Tears in Rain – Blade Runner revisited – January 8, 2015

rain Wolfgang Suschitzky - Charing Cross Road, London, 1937

Rain by Wolfgang Suschitzky-Charing Cross Road, London, 1937

Reading various pieces today written by my fellow writers for Magpie Tales using the above photo as prompt, my mind kept returning to the famous scene from “Blade Runner” ‘Tears in the Rain’.  I still get tears in my eyes every time I watch that scene, though I can’t say how many times I’ve seen it. However, it  doesn’t affect me quite the same way though if I just read it.  A great write without a doubt, but without seeing Rutger Hauer (Roy Batty) save Harrison Ford (Deckard) just as Deckard’s hand gives way, the whole monologue loses it’s poignancy.

This scene grabs the listener, because here we feel and understand our own human need to pass the testimony of our life when life leaves us.  Throughout the film the Nexus replicants  give us a feeling of horror … they’re in a word creepy, inhuman objects that imitate humans too closely they’re soulless objects (not to mention they do some pretty dastardly dos).  At no time do we really sympathize, identify or understand them –  we’re prevented from doing so due to theirr destructive violent anger.  In fact except for the saving grace of the replicant Rachel, we might feel inclined to agree with inspector Harry Bryant that replicants are little more than “skinjobs” (- certainly inhuman robots).

Then, Rutger Hauer (Roy Batty) saves Harrison Ford (Deckard) demonstrating through his death monologue that he is as human as Deckard himself. That scene shows us that the replicants are the abused by-product of a soulless science born in a society incapable of understanding what the replicants, whom they live with in fear and horror, are.  Science here hasn’t imitated life, it’s created life – and Roy Batty has a soul, like it or not.

We might not have gotten the same impression if Rutger Hauer hadn’t decided to cut the original scene without consulting the screen-writer David Peoples or Ridley Scott the evening before shooting the, now famous, scene.

The original read:

“I have known adventures, seen places you people will never see, I’ve been Off-world 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 felt that the lines were “opera talk” and “hi-tech speech” and didn’t represent his character and had little to do with the rest of the film.  So he, in his words; “put a knife in it” the night before filming.

In an interview with Dan Jolin, Hauer said that these final lines showed that Batty wanted to “make his mark on existence … the replicant in the final scene, by dying, shows Deckard what a real man is made of.”” (Wikipedia)

Both Scott and Peoples insist that the lines were written by Hauer himself but Hauer feels that he only did a little editing .. here are the final lines so we can decide for ourselves:

I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. 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 tears…in…rain. Time to die.

Tannhäuser Gate isn’t mentioned anywhere in the original script but thanks to this brief monologue it has been used in several Scifi sub-genre  stories.  I just read and though you might be interested in this reference to Tannhäuser Gate:

The name probably derives from Richard Wagner‘s operatic adaption of the legend of the medieval German knight and poet Tannhäuser. Joanne Taylor, in an article discussing film noir and its epistemology, remarks on the relation between Wagner’s opera and Batty’s reference, and suggests that Batty aligns himself with Wagner’s Tannhäuser, a character who has fallen from grace with men and with God. Both, she claims, are characters whose fate is beyond their own control.

Not bad for someone who just cut several lines and added “All those moments will be lost ….”  Rutger Hauer, in rewriting those lines, in my opinion,  gave a new perspective to the whole movie … before that scene the replicants were only cruel, senseless monsters.

Dream Time – Free Verse – January 7, 2015

Charing Cross Road, 1937 by Wolfgang Suschitzky

Turn on the light
What time is it, what day?
Thursday morning –  2:00 a.m.

Turning off the light
Falling asleep I dream
As the hours pass

Time expands,

Dilates

Accelerates,

Stops

Now… I’m out for a walk
Up the side of a mountain
Climbing, climbing
Higher and higher
The wind, whistles in my ears
The birds fly overhead,
Crows cawing, finches twittering

Echoing

Changing

As pebbles fall

It begins to rain
Great crystal drops run down a window pane
Puddles form in the streets
Flashing street-lights
Splashing in the cold blackness
Wet feet – numb, frozen
No Sir Walter
Missed the trolley…

Hear the siren …
The ferry leaves the dock
The  tower clock
Tick, tick, ticks
Louder and louder
With a start, I wake-up

Turn on the light
What time is it, what day?
Thursday morning – 2:05 a.m.

Turning off the light ….

© G.s.k. ‘16

The Shell – Free Verse – October 18, 2015

George Tooker, self-portrait

The Shell

needing comfort one crisp autumn morn
my daughter and I went out sailing
and beneath our rocking wooden boat
we saw a glass-like sea-shell shining.

