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Blade Runner News Archive - 2006 (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.

21 Dec 2006 "Robots could demand legal rights - Robots could one day demand the same citizen's rights as humans, according to a study by the British government." So says the BBC. Yes indeed, "The paper which addresses Robo-rights, titled Utopian dream or rise of the machines? examines the developments in artificial intelligence and how this may impact on law and politics. The paper says a "monumental shift" could occur if robots develop to the point where they can reproduce, improve themselves or develop artificial intelligence. The research suggests that at some point in the next 20 to 50 years robots could be granted rights."
20 Dec 2006 A Back Stage interview with Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell about Battlestar Galactica: The most interesting comment made by Eddie on why he chose to do BG was, "There was a story that drew me in, especially with the mindset that one has after 9/11. You had a whole different perspective on the end of the world, that whole philosophy. What [Galactica executive producer Ronald D. Moore] did before you read the piece, he put three pages at the beginning. It was like a mission statement, kind of. It told you a little bit about how it was going to be shot. The script was very powerful. It was completely different. It was very much in the realm of Blade Runner, rather than in the realm of the kind of Star Wars, Star Trek opera that I was used to seeing in the genre, that had really permeated the genre since the early '70s. So when I talked to Ron and [executive producer David Eick], we talked about Blade Runner, and I said, "There was a door that was opened there that nobody ever walked in. Everybody walked through the door of Star Wars, but nobody walked through the door of Blade Runner." I said, "If you really want to do that, then I'm game to join up, but I'm going to be very honest: The first four-eyed creature I see, I'll faint. I will faint on camera, and I will be off the show." I just didn't want to go that route. I didn't want to act against those kind of situations; I didn't have the time to do that. So we went into this with a 9/11 perspective and mindset with a very strong understanding of Blade Runner."
01 Dec 2006 Flexible displays - how close are they in the real world? Not far away actually. Check out this Electronics Weekly report for more. There are numerous alternatives.
29 Nov 2006 Wired reports that The Fountain has not done very well in its opening box office receipts. This is such bad news for serious SF film fans as it only discourages the people with the money from financing films like this. The article laments the whole situation and ponders if some of the most famous of SF films of the past, like Blade Runner, would even get the green light these days.
28 Nov 2006 AP reports that "Library of America to issue volume of Philip K. Dick". PKD is to be canonized, of course for his work, but also recognizing Blade Runner's 25th Aniversary and Final Cut next year. Read article in USA Today for example.
21 Nov 2006 "Five Most Memorable Action Movies" - this list at IGN is: Star Wars, Blade Runner, Nikita, The Matrix and Enter the Dragon. All good films to watch, though of course I don't agree they're the best five. Oh BTW, LFN at five seasons is hardly a "short-lived" TV series - it is obviously different to a single film, but definitely worth looking into (I own it all on DVD).
21 Nov 2006 Crave has an interesting list - the "Top Ten Girl Geeks". The title could perhaps be improved as the list ranges from women who made history through the popular to the downright inane. The list includes Daryl Hannah (for more than just being in BR), but I'm sure geeks everywhere will have something to say about some of the choices.
18 Nov 2006 Henry Porter writes in The Observer of his film (with director Neil Ferguson) called Suspect Nation. It is about the increased surveillance on us in the last five years, the connected computer databases of our personal data (our lives) and the lack of government knowledge of what they are actually doing and the security needed to protect their systems. Porter ends by having an RFID chip injected into his arm - easily cloned by his tech friend simply by scanning it - just like passports, driving licences, etc. Does the Blade Runner World have this technology installed and perhaps it is so easy to override, it isno use in catching criminals, terrorists or Replicants? Only the innocent end up in the system.
12 Oct 2006 If you happen to be in Tokyo on December 12th, pay a visit to the Omotesando section of Shibuyaku. Because that is where you will see the Kyosho Athlete Humanoid Cup - a series of races between robots. Specifically Manoi AT01-model robots produced by hobby robot manufacturer Kyosho. According to the Mainichi News, the 40cm (16") tall biped robots have to 'sprint' along a 5m (16') course. A fast time would be 20 seconds, so still a long way to go to be "More Human than Human" though taking the first steps... Check out the excellent film at YouTube of these robots being put through their paces.
12 Oct 2006 "Now in Theaters Everywhere: A Celebration of a Certain Kind of Blockbuster is a new book by Kenneth Turan about a type of smart studio movie which, Turan argues, is increasingly under economic threat of extinction." Lynn Neary interviews Turan on National Public Radio (just over 5 minutes) about his views. Notable first example of how difficult it is to get this sort of movie made is the now-classic Blade Runner - sadly Turan says things have got progressively more difficult since then to make the large budget intelligent movie.
10 Oct 2006 Rutger Hauer's recent life has been filmed as "Blond, Blue Eyes". Reuters reports on the film by Simone de Vries.
09 Oct 2006 What of Science Fiction in Arabic literature? It seems this is a problem. Achmed A. W. Khammas discusses the issue in Telepolis.
08 Oct 2006 Can transferring your (legally purchased) version of Blade Runner onto your hand-held movie player prove to be a criminal offense? According to the NY Times, these people in France seem to think so..
08 Oct 2006 A noodle bar is still a noodle bar wherever you are - even atop a Japanese ski resort.The Observer talks about skiing Japanese style.
06 Oct 2006 Ridley Scott talks and Times Online has his story. There is lots to read, but short as it is, the Blade Runner section is most fascinating!
06 Oct 2006 TripmasterMonkey provides a timeline of Asians in Sci-Fi. I can understand the sarcasm. I can also appreciate that BR is head and shoulders way up there, not just because Deckard chooses to eat noodles, but lets face it, Chew is quite obviously a brilliant genetic engineer and thus an inspiration rather than simple stereotype. He makes eyes y'know.
06 Oct 2006 Every now and then, I like to bring you someone using the Blade Runneresque adjective in so absurd a way as it just becomes funny. Today, it is using it to describe Jessica Simpson's character in inane comedy "Employee of the Month". In this case, I don't actually get the connection at all. Ah well, file it under 'irrelevant' and move on, I guess.
04 Oct 2006 Anyone interested in the future designs, the artwork and the futurist views of Syd Mead should definitely check out this article in the Pasadena Weekly.
02 Oct 2006 I haven't seen this film yet and am in no hurry to do so. 'A Good Year' stars Russell Crowe directed by Ridley Scott. The review at (some of the film was shot at Bloomberg offices in London), suggests that the film is somewhat self-indulgent of Scott, filming Provence in France, where he has a residence. Even Ridley himself admits to it being an excuse to film there. The sad thing is, I can picture this film as made in the French style and it would be wonderful. Every country has their own particular signature style of film and a director from another country can rarely come close to duplicating that. It is regularly true of Hollywood trying to recreate cult British TV shows on film and failing miserably. It is also true of an English director, love him though I do, trying to create a French film. Just doesn't work. And Crowe? How can he possibly successfully create this English/French character?

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