Extended Profanity Cut

I raced up to New York last night after blogging about Blade Runner: The Final Cut for the 22:00 showing. The venue, a modernized classic theater with excellent projection and sound, really added to what is the almost definitive cut of Bladerunner.

The casual viewer may not pick up on the reshot scenes and hundred tweaks. Even I found myself forgetting to look for them because the print looks so crisp and lush (and wet of course), something I don’t recall from The Director’s Cut at the Ritz. I’m not sure if it was the theater, the HD-ification, or just me. Just in case, get to Manhattan and see it at The Ziegfeld if you can. If not, this is a must-see if not must-have for anybody who likes Blade Runner or the genre.

I want more life, fucker.

My one beef with The Final Cut is one word. In Roy’s famous quote, he now clearly says “father” instead of “fucker”. It just doesn’t match the menace in the actor’s body language. It also defuses the angst of a mortal confronting his creator about not being made to last, something I could see myself doing if God weren’t a delusion.

I hate this change, and I’m hoping for one more version, my “Extended Profanity Cut”, where this one line is restored. The really odd thing here is that the English subtitles in The Director’s Cut actually say “father”. I listened to the audio and watched Roy’s lips; I’m sure he’s saying fucker. Then again, we’re prone to misperception thanks to the way evolution hacked our brains [The McGurk Effect]. In Future Noir, Sammon has this to say about the line:

In the Workprint, when Batty first meets Tyrell and Eldon asks Roy what he wants, Rutger Hauer replies “I want more life, Father.” This is very different from the “fucker” that ends Batty’s line in all other versions [except now The Final Cut]. Yet the substitution of “father” does give the dialogue an extra note of complexity. This variant line, says R. Scott, “was filmed for cover, so the scene could play uncensored on network TV.”

I don’t agree that “father” adds complexity. It softens the tension that makes this a stand-out scene and is incongrous with the music and body language of that moment. By this point the idea of Tyrell as father/creator/god is well-established, so I don’t see it adding anything. What do you think?

3 thoughts on “Extended Profanity Cut”

  1. Gilgamesh is a better mythic template if you consider Roy the hero. The Oedipus myth is about much more than patricide, and Gilgamesh’s struggle against mortality is different than Oedipus’s and his father’s attempts to escape their fates. I can’t really think of any mortal-kills-god myth that fits though.

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