Sublime Cinematic Moment: Tears in Rain
June 25th will mark the 25th anniversary of the release of Blade Runner. It’s one of those films that is both masterpiece and oddity. Not everything was right with the original cut, the voice over, continuity errors, effects errors. In 1992, when Ridley Scott’s Director’s Cut edition was finally released, much was done to finally set Blade Runner right. There are still moments where the film isn’t perfect (when a spinner lifts off, you can still see the cables lifting it), but it’s like burn marks in the wood of an antique table, and adds to the character of the film.
But Blade Runner is much more than the sum of her parts. The assembled talent on the film from the talent on-screen to the talent behind the scenes was huge, and sometimes, just sometimes you are left with cinematic alchemy. For Blade Runner, it is the “Tears in Rain” scene. When the Promethean machine meets his death with a moment of Shakespearean grace, it was Rutger Hauer’s improvised moment that all but cemented the piece into cinema’s collective unconsciousness.
It’s moment like these that every passionate filmmaker dreams of. When actors find their space, their moment and a talented crew captures and sometimes augments those moments through cinematography, editing and score. When it comes down to the director and his or her ability to spot and capture those moments, deftly shaping them rather than manipulating them. Sometimes you are left with magic. . .
But what strikes me just 12 years from Blade Runner’s imagined date is the significance of Roy Batty’s act. At the moment of his own imminent demise, a machine discovers the preciousness of life. It leaves me with the question, how long will it take humanity to discover the same thing, and will we make the choice in time?
* * * *
It has been announced (albeit very quietly) that Ridley Scott is in the process of completing a definitive edition of the film which will again be released theatrically, followed by a DVD “Ultimate Collection” release. Joanna Cassidy has indicated that she has even done a re-shoot of her famous death scene. Let’s hope that Blade Runner will finally receive its due. . .
technorati tags:film, blade runner, ridley scott, tears in rain, coming soon, filmmaking, art, media, miscellanea, filmmakers, culture, entertainment, rutger hauer, harrison ford, new era, video, spiritual cinema, YouTube, essay, musings, philosophy