Of all the societal debates now going on in the West, many have to do with identity: who belongs in which group? Which groups belong in which places? And what if who we are changes according to context? In its own deep concern with identity, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, one of the most enduring cinematic visions of the 20th centur[...]
In elementary school, a playful teacher gave us an assignment. Everyone was to dream up some sort of amazing invention, then draw both a design and an advertisement for it.
It seemed most of my classmates were primed for a future in which sneakers would come equipped with fully operational, built-in wings.
We recognize its hallmarks in music especially. It is the province of Sun Ra, George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic, Afrika Bambaataa, and, in recent years, Janelle Monae, Andre 3000, Beyoncé, and many other black artists who have updated for the 21st century the styles and sounds of Afrofuturism.[...]
Many thinkers enjoy science fiction, and some even create it, but Arthur C. Clarke seemed to possess a mind precision-engineered for every aspect of it.[...]
Christopher Grant Harvey spent the better part of five years making Tears In The Rain: A Blade Runner Short Film. Unwilling to settle for something merely average, Harvey labored away, especially in post-production, “trying to get the perfect original visual effects and [a] fitting score to bring the story to life.[...]
Blade Runner came out in June 1982. Microsoft’s Paint came out in November 1985. Little could the designers of that rebranded version of ZSoft’s PC Paintbrush packaged in with Windows 1.0 know that the paths of their humble graphics application and that elaborate sci-fi cinematic vision would cross just over 30 years later.[...]
Back before the public came to terms with the grim causal relationship between cigarettes and cancer, smoking was a jolly affair, whose pleasures extended well beyond the physical act.
Smoking was sociable.
Image of Kurosawa and Tarkovsky via NPR
Though Akira Kurosawa and Andrei Tarkovsky occupy the same plane in the pantheon of auteurs — the highest one — neither their lives nor their films had much obviously in common.
Frank Herbert, David Lynch, and Alejandro Jodorowsky surely all rank among the most imaginative creators of the second half of the twentieth century.[...]