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2014 Reads > DADoES: Should Veronica Watch Blade Runner?

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Steve (plinth) | 179 comments I say yes just for the cast:

1. Harrison Ford
2. Daryl Hannah
3. Sean Young
4. Rutger Hauer
5. Edward James Olmos
6. Brion James
7. James Hong
8. William Sanderson

And because Grim Dark

I say no because it fails the Bechdel test and has gratuitous female nudity.


Sean O'Hara (seanohara) | 2365 comments The Bechdel test isn't supposed to be a deciding factor in choosing something to watch/read. It's a tool for analyzing the trend of movies and books in general, but that doesn't mean that an individual work that fails is inherently bad or even not feminist.

That's one of the reasons people have proposed the Mako Mori test as an supplement:

Does the stroy have:

a) at least one female character;

b) who gets her own narrative arc;

c) that is not about supporting a man’s story.


I'd argue that Pris passes -- her character arc is tightly wound with Sebastian's, but I think in the end, he's there to support her story, not the other way around.

As for gratuitous female nudity, it's done in a matter of fact way that's not titillating. We aren't talking about Porky's here.


message 3: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 3861 comments Bladerunner is so good in spots that it exceeds the obvious bad parts. And there are classic lines as well. "Wake up...time...to die." And, "She won't last forever, but then, what does?"

I say watch it, knowing there will be some downside.


Sandi (sandikal) | 1212 comments I say watch it because it's an iconic piece of science fiction cinema.


message 5: by Ken (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ken (kanthr) | 334 comments 1. "Grim Dark" is a stupid kids concept. The phrase you're looking for here is "Film Noir".

2. Bechdel test? really? Does that influence your decisions?

This topic is either a troll or a silly goof.

If you want to watch it, watch it. If not, don't. Personally I think the film, while differing drastically from the source material, is a flawed diamond.


message 6: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tassie Dave | 3493 comments Mod
Yes, she should watch it. Whether you like it or not, it should be part of any geek/nerd's media consumption cv. Just for "Geek/nerd street cred" ;-)

Isn't all screen nudity gratuitous?
Why would women talk about something that's not about men? We are so damn interesting. ;-) (That's is sarcasm BTW)
It's not grimdark.


Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1861 comments Steve wrote: "I say no because it fails the Bechdel test and has gratuitous female nudity."

This is one of my all time favourite films. I have loved it since I was a kid. I have watched it over and over again. I even looked at it as part of a film module I did at uni a few years back, and I've watched it several times since. In spite of all this, it took a good minute for me to figure out the location of 'gratuitous female nudity' you mention. I'm assuming you are referring to the dancer, (I don't remember any other nudity in the film) but I never saw her nudity as something gratuitous or overly sexual. It's just a part of her life and, as Sean says, very matter of fact.

Pris is definitely a character with real agency. She was created as a pleasure model, but she rejects that and fights for her continued existence with everything she has.

The Bechdel test is interesting as a tool to provoke discussion (how might Blade Runner have been altered to pass the test? - I always felt Rachael's character was missing something), but I hardly think black-listing everything that fails it helps anyone at all.

And finally, I think Veronica should watch it A) because it is awesome and B) because I'm interested in seeing how she finds it having read the book first.


Stephen Richter (stephenofllongbeach) | 1318 comments Watch it for the Bradbury Building.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradbury...


Steve (plinth) | 179 comments WRT to the dancer - since the nude dancing adds nothing to the character and adds nothing to the plot, it is gratuitous. She could have worked at a clothing store or running a small company and it would've changed nothing except (view spoiler) which could have been managed in other ways.


message 10: by Ken (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ken (kanthr) | 334 comments It could have been a man. The purpose was to show an exotic world with unusual, culture-mash customs, and a divide between wealth and poverty. This was accomplished.

That the character be a woman, that is essentially arbitrary, but was likely chosen for sexist reasons. Personally, it doesn't bother me.


Steve | 9 comments Steve wrote: "I say yes just for the cast:

1. Harrison Ford
2. Daryl Hannah
3. Sean Young
4. Rutger Hauer
5. Edward James Olmos
6. Brion James
7. James Hong
8. William Sanderson..."


I agree with this, and add the director: Ridley Scott


Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1861 comments Steve wrote: "WRT to the dancer - since the nude dancing adds nothing to the character and adds nothing to the plot, it is gratuitous. She could have worked at a clothing store or running a small company"

Hardly. She was on earth illegally, knowing she would be killed on sight if anyone found her. Normal jobs were out of the question, and how would she have had time or money to establish and run a small company without anyone questioning where she had come from? She needed money and no questions asked, and since she had the body for it, dancing at the strip club makes perfect sense.

