have watched more than a few movies, you will recognise him. And as Steve K. reminds us, "Schiavelli did the voice of the one and only 'Bullet Bob' Gorsky in the Blade Runner video game."
25 Dec 2005 Merry Xmas, or something. Actually I'm not typing this on Christmas Day and celebrated Yule a few days before, but whatever you celebrate, I hope it was better than average. In this frame of mind, I turn to a satirical view of the world at Mainly a rant about Good and Evil in today's mythology, though does provide what is potentially the basis for a good debate - is one of the reasons Blade Runner so enjoyable to some of us because it doesn't fit neatly into the "good and evil" model that drives so many other stories?
22 Dec 2005 In PopMatters, Colin Harvey talks about endings - to novel, film and particularly video game. Should the latter need endings? Do we want them? If a game is carried through with a narrative, is it not almost obligatory to have a decent climax? Colin relates the use of the Blade Runner film(s) in the Game Cultures course he teaches. And how the ending can affect the entire experience.
15 Dec 2005 The author of this article suggests cricketer Peter McGlashan looks like a character out of Blade Runner - the orange eyes probably being the most suggestive. Modified and experimental sports clothes, etc. are simply incremental advances, but the orange contact lenses by Nike, being tested out by players of various sports are a definite leap into the future. They are designed for high speed sports like baseball and cricket to enhance the contrast between colours, thus improving vision of the ball. To me this is nothing less than turning the player into a cyborg. Ordinary contacts may, in an extreme definition classify the wearer as a cyborg, but they are designed to correct faulty vision. These new ones are for enhancing the player's vision beyond 'normal' human ability. A small step perhaps and many would argue no different to scientifically researched clothing, equipment, etc.
Except it is.
13 Dec 2005 If you know much about Trance music, (not that I do), but if you do, you will know BT, who basically got it all going. When Brian Transeau was asked by iZotope what made him want to get into composing film scores, (The Fast and the Furious, Go, Stealth, Under Suspicion and Monster), he replied, "It was riding my bike up to the movie theater when I was a kid and watching Blade Runner. I watched it six times and decided it was the coolest thing I had seen or heard. From that point onward I wanted to score films."
12 Dec 2005 Pinocchio's desire to be human means the tale must eventually be included in any far-reaching discussion of Blade Runner. But not so much the Disney prettied-up version. The original 19th century Italian creation of Carlo Lorenzini was not so nice, first running away, then getting his poor creator arrested, killing the Talking Cricket who acts as his conscience and ending up hanging from a tree. Eventually resurrected, he continues his bad ways until the very end when he redeems himself. And if you can't draw parallels with Blade Runner from that story, you need to switch on your brain. The Royal Opera House (London) is putting on a production of Pinocchio based more on the original incarnation, according to The Independent.
11 Dec 2005 Perhaps a more realistic list of films than the ABC vote mentioned below is the Cinematical's list of seven SF movies that non-SF fans might like ... though still of course including Blade Runner.
08 Dec 2005 Are you a geek? Whether you are or not, you may be interested to know that Blade Runner came top of the Guardian newspaper's poll of Greatest Geek Movies. A slightly, not greatly, different list to the Guardian 'experts' 2004 article of Top Ten SF Movies.
04 Dec 2005 Blade Runner makes third place in an Australian "Best Film" vote for ABC TV. LotR not too surprisingly comes first. Amelie rather surprisingly comes second. Check it out at The Age or the ABC site.
19 Nov 2005 I mentioned the short animated film "Fragile Machine" back in August, but worth another mention I think. fps magazine chats to Ben Steele about the film of "a woman engineered into an android" (well, cyborg). Also check out the Aoineko main site and the Fragile Machine site.
15 Nov 2005 Boston's Weekly Dig checks out the Juan Maclean and his music - influenced by Blade Runner as evidenced by "Less than Human".
15 Nov 2005 With dystopian future films, it goes without saying that somone in charge is bad, that rich and poor are separated by an even larger gap than ever, and that there will be futuristic designs in abundance - of buildings, of clothes, of objects. Though, the best (like Blade Runner) will incorporate future retro design as well. But here is a warning not to directly associate the "total design" of the future with the totalitarianism often portrayed. The dramatic extreme of potential futures required to make a good future dystopia is probably not caused by the future design.
A side aspect of this article that occurred to me was the use of BR as image. Not just as the DVD of a good movie we might carry with us when travelling, but as symbology - a conceptual viewpoint of the future that passes as international image currency. Even as a state of mind? Today it is raining. My mind turns to BR. I close the blinds so I don't see the trees outside, but imagine the vast cityscape where I will never actually live but somehow is part of my psyche anyway.
