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David Poland

By David Poland

BYO Blade Runner 2049 Spoiler Space


Conversation after the jump… for the protection of those who haven’t seen it…

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64 Responses to “BYO Blade Runner 2049 Spoiler Space”

  1. David Poland says:

    Welcome to 2049,,,

  2. Den B says:

    Who left the flower at the tree? I thought it was Sapper Morton but then I saw a discussion online that the flower might link to the bees that Deckard was keeping in Vegas.

    Also, was the relationship between K and his boss ever sexual? She seems to allude to that when she says (indicating the drink) — ‘do you know what happens if I finish that?’ and she seemed to be flirtatious in that moment.

  3. The Pope says:

    Like the original, it will take a good few viewings to unpack all that is going on inside BR2049.

    However, I sense that a major opportunity has been missed. BR was visionary because its themes grew more pertinent. But the level of misogyny in BR2049 is shocking. I found the violence inflicted against the female characters (human, replicant, hologram or otherwise) very dispiriting.

    Given the paradigmatic shifts we are experiencing right now, surely gender inequality will be an even bigger issue in the future – hopefully in terms of correcting the imbalance. But either way, it will be a huge issue and I think had they gone a different route, BR2049 would have had a better chance of resonating with future audiences. And that is not to mention casting outside of the white caucasian net.

    If the film fails at the box office, it will be in large part because the female audience didn’t go. No film can afford to shut out 50% of the public.

  4. JS Partisan says:

    Pope. that’s all well and good, but this movie was never going to attract women. These movies, rarely do. The problem you are missing, is that it has nothing to sell to fucking millennials. These sort of futures, are just anathema to them. It’s not what they want, probably for what you mentioned, but you aren’t getting people into the seats. When they don’t know your first movie, and don’t understand how closely this movies ties to the last. Seriously. This is the future of the 2019, from the first film. If you view it in that light, then it makes more sense.

    And the violence against women thing: Love is the best, but she got beat. These things happen.

    Spoiler: why do the replicants believe, that the girl who makes the best memories, would be some sort of transformational leader? That shit… is a stretch. What is interesting though, is the snow memory she was crafting at the end. Looked a hell of a lot, like the snow K was seeing, as he was giving up the ghost.

  5. Michael Bergeron says:

    I liked BR2049 a lot … but I did find some glaring holes in The Mountain Between Us …. the camera Kate has … at first she is showing Idris images on the back like it’s a digital camera, then she is developing the 35mm film (a red room looks good camera wise) then the negatives are medium format, not 35mm …. and it would not have taken them three week to descend the mountain even it they crawled yet when they reach the cabin she remarks, “we’re down to two cans of soup” … yeah and Half a Cougar

  6. leahnz says:

    dang i should have blathered on endlessly about the OG and 49 in this spoiler thread.

    “but this movie was never going to attract women”
    come on JS this is nonsense

    BR49 has a serious woman problem (and a metric shit-ton of caucasians problem in FUTURE LOS ANGELES haha), weird how these two so often go hand-in-hand, glad to see some non-women finally pointing this out as per ‘the pope’

  7. JS Partisan says:

    Leah, you come the fuck on. Gosling, isn’t exactly who he was, and it’s not like millennial women (and younger) are all about him now. Also, this shit doesn’t sell to women. It just doesn’t. Especially, when it’s just dudes being dudes doing dude stuff.

    And pointing what out? 2049 is a sequel to a movie from the fucking 80s, and it’s that future. The women problem, is what? Love, punches a motherfucker in the god damn spine, then she shoots motherfucking rockets at the “heroes.” She also kills Madam. She only gets beaten by K, because he pulls some fucking human shit on her.

    The hero, the one who will change everything, is a woman. The film deftly, makes you feel K should be the hero, then swerves you. It swerves you, because it makes the one hidden away, making art all day is the hero. Not the guy with the gun, who’s the Blade Runner.

  8. JoeLeydon says:

    Leah, I am being serious, not snarky, when I ask: What woman problem? Women are most of the authority figures — including the chief villain, K’s boss, the dreamweaver and the leader of the rebel replicants. And if you’re the villain of the piece, chances are good you’re always going to be punched by the protagonist.