There also isn't any excessive focus on her nudity in the film. It doesn't show her dancing, merely announces the dance then cuts to Deckard chasing her to the dressing room afterwards, keeping the focus on the plot and not her nudity.

None of this fits my understanding of gratuitous nudity.


Derek (raistlinsghost) | 81 comments Kenneth wrote: "1. "Grim Dark" is a stupid kids concept. The phrase you're looking for here is "Film Noir".

2. Bechdel test? really? Does that influence your decisions?

This topic is either a troll or a silly goof."


Agree. All points. Noir is not Grim Dark. Shame on you for saying so, even. And the Bechdel test can be a good point of discussion about a movie, but passing it certainly doesn't guarantee a good film.

Blade Runner is a film classic and if you're a movie fan of any stripe, genre notwithstanding, of course you should see it. And as it is a film adaption of this month's book pick, everyone who is reading the book who hasn't seen the movie yet should watch it after the read. I'll be re-watching it myself after the re-read.


message 14: by JP (new) - rated it 3 stars

JP Capili (jpcapili) | 37 comments If you live in San Francisco, Bladerunner: Final Cut will be showing at the Castro Theater on Dec 15th and 16th.


Fresno Bob | 573 comments Everyone should watch Bladerunner, the fact that Veronica hasnt should be viewed as a personal failure on her part!


Stephen Richter (stephenofllongbeach) | 1318 comments I would not call it a personal failure, as much as a glaring empty spot in her nerd soul!


Fresno Bob | 573 comments Next we are going to hear that she hasnt seen Alien!


Stephen Richter (stephenofllongbeach) | 1318 comments Or listened to the original radio broadcast of "War of the Worlds",


Fresno Bob | 573 comments Or thinks Greedo shot first!


Robert of Dale (r_dale) | 185 comments Craig wrote: "To add more to my comment.

She's an exotic dancer because the establishment says Androids are basically second class citizens and don't have any rights. So she has to earn money the only way she c..."


The counter-argument here is that the book features an android hiding in plain sight as an opera singer. That certainly could have been a sub-plot, instead of re-naming and re-casting a character of standing from the book just so they could add boobies.

Seems kind of gratuitous to me.


Craig | 53 comments Craig wrote: "To add more to my comment.

She's an exotic dancer because the establishment says Androida are basically second class citizens and don't have any rights. So she has to earn money the only way she c..."


Great point (and not just because you have an excellent first name :-)


Stephen Richter (stephenofllongbeach) | 1318 comments Wait, we started a fun "question Veronica's nerd cred" riff and goodreads goes back to boobs!


Derek (raistlinsghost) | 81 comments Stephen wrote: "Wait, we started a fun "question Veronica's nerd cred" riff and goodreads goes back to boobs!"

To be fair though, the boobies in this case are actually more on topic than Veronica's nerd cred. I think her nerd cred is a given considering her background but if it isn't, maybe she's up for a tongue in cheek challenge via a new thread: Test your nerd cred against the masses?

Of course, that's the beauty of being a Nerd/Geek/Dork. You always know something someone else doesn't about that thing you're into. And everyone else can make the same claim.


Randolph (us227381) | 0 comments Seriously?


Fresno Bob | 573 comments Im just stunned by anyone over the age of 20 that hasnt seen Bladerunner, to me its like finding out that someone hasnt seen The Godfather


message 26: by Daran (new) - added it

Daran | 599 comments I've never gotten what people see in Bladerunner. I saw the movie after reading the book, and I think that affects how people feel about the movie.


terpkristin | 4117 comments As mentioned earlier in this thread, I never saw the movie. Having now read the book, I can't see what value the movie would add. Perfectly ambivalent.


Matthew (matthewdl) | 341 comments Whether you like the movie or not you have to admit it's a fairly unique viewing experience and a touchstone in modern cinema AND geek culture. Pretty cool.

Also, I think we're getting way too excited about a couple of nipples with relatively little screen time here. Everybody's got 'em. Amiright?


Fresno Bob | 573 comments Im just stunned by anyone over the age of 20 that hasnt seen Bladerunner, to me its like finding out that someone hasnt seen The Godfather


terpkristin | 4117 comments Fresno Bob wrote: "Im just stunned by anyone over the age of 20 that hasnt seen Bladerunner, to me its like finding out that someone hasnt seen The Godfather"

I also haven't watched the 2nd or 3rd original Star Wars movies, to say nothing of the new ones.

I don't have the patience for movies. They do nothing for me. They are few and far between when I watch them in general and even more rare to watch them at the theater.

Each their own.


