In a gadda de Blade Runner

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Jen is still arguing with me over this scene in Blade Runner, and it’s got me thinking.

The love scene between Deckard and Rachael is a major turning point for the characters because it is what causes them to fall from grace (he said, making an easy allusion to Adam and Eve getting kicked out of the garden of Eden).

If memory serves, Adam and Eve’s punishment is that they will toil in the fields, endure painful labor, and so on. But given a gnostic interpretation of this scene, the punishment isn’t just that — their punishment is their awareness of these things. Adam and Eve become not the first humans, but rather the first people by becoming aware of their world, their daily struggles, and most importantly their mortality. Deckard and Rachael’s fall from grace is similar in their discovery that they were built, but not to last. By the end of the film, they have become self-aware replicants, whose burden is the awareness of their four-year lifespan, and their journey into an unknown fate is the same as mankind’s after the story of Adam and Eve.

That they incur God’s wrath by refusing to live in blissful ignorance is echoed in Rachael’s line when she comes to get answers from Deckard, who tells her to go back to Tyrell.

“He wouldn’t see me.”

Shunned by her creator, and banished from the only home she’s ever known.

More on this topic: When a robot says 0 she really means 1

When a robot says 0 she really means 1

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No matter how many times I see it, I always get something new out of watching Blade Runner. I’d seen the Theatrical Release only a few weeks ago and just caught a midnight showing of The Final Cut. I thought it would be a bit much, but that wasn’t the case at all. Here are a few new things I noticed after the latest viewing:

The constant downpour in Los Angeles and the proliferation of bicycles and chintzy electric cars always presented a flawed future, but it is more relevant now to fears of climate change. Together with artificial animals replacing those brought to extinction, it shows humanity trying too little too late to correct the damage it’s done. I’m both amazed and saddened that this is still a significant theme over 25 years later.

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