  9. leahnz says:

    wtf JS

    hi joe, i copy/pasted some stuff from the other thread below here cuz i’m not in they typing way, ok i hope

    (also, did you read the pope’s comment above? and this from the MCN main page, which i read after commenting yesterday so it’s nice to see something of its ilk on the main page, spot on:

    my comments re the woman problem from other thread:

    perhaps predictably it’s only been in reviews/commentary by women that i’ve seen mention of the near-constant female nudity, objectification and sexualisation of women and the female form throughout BR49 (the only instance of male ‘nudity’ being a brief glimpse at the blank white nexus 8 statues or whatever those were on display, not sexualised in the slightest), so much so it appears a theme. conversely in the OG BR the only nudity is a brief topless bit in the scene with zhora.

    of the main-ish female characters ‘luv’ is literally Wallace’s replicant slave who does his bidding; ‘joi’ is K’s male fantasy AI who serves him dinner and strokes his ego and follows him around, one could argue his figurative slave; ‘mariette’ is a clichéd sex worker replicant but at least has a degree of agency i suppose; and write as the lieutenant, who is the only female character in a position of power with agency. the female characters were well performed, certainly, but this whole ‘BR49 strong women’ thing is quite bizarre really.

    to add, specifically:
    luv is most certainly not an authority figure, she is a killer slave who follows orders, wallace is the string-puller (another weak-ass villain).
    the leader of the replicants is a miniscule role, on screen for about what, five minutes tops? now, had she been a central character in the narrative you might have a point.
    i don’t see how tyrell’s niece – er the dream-weaver – is an “authority figure”, another small role with little screen time or depth, pivotal only as a plot point and a device to elicit emotion from the (male) characters at the end. again if she’d had more screen time and her character in any way developed, maybe. cinema: show, don’t tell

    the only autonomous female figure with significant screen time (and even her role is fairly limited) is the lieutenant

  10. JS Partisan says:

    Leah, no, we going to be on this hill for a while. Joe is on point. Engage.

    “Perhaps predictably it’s only been in reviews/commentary by women that i’ve seen mention of the near-constant female nudity, objectification and sexualisation of women and the female form throughout BR49 (the only instance of male ‘nudity’ being a brief glimpse at the blank white nexus 8 statues or whatever those were on display, not sexualised in the slightest), so much so it appears a theme. conversely in the OG BR the only nudity is a brief topless bit in the scene with zhora.”

    Yeah. Ryan Gosling’s doink should have been in this movie.

    “of the main-ish female characters ‘luv’ is literally Wallace’s replicant slave who does his bidding;”

    Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit. She’s his most trusted replicant, who runs his business, and is trusted to uncover his most important secret. Love, is the villain of the film in ways, that Wallace could never be. Stating she is a slave, is just out of fucking whack with what the movie shows us. She’s the right hand woman.

    “‘joi’ is K’s male fantasy AI who serves him dinner and strokes his ego and follows him around, one could argue his figurative slave;”

    This whole line of thought, is counterfuckingintuitive. The movie, goes out of it’s way, to show you how some people could use Joi. They can make her pink, black eyed, and a fuck doll. How does K treat her? She’s just a person to him. They are both fake, but he views her as more human than him. She’s willing to give everything up to be with him, and maybe that’s what he wanted. Maybe that’s what he desired, but the movie sure as shit doesn’t portray it that way. She’s as artificial as him, but her dying is more real than his dying.

    ‘mariette’ is a clichéd sex worker replicant but at least has a degree of agency i suppose; and write as the lieutenant, who is the only female character in a position of power with agency. the female characters were well performed, certainly, but this whole ‘BR49 strong women’ thing is quite bizarre really.”

    No. All of the female characters are portrayed as having some sort of agency, that K doesn’t have til he fucking dies. Joi, decides to be put in the immitter. Love, decides to do her job. The prostitutes of the underground, are the soldiers in a revolution. While Madam, is trying her best to stop said revolution.

  11. leahnz says:

    no js

  12. Whittle says:

    Growing up with the original, one of the scenes that always stood out for me has Rachel studying the topless Deckard as he washes himself.

