Monday, March 25, 2013

Tears In Rain

This cartoon made me larf right out loud when I saw it today. Of course it's a parody of this scene:


If you are any kind of geek at all, you absolutely know this is Roy Batty's (played by Rutger Hauer) death scene in Blade Runner - also starring Harrison Ford. It's also known as The Tears In Rain Soliloquy.
In Blade Runner, the dying replicant Roy Batty introspectively makes the speech during a rain downpour, moments before his own death:
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. [laughs] Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like [coughs] tears in rain. Time to die.
In the Channel 4 documentary On the Edge of Blade Runner, Hauer, director Ridley Scott, and screenwriter David Peoples asserted that Hauer wrote the "Tears in Rain" speech. There were earlier versions of the speech in Peoples' draft screenplays; one included the sentence "I rode on the back decks of a blinker and watched c-beams glitter in the dark, near the Tanhauser Gate"[5] In his autobiography, Hauer said he merely cut the original scripted speech by several lines, adding only "All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain"[6] although the original script, displayed during the documentary, before Hauer's rewrite, does not mention "Tanhauser Gate":
I've known adventures, seen places you people will never see, I've been Offworld and back... frontiers! I've stood on the back deck of a blinker bound for the Plutition Camps with sweat in my eyes watching the stars fight on the shoulder of Orion...I've felt wind in my hair, riding test boats off the black galaxies and seen an attack fleet burn like a match and disappear. I've seen it, felt it...!
Hauer described this as "opera talk" and "hi-tech speech" with no bearing on the rest of the film, so he "put a knife in it" the night before filming, without Scott's knowledge.[7] In interview with Dan Jolin, Hauer said that these final lines showed that Batty wanted to "make his mark on existence ... the robot in the final scene, by dying, shows Deckard what a real man is made of."[8]
When Hauer performed the scene, the film crew applauded and some even cried. This was due to the power of the dying speech coming at the end of an exhausting shoot.[9]
Hauer as Roy Batty had been a ruthless killer, but he did have the capacity to feel some sort of love - for Pris (Darryl Hannah) and Zhora (Joanna Cassidy). Hauer really did do quite a job here, it's quite moving, particularly in the context of the movie. Which you should see, even if you aren't into science fiction.

Blade Runner is noirish in the dark and gloomy way it's presented.Always raining, always night, and you cannot trust anyone. It's in the future for sure, but it's not a happy one. Scott really set the tone for many future science fiction flicks with the mood he set here. The special effects aren't really central to the plot or the action - it's all character driven.  And, if you've ever read Philip K. Dick, you can understand where a lot of the tone comes from - Blade Runner is based on his book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Just a quick plot summary - Deckard (Ford) is called back from retirement to "retire" a group of rebelling replicants who have escaped their planet and made it back to Earth. Replicants are engineered humans who have a limited shelf life. These were a bunch of enhanced specimens looking for a way to live longer. While Deckard is a cop, he is essentially a government assassin. And as the movie moves along, the question of whether Deckard himself is a replicant becomes an issue that is never answered. In fact, the female replicant he falls for (Sean Young as Rachael) asks him if he's taken the screening test he gives to determine replicant status himself. Makes ya wonder.

There are a lot of quality actors in this - Brion James, Edward James Olmos, M. Emmet Walsh, William Sanderson (other brother Daryl) are among the cast, as well as those mentioned earlier. Vandelis handled the music.

In short, Blade Runner is truly a cult classic.


drjim said...

Yep, a masterpiece.

I've got the directo's cut version in BluRay, and it's just stunning.

If you've ever seen "Soldier" with Kurt Russell, some of those battles are mentioned in his service record.

Jeffro said...

I definitely like Soldier. IMHO, underrated!

Tam said...

Blade Runner is quite simply the Best. Movie. Ever.