Matthew (matthewdl) | 341 comments terpkristin wrote: "I also haven't watched the 2nd or 3rd..."

oh dear. I kind of want to drive to your house and have a movie party with you. I know you live near DC and I live near the Rocky Mountains (and in Canada) but I`d do it as my nerd mission. I thought I`d have to wait until I had kids to get to watch someone watch those movies for the first time.


Fresno Bob | 573 comments terpkristin wrote: "Fresno Bob wrote: "Im just stunned by anyone over the age of 20 that hasnt seen Bladerunner, to me its like finding out that someone hasnt seen The Godfather"

I also haven't watched the 2nd or 3rd..."


MUTANT!


message 33: by Phil (new) - rated it 2 stars

Phil | 1136 comments I actually find the movie kind of boring. There are a few iconic moments and you probably should see it for nerd cred but I don't know anybody who loves it.


message 34: by Ken (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ken (kanthr) | 334 comments terpkristin wrote: "As mentioned earlier in this thread, I never saw the movie. Having now read the book, I can't see what value the movie would add. Perfectly ambivalent."

Other than the only thing the two share is the names of a few characters. They're COMPLETELY different. And both stand apart, both well executed.


Stephen Richter (stephenofllongbeach) | 1318 comments John Paul wrote: "If you live in San Francisco, Bladerunner: Final Cut will be showing at the Castro Theater on Dec 15th and 16th." I think that would be a perfect date night for Veronica & the never seen, but always mentioned, hubby.


John (Nevets) Nevets (nevets) | 1528 comments Slightly off topic rant....

A big part of what I enjoy about this and the few other communities online I participate in is their openness. I enjoy the fact that we have many participants with different levels of experience both in the primary topics we discuss as well as others. For the most part I think people feel comfortable coming here and asking questions like "I really enjoyed this, what else out there is like it?" Or other questions that those newer readers to genre fiction ask. I think this is a huge plus for our comunity, and what has helped it grow.

I also know there was no malice or real slam intended when "geek/nerd cred" was used above, but sometimes there are unintended results from statements like this. Someone new to this forum might look at that, and think "I haven't experienced this or that, how can I be worthy to participate here?" And that is a direction I'd hate this comunity to go towards.

At the same time this forum is about a fairly narrow topic that many of us really enjoy, so there are going to be stories, books, movies, and TV shows that the vast majority of us have experienced. And it is great to have those shared experiences, and discuss them, and even reference them when talking about other items. But let's try and make sure not to exclude those who might not have the same history.

After seeing the road other micro communities have gone down in both the comics and games world, I felt I had to say something, even though the way it was brought up here was far from the worst I've seen online.


Oh, and by the way, I rarley listen to the podcast, so that is my biggest hole in references made here, but context or other members do do a great job filling in those gaps.

....rant over.


message 37: by Gary (new)

Gary A.  Kline (garyklinecc) | 5 comments I read the book after seeing the movie. For me, the underlying theme in both the book and the movie is 'what does it mean to be human?' but the movie also takes on the question of how we deal with our own mortality.

Everyone does an excellent job in the film. The director makes the world as real as the corner liquor store, the actors bring the characters to life, and the story hangs together pretty well. Much of the underlying story is the androids' desire for a longer lifespan and Decker's view of androids as not being real people.

Watch it for the world that Ridley Scott brings to life, watch it for the performances, watch it for the (underlying) story.


terpkristin | 4117 comments Fresno Bob wrote: "MUTANT!"

How did you know?!?!?!?! (I actually do have a genetic disorder hahahahah)


message 39: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tassie Dave | 3493 comments Mod
Stephen wrote: "I think that would be a perfect date night for Veronica & the never seen, but always mentioned, hubby."

Yeah, he is so low profile ;-)
He may not appear on S&L but he's all over the tech part of the internet.


Kevin Brew To me the ideal version is a cross between the original and the directors cut. The directors cut corrects the continuity errors and drops the Hollywood-like ending of the original.

I like Harrison Ford's narration in the original however. It gives the film a 'Sam Spade' like feel.

Blade Runner is a film I enjoy re-watching and I love the soundtrack.


Misti (spookster5) | 468 comments Fresno Bob wrote: "Im just stunned by anyone over the age of 20 that hasnt seen Bladerunner, to me its like finding out that someone hasnt seen The Godfather"

I watched Bladerunner for the first time a couple of months ago (I liked it but it isn't one that I would watch over and over). But I've never seen the Godfather (it just doesn't look like a movie that I would enjoy).


message 42: by Pete (new)

Pete | 2 comments Fresno Bob wrote: "Im just stunned by anyone over the age of 20 that hasnt seen Bladerunner, to me its like finding out that someone hasnt seen The Godfather"

I'm not. The problem with Blade Runner for most younger people is that it's not groundbreaking at all. It's influence is so strong on just about every Sci-Fi movie in the last 30 years that it just looks old and dated to them. For example, I was re-watching Stargate:SG1 recently and they pulled out a Voight-Kampf machine to find hidden G'oauld spies.