  13. leahnz says:

    yes. that’s also the scene when in the OG his eyes glow gold slightly when he’s standing shirtless behind rachel, slightly out of focus. one of the few things to point toward deckard’s ‘race’ (human or skin job) before all the RS fiddling with 11 versions and whatnot insisting deckard’s a replicant

    that really has nothing to do with anything, but does bring to mind that unless i missed something we still don’t know what up with deckard. are they planning more of these? (probably need to be leaner and meaner with the budget if so)

    also re 49, i think i find it frustrating because k is actually an intriguing character and the point of view of a replicant this time out is interesting and an intriguing premise, but the movie doesn’t go anywhere with it, k’s internal journey, the whole pinnocho syndrome and his wanting to be human – and what does that mean? seems like a missed opportunity in favour of a more conventional story.
    i thought that weird repetitive testing bit was intense – one of the few intense parts of an otherwise very even thing. i hoped THAT was the direction it was going, the measure of how ‘pure’ a replicant k is and what happens when he changes, becomes ‘more human’, change of identity, how do you measure that. more interesting than ‘fuck your hologram’ anyway, that took up a lot of time

  14. The Pope says:

    @JS and Joel,
    Again, whether human, replicant, hologram or otherwise, it is women in this film who are naked, have their bellies slit open, are shot, crushed and strangled and it is women who are offered up as sex objects. For parity, they really could have provided massive adverts for men offering sex. THAT would have been interesting. Also, look at the giant statues in Vegas. Women with their mouths open… to receive what? And please don’t say that’s an allusion to Clockwork Orange. No one in the audience watching the Vegas scenes would have said to themsleves… “Hmmm, something is missing here. How about a reference to the Milk Bar in Clockwork Orange.”

    As for the violence inflicted against the women (a lot of it sexualized), never presume that “these things happen.” They only happen in the film because the filmmakers (in this instance, all men) decided they should happen.

    Leah makes a brilliant point. Where is the ethnic diversity? Surely in the orphanage there could have been and perhaps should have been Asians, Latinos and Africans as well as Caucasians.

    IT IS THOSE ELEMENTS that would have given BR2049 a chance of breathing into the future the way the first one did.

  15. Triple Option says:

    Why was this movie five hours long? OK, pushing three but it wasn’t like the universe needed that time to be explained or established and it didn’t have the Spaghetti western model about it, so why stretch to 3 what coulda come in at two?

  16. Pj says:

    It seems like some are missing the point of the film in order to beat the drum about their agenda. Unless men suddenly were able to have babies and didn’t tell me, there was a very specific reason why that female replicants stomach was slit open. Also I guess no one cares that Dave Baustita died.

  17. Maniac Cop says:

    It’s not untrue that women are victimized throughout the film. It’s just an easy criticism that’s ignorant of a text which is about a PREDATORY SOCIAL ORDER. Also, as the protagonist is a hetero dude seeking his identity, the movie is largely focused on male sexuality. That may not be what you want a movie to be about, but it’s still a valid topic in fiction.

  18. The Pope says:

    @Pj, with all that technology at their disposal they surely could have conducted a scan. But no, they decide to slit open the womb of a naked woman.

    And no, we do care that Dave Baustita died. But it’s the way he was killed, and why. Why was Joi murdered? How (and it doesn’t matter who murdered her). Why Rachael? Was Sapper Morton sexually objectified? And what fate awaits Dr. Ana Stelline?

    And finally, some people have been saying that Luv is a kick-ass replicant… but she has absolutely no agency whatsoever. Everything she does, she does because she has been programmed by Niander Wallace. He doesn’t trust her more than any other replicant… he programmed her so she could be trusted.

    Everything, and I mean everything in Blade Runner 2049 is filtered through a misogynist paradigm. Buf if the film were to have found a way of portraying a society that is misogynist, rather than being misogynist itself… well, I wouldn’t be commenting.

  19. Doug R says:

    That may be the point.
    That a society that accepts slavery by its nature subjugates almost everyone.

  20. The Pope says:

    Doug R.,
    That’s a very astute point. Because it inevitably opens up the question… who accepts slavery other than slavers? And that prompts the question… made Blade Runner 2049? Sociologists? Futurists? Humanists? Feminists?

