Mixed feelings after watching Blade Runner

This weekend I watched Blade Runner for the second time, last time I seen that movie was probably in early 90’s. Back then I was just a little kid who couldn’t understand much from it. I only remembered the fight between Deckard and Roy Batty, and I’m really glad that I forgot the movie since book has much richer story than the movie. Well isn’t that usually the case that we prefer books to movies? Well, maybe, unless we see the movie first. Nevertheless “Do androids dream of electric sheep” pints a bigger picture of wild post-apocalyptic world while Blade Runner focuses more on action aspects of the story.

I really don’t like how the movie discards parts where Rick Deckard obsesses about owning a real living animal. I guess this is why Bade Runner is called Blade Runner and not “Do androids dream of electric sheep” since there’s no mention of any sheep throughout the whole movie. This really kills the whole theme of the book. When we see how people in the future are obsessed about owning a real animal we can somehow imagine how their longing for a natural things hurts. The movie doesn’t show us that. It focuses more on the androids and their hunters and not on everyday existential problems of regular people left on Earth. Another thing that was left out in the movie is Mercer and his empathy boxes. I think Philip k. dick wrote about empathy boxes for a good reason, as it really adds a nice mechanic touch to the whole trans-humanist/ post-apocalyptic landscape of human experience. We can think about the use of empathy boxes as a metaphor for how humans can turn into more mechanical entities completely ruled by their will with complete disregard for useless emotions and feeling. Just Like androids are. This is important theme of the book where we draw parallels between humans and androids. It always gives us those hard questions: What it means to be real? What it means to be alive? Are emotions just chemistry or a source of passions that creates a vehicle for human spirit and creativity? Well we might never know answers to this questions but asking them gives you a good reevaluation of your own humanity.

I really like the mood of the movie, it had a very “Noire Movie” feel to it, and I love Noire movies, “eyes wide shut”, “blue velvet” “twin peaks” are one of my all-time favorite flicks. I’m also a sucker for anything cyberpunk, I thoroughly enjoyed the scenography, architecture and lighting of most of the scenes. The movie has a nice feel too it and actions scenes don’t feel that old for such an old movie. Too bad it didn’t cover all the stories that are presented in the book. It would make a perfect sci-fi flick
I’ll give it 7/10

Do we dream of electric lovers ?

In the final chapters of Phillip’s K. Dick novel – “Do androids dream of electric sheep” we read about a new, intense twist of events. Rick Deckard through his curiosity finds himself in a kind of close relationship with an attractive female Nexus-6 android called Rachel Rosen. Rachel is on the most advanced, important member in Rosen Association. Because of that Rachel cannot afford a luxury of becoming an independent android. Everything she does is for the good of corporation she serves. Deckard finds Rachel attractive, he desires her in a way humans desire one another. Naturally as a curious guy, Deckard makes a move on her just to find out how it is to make love to a machine. Rachel doesn’t care about Rick or his feelings. Seducing Deckard is just a way for Rachel to distract his investigation against other disobedient androids similar to Rachel. It’s the only way Deckard can be stopped from “retiring” other andys.

I believe Philip K. Dick wants to show a contrast between real love and fake love, or maybe lust in this weird case. Rick has a wife which he supposedly loves, however as time passes by he stops seeing the coldness of machines in androids, not only that he somehow fantasizes about intimate life with an android. Because androids don’t have empathy and are basically talking dolls, very sophisticated, but dead inside anyways. We get a grim, serious, emotional, rational, and existential conflict. What is it to love a dead thing? And another one. Is cheating with a machine a type of affair or bizarre way of masturbation? (After all it’s just a dead thing that gives you pleasure just like any other sex toy). Is there a way for a human being to cheat itself into believing that dead talking dolls are just as good as humans? Or better yet, imagine a child raised by androids without knowing it. Andys so sophisticated they can pass voight-kampff empathy test. If child doesn’t know that it’s being raised by machines it will probably think androids are just as real as humans. What if we humans are just “operating systems” inside meat coated skeletal machines called human bodies and programmed in different world by Mercer like entity called god… Ok, I got carried away a little with wild, impossible (I hope) ideas. But my approach to this incident between Rachel and Rick boils down to one scary question, what does it mean to be real and living? What do you guys think, I demand comments 🙂 !!!

Metropolis response

Metropolis is a movie about a city in the future called, you guessed it. Metropolis. It’s a city that is divided into two parts, one for blue collar workers, and another for regular people. Freder – the son of the commander of Metropolis someday decides to go down to the part of the city were blue collar workers reside. During their work, Freder is a witness to a terrible accident that alters his vision of reality. He comes to a conclusion that hard working people shouldn’t be excluded from the lives of elites of the city, as the workers are the ones who build the city.

Movie Metropolis shows an interesting vision of the future. First vision is the development of technology, which manifests as the city itself. Metropolis is a monumental, dense urban jungle full of skyscrapers. Roads in Metropolis are laid out in not only different directions, but also they appear at different elevations in the city. There are planes flying in between skyscrapers and people build robots. However this is not the most important vision in Metropolis. This movie touches on social inequality by showing a division into two groups – good and bad, or masters and workers. We can see a dystopian image of the future painted in this humongous city.  The workers are pictured as kind of robots who, act, move, dress, and live the same lives. They perform a neck breaking labor and nobody cares about their fate. The other half of the city population, the elites, live in completely different world. Their lives are lavish and devoid of problems regular workers face.

Metropolis is a rather scary movie, especially to people who live in 21st century. Some obvious parallels can be spotted. The most obvious one for me is how wealth in our world is distributed, currently there are 80 people who own as much as the world’s poorest 3.6 Billion. Situation like that can lead to a major dystopian future, where oligarchs die in decadence and regular workers die in poverty. At least everybody dies in the end anyways. Yup, death makes us all equal.


DO androids dream about electric sheep Review

In “Do androids dream of Electric Sheep” Phillip K. Dick paints a grim vision of future in which AI (Artificial intelligence) is almost indistinguishable from living things. AI resides in robots called “andys” short for androids. Their form, looks, behavior is just like human. Most can blend in perfectly among humans. Very advanced types of androids are the hardest to identify as superficial entities as they appear completely human like. Only the hardest test on empathy can truly identify an android. Empathy, apparently is the hardest thing for Artificial Intelligence to emulate.

The setting of this book is in the near future on planet Earth. The main hero – Rick Deckard is a bounty hunter, and his enemies are sophisticated androids who reside on Earth. Until 2021 nuclear warfare rages on the planet earth therefore most of living creatures are annihilated due to radiation from fallout and general destructive nature of war. In this post-apocalyptic world most animals are dead and people are willing to pay huge amounts of money for exotic pets. The role of domesticated home pets is filled by animal looking androids produced by Nexus Corporation. Funny and odd thing it’s that it’s a taboo to ask owners if their animals are real. The world is a chaotic place where TV is propagandized by government, elites leave earth for mars while androids want independence from humans.

Philip K Dick invokes a feeling of dread in his descriptions of destroyed Earth. People live kind of lives which are detached from reality. There are mood adjusters which dumb down normal human responses and people freely use them. The dystopic nature of future and in uncertainty about what I real and living vs what is dead and plastic is the main theme of first 5 chapters.