Star Wars is the same way but escapes this fate by having iconic characters and being easier for a general audience to grasp.


Robert of Dale (r_dale) | 185 comments I guess at 43, I fall under the "most younger people" umbrella? Thanks for the compliment! :P

I have never seen what people liked about Bladerunner. Or the Fifth Element, for that matter. Maybe I lack empathy or something... Oh, crap.


Ruth (tilltab) Ashworth | 1861 comments Robert of Dale wrote: "Craig wrote: "She's an exotic dancer because the establishment says Androids are basically second class citizens and don't have any rights."

The counter-argument here is that the book features an android hiding in plain sight as an opera singer. "


I haven't got too far in the book yet, so I don't know how that part plays out, but this thread is about the film, and in the world the film set up, I'm not sure I would have found such a thing as convincing. Who is this opera singer, and why does no-one question where she has come from, especially given that they know dangerous replicants have escaped to earth? I also cannot picture Deckard from the film stalking his prey in a theatre. That would kill the atmosphere the film had created, particularly the way the separation was established between the opulent corporation in their high towers and the grimy lower classes down on the streets the replicants inhabited. It might have worked, but it would have changed the entire feel of the film.

Furthermore, I'm not sure what having her as an opera singer would have added to the story. Nobody wants gratuitous opera singing. :P


Noomninam Fresno Bob wrote: "Im just stunned by anyone over the age of 20 that hasnt seen Bladerunner, to me its like finding out that someone hasnt seen The Godfather"

I've never seen the first Godfather movie complete in one sitting. It's been on so much over the years that I just pick it up in progress when bored and flipping channels, and watch until something else more interesting intervenes. Same with Apocalypse Now.


message 46: by Aaron (new)

Aaron | 264 comments I've never seen any of the Godfather movies or Apocalypse Now, but I'm familiar with the key memes through geek osmosis.
I have only watched Blade Runner piecemeal (before the countless revisions) and only remember bits. It's not a movie that sticks with me.


message 47: by Gary (last edited Nov 23, 2014 01:14PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Gary Emphatic yes.

It's a core piece of SF cinematography. Veronika is more the sword of the S&L, but still not seeing Blade Runner is like not having seen Conan the Barbarian or Willow... or, I guess, not watching the GRRM adaptation these days.

Regarding the gratuity of the sex bits: I think the exotic dancer content is ironically presented not only by the characterization of the dancer ("Watch her take the pleasures from the serpent that once corrupted man.") but by the affected "perv" persona that Ford takes on in that scene. The film is, essentially, pointing out its own content for what it is, having a laugh at it, and inviting the audience to laugh as well... or be laughed at. Meaning, you can recognize that content, realize the satirical nature and be "above it" with the film makers--or you can be the perv that Ford is pretending to be... ha, ha.

Similarly, the later date rapey scene has just a moment of Ford putting his hands up in the air to indicate that she's really free to go and he's got some sort of control over himself, not just her. It's probably more subtle than a lot of folks would prefer these days.... However, my point is that the content is vitiated intentionally within the film.


Dorene | 35 comments John wrote: "Slightly off topic rant....

A big part of what I enjoy about this and the few other communities online I participate in is their openness. I enjoy the fact that we have many participants with diff..."


I have to say, my immediate reaction to the post above yours was exactly the same. The term "nerd cred" made me stop and cringe. I wouldn't want any to ever feel they weren't "worthy" of being geek/nerd/etc purely because of the movies, books, games or anything else they choose. There's plenty of room for all depths and breadths of knowledge in the geek kingdom!


Fresno Bob | 573 comments Dorene wrote: "John wrote: "Slightly off topic rant....

A big part of what I enjoy about this and the few other communities online I participate in is their openness. I enjoy the fact that we have many participa..."


I really hope that no one takes seriously any implication that Veronica (or anyone else) on Sword and Laser lacks "nerd cred", I mean, come on, we are an online/podcast based SF and Fantasy book club....we are probably somewhere below organized dodgeball and somewhere above wargamers in the nerd pantheon!


message 50: by Phil (last edited Nov 23, 2014 02:24PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Phil | 1136 comments I certainly didn't mean to be judgemental when I used the term "nerd cred". What I meant was there are some things that are so iconic in any field that you might miss references if you're not aware of them. I don't think anyone here (including me because I've been in that position a million times with sports things) would ever make fun of someone for not seeing Blade Runner but you might get more out of future conversations if you do.


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