    But for the record, I think it is a film worth seeing quite a few times. There is a lot of very interesting things in there. But one of the truly dispiriting things is the way the filmmakers chose to depict women.

  21. film fanatic says:

    — The geography of the big final showdown setpiece seemed totally arbitrary and made no sense. Suddenly they’re in the ocean and the tide is rising? WTF? And the Perils of Pauline bit with Harrison Ford just sort of sitting there in the background while about to drown was ridiculous.

    — What was the point of Jared Leto stabbing and killing that newly born replicant?

    — The biggest mystery is never explained: why is Harrison Ford dressed like he shops at Old Navy? Perhaps the logic is that he went on the run in 2019 so his clothes would look contemporary, but the BLADE RUNNER version of 2019 isn’t our present. He didn’t wear anything nearly like that in the original, so how is he suddenly rocking normcore dad jeans?

  22. JS Partisan says:

    Pope, you are wrong about LOVE, and fuck spelling it like the south fucking matters in Blade Runner world. She runs the Wallace corporation. She’s doing what she’s doing, because she seems rather invested, as well as Wallace, in a replicant that can procreate. She’s not a slave. She was shown to have too much agency, to be just another replicant. Remember: he named her, because she’s special.

    To respond to film fanatic:

    1) they obviously had that set piece pre-vized, probably already built in a computer, so they just had to use it. Deckhard, just sitting there dying, has to be some metaphor about shit, but Harrison at least wasnt in that scene. Huzzah for facial replacement! GIVE IT UP, TO TOTAL RECALL!

    2) They tried to make one with a womb, and she didn’t have one, so he killed her.

    3) Vegas is leisure, man. TOTALLY LEISURE!

    Aside from that, we don’t live in a world, where mysteries like the ones in Blade Runner, can be kept from people in trailers. If they put in the trailer, that Wallace and Love were looking for a replicant that can have a baby, and then tied that to Rachel for older folks. Well, you might have a movie, that opens worth a shit. Instead, they went mystery box, and mystery box only works with Star Wars. Get ready for absolutely three scenes from the final act in tomorrow’s trailer! WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

  23. leahnz says:

    the thing is – and the ultimate problem with 49 – is that there IS no over-arching theme. what is the thematic message or arc of this movie?

    the film-makers could have explored the theme of slavery and subjugation through k and the replicants in the narrative, in the same way the OG movie used a basic old-school detective noir/mystery to explore the theme of what it means to be ‘human’.

    and there were moments in the movie that hint at a thematic undercurrent, such as when k is given an order by the Lieutenant and she says something like, “you don’t want to do that?” and he responds like, “i wasn’t aware i had a choice” and then she comments on his lack of a soul; but this rather profound concept never deepens or goes anywhere at all – and lord knows with the very long run-time there was opportunity for the film-makers to explore such themes but instead opt for the shallow, conventional route that in the end says nothing.

  24. film fanatic says:

    I like Robin Wright as an actress and it’s a shame, post House of Cards, that the only note she’s being allowed to play nowadays is “even colder, WASPier Mary Tyler Moore in ORDINARY PEOPLE ice queen.”

  25. JS Partisan says:

    The overarching theme, seems that you are fucked. It’s the same with fucking Blade Runner. Both movies, are based on fucking worlds, that leave you fucked. You are just fucked, and you have to do the best you fucking can to not be fucked. K is fucked, Love is fucked, and Joi is doubly fucked. Deckard hid, and guess what? He was still fucked. He feel in love, lost his woman, and lost his kid. Fucked.

    The whole point of the replicants, seem to be, that they want to be unfucked. They want to live their lives, not as slaves, but as people. People, who seem to be fucking better at being humans, in that universe, than the actual humans.

    Blade Runner’s world, is oppressive. It’s oppressive, and pain ridden, and just… fucked.

  26. The Pope says:

    @JS, Luv (for that is how she is listed in the credits), is a slave. She is a replicant. All replicants are made for one purpose. Serve. End of.

  27. EtGuild2 says:

    Yikes….I find some of these interpretations way more retrograde than the retro-future pastiche of BR2049.

    “There needs to be a coherent narrative theme to satisfy my sensibilities of convention!”

