Ciro Discepolo | English corner | Blade Runner


Blade Runner (by Ridley Scott)
di Ciro Discepolo

The entrance of Neptune in Aquarius is near and already it is possible to record the prodromes of a similar event. Prodromes or happy anticipations? Everyone will judge for himself. In the last number of my magazine (Ricerca ’90) I wanted to launch a stone, provocatively, on the theme of the virtual realty, first, in according to my opinion, icon of the Neptune entrance in the eleventh zodiacal sign. I wrote, shortly, some notes about Nirvana, by Gabriele Salvatores and, we have to note, that the stone was picked up by Luigi Ferdinando Moretti that reports, on these same pages, his argumentations on the theme.
Then I desired to return on the argument and I have seen the beautiful Blade Runner again, the cult-movie of Ridley Scott in 1982. A really unforgettable film, one of the all time cinema pillars. Here, many years earlier of the Salvatores’ opera, the virtual reality was discussed. It is, in fact, the story of a policeman, Deckard (Harrison Ford), of the special unit called Blade Runner charged to discover and to eliminate the replications, some almost perfect clones of man, utilized for special works in the space colonies.
These clones are some excellent reproductions except of two particulars: they have a short life (usually four years) and they seem apparently without sentiments, but – as we will see in the film – it is not totally true and here, like in the fiction of the Neapolitan director, the dilemma is developed “person or character?”. We are in a future Los Angeles, dark, afflicted by persistent acid rains, noisy, full of smoke, crowded by an accumulation of races and of multiethnic personages.
Deckard moves among metallic and spectral architectures, in narrow open corridors obtained in the middle of the without end swarming of Americans, Chinese, black Africans, Europeans. The flat and very high surfaces of night sky-scrappers are used as displays for endless publicities while the speakers of the streets repeat their messages that today we call “advises for buyers”.
The spoken language is a not comprehensive slang made of little pieces of different languages, from German to Porto Rican to Japanese.
The policeman receives the order to “withdraw” (to kill) four rebel and fugitive clones. He uses a sophisticated test based on the pupil dilatation, the Voigt-Kampff test, that seams to evocate others of sad lagers memory. So he discovers that the clones are five and not four and among them there is even Rachel (the actress Sean Young): the young girl doesn’t know to be a clone and she tries some defences of the kind memories of playing doctor in her young life or photos with her mother, but the protagonist of the movie explains to her that they are only cerebral inserts, other people’s memories. Rachel visibly shocked, in spite of the ones that are convinced that the clones don’t have a soul, falls in love with her potential eliminator and, absolutely, saves his life by killing one of the four clones herself. They came to the world to obligate their constructor to modify their artificial DNA to extend, so, their life. But the mission fails and the four, one after the other, will die.
The last one, Butty, wonderfully interpreted by Ruther Hauer, a very blond clone with blue and Mephistophelean eyes (dubbed magisterially in the Italian edition), shuts off like a carillon that is exhausting its charge and adjusts his verbal rhythm to the same charge that finishes inexorably.
But, before dying, in an incredible generosity act, he saves the life of his killer. The thematic faced in this movie are fundamentally three and all three regard us strictly (regards us astrologers): the death, the virtual realty and the man/machine conflict. This last one was, you will remember, already the leitmotiv of 2001 Odyssey in Space, by Stanley Kubrick: man fights with his own machine, the board computer, and he destroys it to affirm his superiority, but he even remains victim of this because the spaceship will go in space, drifting away.
Here, instead, in a more optimist view, man is to win against the machine, as narrates the novel The Androids’ Hunter, by Philip K. Dick, from which the film was taken out. The virtual realty, or the clonation, if you want, are the other great theme of this film, a very cult one for the film enthusiasts.
The virtual realty regards everyone and will regard us even more in the future, from prothesis that will substitute organs and human tissues, to the animals created in laboratory to improve the man’s life, until the happiness pills (but these already exist and are named Prozac). This is an open debate to which I’d like that all you readers will participate with some original contributes: we have sufficient time because Neptune will stay a long time in Aquarius. The provocation of this link is clear: Neptune like deceive, Neptune like mistake, Aquarius like future, like science, like infinite possibilities in man’s hands. The film is absolutely to be watched because re-launches a very great series of significant and cites unforgettable classics as The Middle-aged Next Venture, by Roberto Vacca that, since being an implacable enemy of the astrology, has, however, said some shareable things. The global sense of the movie in object is really the Middle-age, a new kind of Middle-age that is arriving if we will not do something of really fundamental in the ecological sense.
In that bailamme of steel and persistent rain, in that kind of miracle’s court of miserable that speak unknown languages and that are not able to communicate among them, Butty pronounces his last words that are: “It is time to die…” and, didactically, he recalls other words: “Where am I from? Where am I going? How much time do I have to live?”. And to these queries we astrologers, not even, are able to answer.

Translated by Ciro Discepolo and Anna Mellone