What’s So Bad About Being A Replicant?

A tribute to Blade Runner on it’s thirty-fifth anniversary, while the sequel Blade Runner 2049 is being screened in theater. A Tuesday podcast extra from On The Media.

On the Media – What’s So Bad About Being A Replicant? – October 5, 2017

A tribute for one of my favorite films, as well as a tribute to one of my favorite authors, from one of my favorite podcasts. The guest is the author of Prosthetic Memory: The Transformation of American Remembrance in the Age of Mass Culture, Alison Landsberg. She has some interesting insights into the meanings behind memories.

Instead of compartmentalizing American experience, the technologies of mass culture make it possible for anyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender to share collective memories—to assimilate as personal experience historical events through which they themselves did not live. That’s the provocative argument of this book, which examines the formation and potential of privately felt public memories. Alison Landsberg argues that mass cultural forms such as cinema and television in fact contain the still-unrealized potential for a progressive politics based on empathy for the historical experiences of others. The result is a new form of public cultural memory—”prosthetic” memory—that awakens the potential in American society for increased social responsibility and political alliances that transcend the essentialism and ethnic particularism of contemporary identity politics.

Columbia University Press

It’s just over fifteen minutes. Surely you can spend fifteen minutes listening to a podcast about what all these memories might mean to us?

The memory of the unicorn, though? That was also implanted. By Ridley Scott. From footage filmed for Legend. I don’t remember that scene being in the original cut of the film, although several people have insisted it was there then. I don’t know. I just know that it is in the film now. Was that reference added, and we assume it was always there? Or did I simply forget the moment remembering the movie as I first saw it on screen, mixing it with later viewings of Legend with the Wife, and extracting the scene by accident? I have no idea.


2019. What I do know is that it is well past time for me to see Blade Runner 2049 again. For a second time. It has been long enough for me to form a second opinion of it. I thought it was pretty cryptic, but well done, when I saw it two years ago. Typical for Ridley Scott. That I want to watch it again is a good sign. Few movies motivate me to see them again when thought of later.

Author: RAnthony

I'm a freethinking, unapologetic liberal. I'm a former CAD guru with an architectural fetish. I'm a happily married father. I'm also a disabled Meniere's sufferer.

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