    “Any movie that provides me with an opening to allude to a sinister portrayal of women, regardless of subject matter, history of those involved or narrative structure, beware!”

    Give me a break. A bleak sequel to the 1982 sci-fi noir classic that features ads to Atari and Pan Am was never meant to suddenly transform into a neo-feminist utodystopia. Doing so would have tipped it into incoherent absurdism for those who saw the original.

    I don’t even get the whining here: would Gosling swinging his dick around and getting stabbed 10 times instead of 5 made you feel better, narrative cohesion be damned? Should more male characters have had their skulls crushed and eyeballs ripped out in male-on-male violence following the cold open, and if so how many exactly? Was Harrison Ford ineffectively punching Gosling 10 times in an environment that characterizes fading/warped proto-masculity not obvious enough?….maybe they should have had images of cockfighting and had Ford dress up like in full Don Draper attire to really drive the point home?

    Was Gosling’s objectification by women not turned up to 11 enough because his android sex drive wasn’t set to “writhing, submissive cat in heat” (which def would make sense as a replicant killer!)…should every woman in Los Angeles have objectified him…or does the female objectification of him make things worse for you?

    I found a pretty big over-arching theme or two, but to each his own on finding a thematic core. I’d suggest reading the original Philip K. Dick story for clarity.

  28. leahnz says:

    maybe you could be a bigger condescending asshole spewing pernickety, incoherent nonsense EtG, i don’t think you quite nailed it

    (also, you sound whiney as fuck. personally i’ve read ‘do androids’ several times, know the original flick like the back of my hand, and your assertion above about ‘incoherent absurdism’ for people who’ve seen the original that are critical of this thing is just plain dumb and i’d think an intentional misrepresentation of the discussion here – either that or you can’t read properly whilst hyperventilating)

  29. brack says:

    I just don’t see it as misogynistic. If that’s a case, Fury Road was misogynistic too. Max grazed a woman in the leg with a bullet, and held women hostage for a good amount of time. Max hated women!

  30. EtGuild2 says:

    Hahaha, “Im not whiney, you’re whiney! You’re the one worked up not me! You’re incoherent, not me!”

    Classic Leah dodge. I’m not worked up whatsoever. I’m in alignment with you on 90% of this stuff with studio filmmaking, but this is one of those rare eye rollers that’s nearly as much a threat to liberal positioning as true retrograde attitudes. There seems to be willful cherry-picking going on by those who didn’t connect with the movie.

  31. JS Partisan says:

    Ethan, right on.

    Pope, NOT IF THEY GET A NAME! And I quote, “You have a name. You must be special.” Luv, is basically, his right hand. If running the biggest business on that planet, and having the ability to LIE, makes her a slave. Well… you know… that’s a weird interpretation.

    Also, you’re trying too hard. I am progressive as the live long day, but come on… stop.

  32. Triple Option says:

    I watched the original a few days before seeing the new one and even though I’d seen it plenty of times over the years, one thing that really jumped out at me this time was seeing Deckard holding a full-sized newspaper. Haha, missed on that one! But, as it relates to some comments here, when was the last time you’ve seen a prostitute out on the street irl? That was one thing that kinda struck me, working girls just peeping out from the shadows. I wondered was that only life there, amongst the left behind? Like, they had the near nude, stories high, holograms but on the getaway planet that was being advertised, would life there had been less seedy? That was sorta my takeaway. The lower income you go here today the more likely you see stuff out in the open. As I’m wondering would there really be hookers out like that, I thought maybe so, if that’s the Little Rock of its day. How much of the objectification was intentional and not being socially still asleep?

  33. palmtree says:

    Representation-wise, I was disappointed to find a lack of East Asian characters. With Japanese and Korean script everywhere, you’d think there could be at least one East Asian person with some lines. Diversity means more than just black and white. Even Benedict Wong had a role in one of the prequel shorts, and James Hong was so memorable in the original. Seems an easy but missed opportunity.

  34. EtGuild2 says:

    On one hand, this isn’t GHOST IN THE SHELL in that the universe it takes place in is meant to be a facsimile of the future (starting with the fact they didn’t shift the 2019 date into the future). On the other hand, I agree there’s really no arguing with the fact they could have done better.