15 Nov 2005 The Xbox 360 game console is about to be launched and so there is a certain buzz in certain circles with the move to High Definition, etc. But the console is useless without good games, so there is even more buzz about the games. One of them caught my eye - Perfect Dark Zero - you can see some new screenshots here - along with that inevitable description... that it has "Blade Runner-esque environments". Well, of course it does!
10 Nov 2005 Are you a nerd? Is it 3004? Well watch out for the Nerd Hunter then. He's gonna hunt you down, because in 3004, it is illegal to be a nerd on Earth, punishable by death. This is actually an 8 minute film by Jon Schnepp - "Nerd Hunter 3004" and is mostly a spoof of Blade Runner. Film Threat reports.
08 Nov 2005 When a screenwriter is so recognised for one particular film as Hampton Fancher is with Blade Runner, he tends to be mentioned all over with that specific reference. So today I'll point you to the 2005 Hampton Fancher in the news. Reported as advisor on a film "made with assistance from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and New York University". The film, called Rigodon, is about "the spiritual journeys of three Filipino immigrants in post-9/11 New York City -- chasing after the American dream amid prevailing suspicion, racial profiling and government crackdowns". Read the full story at ABS-CBN.
08 Nov 2005 Would you be interested if I told you that November 11-13, Edinburgh will host the European Biomedical Ethics Film Festival? How about if I mention it is to showcase a number of films related to bioethics, human cloning and stem cell research ... like Blade Runner perhaps? (except see end of this entry) Some fictional films plus some documentaries on the subject matter will be shown. The idea that this group of scientists had is that maybe they could engage the public more on discussion of these sensitive and oft misunderstood issues. (And there will be debates with scientists and other guests including religious representation.) It is likely to be well received in Britain with its generally pro-science attitude. I wonder how it would play in the USA with ... well lets just say vastly more people who push political-religious viewpoints. But there is hope - I first found out about this in the US-based Science and Theology News. NB: Unfortunately, Blade Runner is no longer being shown and is replaced by 6th Day - according to the Ethics of Cloning section of the Edinburgh film festival site.
04 Nov 2005 I'm sure most people reading this page know that Blade Runner was loosely based on PKD's book "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep." PKD was nervous of his novel being made into a film because he distrusted Hollywood. But what of all the writers who are very much hoping their book gets optioned for both movie and video game? Should the studios be involved in "helping" the book be even more suitable for turning into a film even before the author has finished it? According to this press release, the studios are getting involved earlier and earlier, even before the first draft is done. A dangerous situation for writing - just look at the Jeter book sequel to Blade Runner. It reads like somebody describing a film and ends up being rather a poor effort as a consequence.
03 Nov 2005 So, is there any chance that Los Angeles in 2019 will really resemble the Blade Runner image? Actually, yes. Check the Los Angeles Daily News to see why.
01 Nov 2005 "The government is pouring money into cutting-edge museums, performing-arts spaces, and convention centers. Not surprisingly, there has been a trickle-down effect, as the recent wave of infrastructure has inspired galleries, stores, and restaurants to open near the new buildings. Industrial wastelands are being reinvented as vibrant, hip neighborhoods. Right, you're thinking, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao." No, really - that's what you're thinking. And you're especially thinking about "British architect Norman Foster's Blade Runner-esque subway stations." You really are. Well, read this Budget Travel Online article on Bilbao in Spain and then perhaps you will.
01 Nov 2005 In a slightly different view of the future of technology and energy, Line56 has an article titled. "Hitting Camels in the Butt - The march of technology has a human cost" or to quote William Gibson, "What the public wanted was the future." What is our future and where will the energy to drive it come from?
30 Oct 2005 There are always people who will point to the future and tell us how bad it will be. How we are inevitably going to end up with that Blade Runneresque future. And perhaps they're right. casts an eye on the future and our sources of energy and points out some stark facts. Given that even oil companies predict the world's oil production will peak no later than 2025, we really should be listening and doing something about it now.
29 Oct 2005 The Blade Runner game really stood out - as one of thebest ever movie-to-game adaptations, as an adventure game in its own right, and even amongst all computer games. But where are all the other great adventure games to follow it? TG Daily ponders this question.
28 Oct 2005 A week or so ago I pointed to a music-related person referencing Roy Batty's final words. Lo and behold, here's another. Tom Behrendt uses the short speech to initiate explanation of what his debut album is all about. Read about it in OnMilwaukee.
