"It's too bad she can't live, but then who does?" -- Graff, 'Blade Runner'

Film Despite my cashflow problems -- the more things change, the more they stay the same ad infinitum, I couldn't not pre-order the Blade Runner: The Final Cut five disc dvd boxset from Play.com for the staggeringly reasonable price of £17.99. As it is probably with many people, it's a film I've grown up with, from, in my early teens, seeing a heavily cut midnight showing on ITV one birthday night, right through to a couple of Christmases ago when I finally saw it projected in the 'director's cut' version at the Chester Odeon from a cruddy old print so bad that the usher came out an apologized beforehand. It might have been blurry and covered in dirt and hairs but it had bags of atmosphere.

The box set is about as comprehensive as they come. It includes the original version with the voice over and offcuts from The Shining stuck on the end, plus an international version with four minutes of violence editing back in, then the so-called 'director's cut' put together by a fan then approved by Ridley Scott (the one with the unicorn and no voiceover) and the legendary 'work print' which was shown at a 70mm film festival in New York and led to the re-evaluation of the work which has some different scenes and dialogue and then the new, new version which extra pick-ups to cover up continuity errors, new SFX. And all of the deleted scenes. The list of extras is here although the promised Channel 4 Mark Kermode documentary seems to be missing which is a shame.

In Wired magazine, Ridley Scott talks about putting the dvd together. He's in bullish mood:
"I read an article recently saying that one of the reasons the film has found an ongoing audience is that it was incomplete. That's absolute horseshit. The film was very specifically designed and is totally complete. In those days, there was more discussion than was welcome, as far as I'm concerned. [Screenwriter] Hampton Fancher, [producer] Michael Deeley, and I talked and talked and talked — every day for eight months. But at the end of the day, there's a lot of me in this script. That's what happens, because that's the kind of director I am. The single hardest thing is getting the bloody thing on paper. Once you've got it on paper, the doing is relatively straightforward."
It's interesting to note this isn't a 'special edition' in the style of his Gladiator -- he hasn't just dropped in all of the deleted scenes for the hell of it -- he's left out anything which would hurt the piece. Just so long as it ends on a foil unicorn and the closing of some lift doors, I'll be happy.

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