  35. palmtree says:

    ET, I appreciate you agreeing they could have done better.

    But I don’t quite understand the first thing you said. LA has a huge Asian population IRL. And also in the 1982 film there was a huge population of Asians. Fictional and real worlds both agree on that. Why not the sequel?

    Yeah, they didn’t shift the 2019 date, but instead they went on as if it were a parallel universe, hence Pan Am and Atari still are huge brands. Maybe I’m misunderstanding you?

  36. EtGuild2 says:

    I mean, essentially, it’s kind of weird debating demographics in a universe that isn’t meant to be a real future (unlike, say, GITS) given that predicting the real world even 10 years in the future is weird enough in real life (the rapid gentrification of DC, and the explosive growth of Somali populations in Maine for instance. Where are the Somalis in Stephen King books?). We’d have to go with the idea that a fascist oligarchy obsessed with attaining perfection that has ruled this world for decades doesn’t have any racial biases in this case (which I’m okay with, but still).

    Regardless, it’s unnecessary and annoying to think about this. I’d rather have representation and not either consider the filmmakers’ implicit biases or the reasoning behind casting choices/potential justifications.

  37. mahtigwess says:

    The movie is about personhood. Obviously, in order to keep someone a slave you have to see them as a non-person.

    Those that are arguing that Luv is not a slave, should consider if Wallace sees her as a person. His willingness to kill the angel in her presence would suggest not.

    In the eyes of K, Joi is a person, but Luv quite easily stomps her emitter. On the other hand Luv cries at the death of the Angel.

    Madame obviously does not see K as a person, or at least struggles to not see him that way.

    My guess would be that the replicant revolutionaries will likely deny personhood to the humans if there uprising is successful.

    Roy Batty transcends this are you or aren’t you struggle when he saves Deckard. His imminent death forces him to realize the futility of the with me or against me dynamic.

    It is interesting that the replicant deaths at the end both occur in precipitation. Batty’s in the rain which is obviously linked to memories and K in the snow which is linked to memories being created by Steline.

    Birth and death are not the definers of personhood, memories are.

  38. palmtree says:

    ET, it is annoying and just weird that in the diversity discussion, even low-hanging fruit such as putting East Asians in a movie universe where they are a huge part of the landscape isn’t instantly grabbed by a major production. And ironically, now I think they’ll need the Chinese grosses to save its ass.

    Having said that, I really liked the movie a lot.

    As far as female representation goes, I think all the male gaze is a function of the R-rating. They figured they were making a movie for boys and so just went all-in. With a PG-13 rating, they’d probably do away with most of that nudity making the film more gender-neutral AND profitable at the same time. Again, low-hanging fruit.

  39. EtGuild2 says:

    Yeah, there were some weird choices. I actually don’t recall any nudity at all aside from the prototype replicant/replicants in vats.

    I guess I would have done the prototype scene differently. I think it had to be a woman, given the pregnancy angle, but maybe it could have been both or they could have been less explicit perhaps.

  40. leahnz says:

    “I actually don’t recall any nudity at all aside from the prototype replicant/replicants in vats.”

    maybe this is the problem

    maybe the problem is that you’re so steeped in a patriarchal culture that objectifies female nudity in such a casual way so as to pander to the male gaze that you are inured to its ubiquity, rather than, you know, people who point it out being “a threat to liberal positioning as true retrograde attitudes”
    hahahahaha what the actual fuck. no

    off the top of my head, female nudity in BR49, and I’m probably forgetting some, i’ve only seen it once: completely naked female nexus 8 prototype statues (also the only very brief male nudity); completely naked new-born female replicant who gets womb gutted like a fish; completely naked prostitute mariette; multiple completely naked prostitutes behind a window who appear to be getting fucked from behind by invisible fuckers; completely naked giant female holograms; completely naked giant stone women in various sex positions – and giant stone women with giant nippled-breasts with mouths rounded and agape in readiness… i know i’m forgetting some

    but sure, pretend there isn’t glaring sexual objectification of women in BR49 if it makes you feel better


    “They figured they were making a movie for boys and so just went all-in.”

    why on earth would they think this given the OG’s flick iconic status with women fans

  41. spassky says:

    The “glaring sexual objectification” bothered me, but I think that is the intended affect. I don’t know why films, especially desolate, dystopian ones need to cater to people’s contemporary utopian ideals.