25 Oct 2005 Rain. What would BR be without it? (well ... dry I suppose ... but never mind that - the rain adds 'atmosphere'). And where has the reputation for being rainy - well good old blighty, (or the British Isles to you non-British folk). And icwales has an article bemoaning the rain. Bollocks! This whole thing about it being so extremely rainy in Britain is complete crap. For example, Jerusalem in Israel has a higher annual rainfall than London. London has 23-28" of rain, but in Champaign, Illinois, they have 35". In Paris, they have almost three times as much rainfall as London. The difference is that in England, it tends to drizzle, whereas in the Bahamas it tends to deluge. i.e. the rain in England falls over many more days. That is why it seems more rainy - not because there is more rain, but because it is spread out over more days. But even then, not as many as some would have you believe.
24 Oct 2005 The Sunday Times takes a long look at Tokyo girls. Of course BR is mentioned in the intro, but this is very much an article about the real Tokyo girls of today. And just how much things, at least in Tokyo, are now very different to the traditional stereotype.
23 Oct 2005 So... when is TV series 'Lost' like Blade Runner? Well, Keith McDuffee at TV Squad has a theory to do with implanted memories....
23 Oct 2005 Variety, the film industry's leading news source, has, by reference, basically said that Blade Runner is the film most improved by a Director's Cut. The article is actually about Francis Ford Coppola's extended cut of The Outsiders.
23 Oct 2005 With the knowledge that Christopher Nolan is influenced by Blade Runner, we must of course include an interview of him talking about the excellent Batman Begins (amongst other things). Read the interview at Box Office Mojo.
18 Oct 2005 Sorry, I can't resist. "Back to school" caption competition in the Daily Mail. One of the captions is a Blade Runner reference.
17 Oct 2005 So what do Guns N' Roses have to do with Blade Runner? When James Barber, (who worked as an A&R at Geffen Records), starts describing them with Roy Batty's final words... Well, suit yourself. Go read
15 Oct 2005 Whilst Blade Runner is a huge influence on Science Fiction and even philosophy, it is not claimed that the ideas and questions behind it are actually new. Compare to Oedipus for example - a 2500 year old play. This article makes that connection, (after explaining the real Oedipus story rather than the Freud perversion of it).
13 Oct 2005 Charlie de Lauzirika, would-be producer of the BR:SE 3-DVD set, who produced the excellent Alien Quadrilogy set, talks to IGN about DVDs. Most notably, that BR DVD set.
11 Oct 2005 In any career, it helps to have someone who inspires you to go ahead and be really good at what you do. If you come from the Northeast of England and want to make films, then having Ridley Scott and Blade Runner as your inpiration is about as good as it gets. Richard Fenwick and Hayley Manning are inspired and according to the Newcastle Evening Chronicle, it looks like the inspiration is driving them to success.
07 Oct 2005 In wondering about the future and saving the planet, the Blade Runner L.A. 2019 is held up as an example of what isn't green. But Elizabeth Farrelly of the Sydney Morning Herald argues the case for just why high rise, high density living is actually "greener" than suburbia. (As long as their are still parks.)
07 Oct 2005 Following on from the last article, in a one-on-one interview with The Independent, Scott talks about his life and films - a good article even for those who are familiar with the subject.
06 Oct 2005 Ridley Scott talks to reporters about the Kingdom of Heaven ... and about some success and some narrow-mindedness, but provocatively mentions the Director's Cut which could be 45 minutes longer and take away some of the problems with the released version... The Guardian has the full story.
05 Oct 2005 Prior to the RoboNexus conference (a very serious robotics conference and not just people talking about when the Nexus 6 is coming out ... or are they?), ZDNet does an excellent layman's review of the state of robotics today, quickly reviewing all the different robots out there and looking forward to what's next.
04 Oct 2005 In my occasional news articles pointers virtual tour of which cities look like some part of Blade Runner, I could hardly ignore London when it cropped up. Or more specifically the area of Soho. Actually Clayton Moore at Bookslut is reviewing a number of Brit-authored books that range across the UK. Worth a read...
04 Oct 2005 So what has Daryl Hannah been up to? In another non-movie news story, she has designed (with Hilary Shepard) a board game called LIEbrary, selling through SimplyFun. The game involves giving a title and description of a book, then players make up the first line and write it down, and sort of like Call My Bluff, the made up lines are read out with the real one and players vote which they think is the real one. Convincing made-up first lines will get a player to the end of the board first. Press release.
03 Oct 2005 As with most SF movies that come out these days, someone will inevitably make some sort of comparison with one or more aspects of Blade Runner. With Serenity, there are many who do. So I've picked one intelligent review out of them all - Locus Mag. One negative point though, that seems to slip past Western reviewers, is that although like Blade Runner, Asian language is integrated into the street lingo, unlike Blade Runner, people of Asian descent are strangely absent...

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