Saturday, December 16, 2017

Future Noir Revised & Updated Edition: The Making of Blade Runner review


    Do you like Blade Runner? I mean, do you REALLY like Blade Runner? Well, I do REALLY-REALLY like Blade Runner. I've watched the movie dozens of times and it's really one of those films which exists up there in my head space with Alien and Star Wars that influence everything from my personal life to writing.

    As such, I was interested in what has been considered to be the definitive book on the movie. That's because not only was Paul M. Sammon on set with the movie during filming but he's returned to write about Blade Runner consistently for the past thirty or so years. This book has a number of editions because he keeps coming back to write on it.

    This book more or less follows the creation of the film from its beginnings as an adaptation of DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP to retrospectives from the actors on the film twenty-to-thirty years later. We find out everything from how individual scenes were filmed to the making of the neon lights to how everyone thought about Ridley Scott (he was not a popular director with the cast and terrified Sean Young).

    This is an in-depth and wonderful work on the subject even if it sometimes drags. Paul M. Sammon doesn't really touch on any of the movie's deeper themes and keeps himself laser-focused on the facts of production. As such, this is more a book for those interested in the nuts and bolts of the movies' creation as well as influence.

    Still, I definitely got my money's worth. I mean, how many other books talk about how the snake was actually owned by Joanna Cassidy a.k.a Zhora, how she really wanted to do the snake dance but got shot down by the producers (even going so far as to film it years later), and how she felt walking around the set naked the entire time? Those are the kind of stories you find within.

    In fact there's a lot of humor to be found in how much the cast you'd think would get along didn't and the cast which you'd think would be difficult turned out to be the best of friends. Ridley Scott, Harrison Ford, and Sean Young all came away from the movie hating one another while Rutger Howard is apparently friends with everyone to this day. Indeed, funnily, most of them know the author due to his constant checking up on them for fan material.
   
    Harrison Ford is a great interviewee in this book as well, which is to say it's clear he's only barely tolerating being interviewed and hates most of his former cast. The best part of the book is, hands down, "Do you want to talk about your co-star Sean Young" and his answer of, "No." That was worth the price of the book by itself.

    In conclusion, this is only a book which a super-fan would want but why would you be buying it otherwise?

9/10

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