    Having said that, there seemed to be a gratuity to the sexualized images of women. At one point it just seemed some could be cut without making it less clear that in a future world of devastation, of cultural and economic depression, women are treated badly. Perhaps it should’ve gone to greater lengths to explain to people that the patriarchal society the film is set in is not ideal, but then again, I might then be saying it wasn’t hard-nosed enough about the matter.

    All in all, it’s an R-rated film, so my main concerns would be teenagers seeing it and becoming desensitized to this objectification, but after reading this thread, maybe the teenagers aren’t the ones I should be concerned about getting the right lesson…

  42. spassky says:

    “why on earth would they think this given the OG’s flick iconic status with women fans”

    I know my younger female friends sort of fetishize the aesthetics of bladerunner without really enjoying the movie. But then again, who does(nt)?

    I think my main take away from talking to a lot of people about the original, as that not a lot of people like it, just respect it. how do you market to that?

  43. spassky says:

    so now I would like to hear people’s opinions on the film. A few questions I had:

    -Was Robin Wright in on it? Did she know the truth?
    -Is there a possibility K was actually the male child and that his record was eliminated so he could be controlled as a blade runner?
    -Is Deckard a replicant?
    -How did the cyborg scientology resistance elders make it to Las Vegas undetected?
    -How could Deckard live amongst all that radiation?
    -Why did they have Lennie James in the film?

    OH and I would like to second the outrage at NO east asian characters in the film — what a crock. This could have been adressed by casting more central asians or dwelling more on what appears to be a massive refugee migration from the middle east, but was too caught up in the nippophobia of the original (with some Korean updates it looked like).

    EDIT: Last question, I swear– Do you think Luv had a fantasy of getting impregnated by Deckard for the ultimate existential validation?

  44. EtGuild2 says:

    If your idea of being steeped in patriarchy is failing to notice the demographics of statue nudity in a movie that uses pregnancy as a Maguffin, maybe you’re right. But to me, this level of critique (which strikes me as totally bizarre, but hey, maybe I’m not woke enough) is the kind of overkill that makes progressivism toxic to not just men, but many women, and sets us back.

    I did completely forget about the hologram though, and that’s a good call on the lack of male brothel visibility in a fascistic alternate universe. In terms of “not remembering or noticing because you’re male,” there’s plenty of content that I could probably take offense to as homophobic in Hollywood movies, but if it takes a concerted effort to fixate on it, it probably isn’t meaningful and I dismiss it rather than working up a nice frothy rage.

    I’m just still in disbelief that an alternative dystopian world ruled by a fascist oligarchy that continues to embrace facets of 80s culture is expected to adhere to progressive gender norms, and that all supporting characters and environments should demonstrate equilibrium…otherwise it’s evidence of the filmmakers’ backwards societal viewpoints.

    I like spassky’s take: perhaps they could have been less gratuitous in one scene or two. Because everything now provokes someone and it’s best to just avoid a hint of anything that could be upsetting.

  45. spassky says:

    to be clear: there were times watching the film where I was like… okay hologram butts… got it. (EDIT: as in, I really felt that the amount of world building in terms of gender inequality was overrepresented and made me feel similar to how I felt when Blue is the Warmest Color sex scenes went on a little too long). Also, I felt like Mariette’s agency was a bit tacked on, but like a lot of things in the movie, looking back, I can see why they didn’t cut her completely, because the points line up. They get from point a to point b in a somewhat efficient way. but honestly, I would’ve cut 30 minutes out of the movie anyway.

    what parts would you all have cut?

  46. palmtree says:

    “all supporting characters and environments should demonstrate equilibrium…otherwise it’s evidence of the filmmakers’ backwards societal viewpoints.”

    Equilibrium? Is that in reference to what I was saying?
    I meant quite the opposite. In fact, the whole idea behind having East Asian culture running rampant in the future was, as spassky called it, “nippophobia” or the exact opposite of equilibrium.

    And the film is incredibly diverse as is. So it’s not a question of some “backwards” view. I’d call it more of a blindspot. It’s because the film is so overall diverse that it makes the lack of East Asians somewhat conspicuous.