[upon a stone halfway to the abyss
smooth without seams it called to us –
in wet suits and snorkels we descended
– breathing in deep the salt crisp air]

floundering, nearly drowning to reach the rock
which had seemed to be well within reach
without pretty words I called off the search –
but then gifted her a  George Tooker print.

© G.s.k. ’15

§§§§§§§

I’m using the words from “Sunday’s Whirligig”  which came from “Nightingale” by Tony Morris: daughter, rocking, words, wooden, needing, beneath, halfway, slapping, glass, seams, breathing, crisp

Her Modigliani Neck – kyoka – September 17, 2014

Her Modigliani Neck (kyoka)

stretched out
as she watched the bats
fly in the driving rain …
so subtlety white
her soft Modigliani neck

my heart beat quickened
ah –  that silent temptation
(caress me my dear)
begging to be ravished
I, the Count,  could not resist

(Kyoka is a form of Japanese Waka poetry … dedicated to humor, very popular in the late 18th and early 19th century.)

Lunia Czechowska - Amedeo Modigliani

An example of Modigliani’s art work …

 

 

The March of Evolution – August 12, 2014

Keith Haring

from the innocence of angelhood
when humanity had yet to kill with a club
there dawned a thought … and then a word

invention and ingenuity
hallmarked the emerging species
using tools, he changed his fate …

solidarity was born to organize
the cohabitation of the beasts
into one cohesive piece

oligarchy bloomed
so the wise elite could guide
the less inventive sheep

then upon the corpses of evolution:
marriage was created
to regulate mankind’s sexuality …

religion to tie men together
and help curb his instincts
by using abstract rationality …

they invented organized war
to find an outside enemy
to keep the group united …

now they stand – masters of the planet
misguided bands of pompous angels
thinking that the universe was created for them

but inside their souls they’re still
innocent instinctive animals
who can barely curb their passions.

magpie tales statue stamp 185

Rodeo Queen – August 4, 2014

Elizabeth Taylor, Set of “Giant”, by Frank Worth.

Rodeo Queen

Born on a ranch  not far from Fort Worth, Texas she’d learnt to ride before she could walk.  Her father had hoped she’d be the son he’d always wanted but after 6 kids her mom figured she’d done her bit, so Emily was their last child.

Emily complied unknowingly to his wishes.  She learnt to ride, as I said, very early.  From that moment onwards she was destined to walk in her daddy’s footsteps, she was going to be a Rodeo Queen, just like he’d been a Rodeo King. Rodeo was in her blood.  He’ took her all his tours with him. True enough, he was a little too old to get into the heavy competitions, but he’d participate in the horse riding competitions.

She was 19 the day she died.  She was a contestant for at the Calgary Rodeo Stampede.  She could ride with the best of them and had already won many prizes.  The Calgary Rodeo was going to make her into a rodeo star.   It was just pure bad luck that the bull gored her.  She’d been riding a bronk and had just been thrown when an angry bull broke out and ran into the arena.  She’d just gotten up and was brushing her jeans off with her hat so she didn’t see that a bull was charging her. The cow-hands hadn’t been quick enough to distract the bull. He was one mean critter.

Her favorite song was “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen.  She’d listen to it at least a hundred times a day singing along with Cohen as her dad and she drove their camper from one rodeo to another.  So her dad insisted that the pastor play that song during the opening of the funeral service.  She’s buried in the private family cemetery on the ranch.

Her dad, from that day on, just kind of wasted away.  He died a few months after she did. He’s buried there too, the king near his princess.

magpie tales statue stamp 185Written for Magpie Tales and Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie

I apologize to anyone who knows anything about rodeos … This is just pure fantasy.  I know there is a Calgary Rodeo Stampede because way back in 1966 going to Alaska from Illinois my parents decided to take the ALCAN highway and we stayed a couple of days in Calgary.

Tattered Steps (For My Mother)- Free Verse – July 19, 2014

steps

Stair prompt by Tess Kincade

I walked these stairs a million times
Since I was wed to my own man.
Our children came,  then left the nest,
Then their kids too came into the world.

Clothed in bright deep crimson runners
My feet felt the soft nap and weave.
I loved their beauty and their flare,
‘Twas proud to walk upon those steps.

They were always there, a part of us.
Something we never thought about …
Years added up and took their toll,
Like us they became tattered and old.

Now, my own man, he’s gone too
Taken from me a few years ago
Now its just me and these old stairs,
And our memories of a life well spent.

magpie tales statue stamp 185