  47. EtGuild2 says:

    palmtree, not in reference to what you were saying 🙂 Agree with your points on the diversity.

    spassky, it’s a tough call on what to cut. Perhaps we could have had more male statues or fewer female ones. Maybe the brothel could have been less gratuitious or the giant hologram could have been cut or at least worn a crop top. I guess if I had to pick one, it’d be the belly slicing?

  48. Doug R says:

    Seems strange that a 160 minute movie could have so many unanswered questions. Maybe that 2032 anime should have been made into a movie or an HBO or AMC mini series. Would have given us a bridge to the 2049 story, could have made a few tweaks to the “future”.
    Maybe most of the Asians left after the blackout or the climate changed or trump or all three? Maybe shooting in East Europe made it hard to get Asian actors? Maybe Deny being from Quebec didn’t quite understand how deeply ingrained Asian culture is on the West Coast.
    As to the misogyny, I remember a story Quentin Tarantino told about making Django Unchained. He called Sidney Poiter and said how bad he felt about what his actors had to portray. Poiter told him basically you gotta decide what kind of story you’re going to tell.
    That being said, a fairness moment of Ryan in the shower at the police station getting walked in by his boss would help show his place in this society.

  49. leahnz says:

    i don’t think the tarantino analogy is apt, given that the explicit female nudity in BR49 serves no purpose whatsoever other than to titillate (all of it could be chopped without the slightest effect on the narrative), and the violent deaths suffered (overwhelmingly) by the specific female characters, mostly just waved off here, serves no wider thematic purpose, unexplored in any way beyond “eat shit and die ladies”

    i agree that you have to decide what kind of story you’re going to tell, so maybe do it a way that is thematically compelling, complex and clear.

    “in this future female beings are sex objects, poorly constructed archetypes and disposable slaves treated like garbage” is not thematically insightful, it’s a stupid, pandering crutch and a tired cliché utterly lacking in creative vision and imagination. so weird how dudes (not ‘the pope’, who gets it, bless the pontiff) just see this degradation and objectification of women as non-remarkable in context

    oh but the crappy, objectifying treatment of women is the point!
    yeah no shit, and it’s weak AF. get good

    (i’d love to see the movie with the tables turned, guys served up naked and objectified, naked dudes stabbed in the genitals, gutted, strangled, blinded, shot point-blank in head by women. meh, you know, just another tuesday)

  50. Doug R says:

    Take the current political climate in the US. Racism and misogyny go hand in hand. One party’s whole political platform is centered on “the other” which must be feared and subjugated.
    “I didn’t know that was an option”.
    Now in the hands of another director, the story might be told in a better way, but I’m thinking Ridley and Deny got that hammer and every story point looks like a nail to them.

  51. Sergio says:

    In a month that’s had so much REAL LIFE consequences of gun violence, powerful men in this industry subjecting generations of women to unwarranted intimidation and worse with basic impunity.. it just makes you wonder if Hollywood (the film business in general) should CONTINUE the trend of glorifying these behaviors.
    Isn’t it time you looked critically at WHY these things just seem normal in our entertainment or we try to defend them as artistic choices all the time? Sometimes, film fans can sound like news pundits, “tragic but not the time to talk about it”. When two big level studios, with major award credibility, are rocked with possible harassment cover ups and the like, isn’t it time to talk about how the images and portrayal of women in the movies we love may have some impact in the society? We don’t always have to see the worst realities portrayed, sometimes we can consciously decide to shed some perspective, and say maybe it’s time we were more sensitive to how WE content creators may fit into the problems we care about.

  52. Roy Batty says:

    Finally saw the movie and was psyched to come back and read Dave’s review and read the comments/debate. I should have known it would be one big argument about how women (and minorities) are portrayed in the movie. I understand these are important issues, and I agree with a lot of points made above. I’m just completely in awe of how online film culture has made this shift into non-stop discussions of rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, gender equality, cultural appropriation…these are important issues and i don’t mean to minimize them but I really miss talking about movies.

  53. Triple Option says:

    Sorry for the late response. I know I hate it when no one answers my questions. I didn’t love the film and have already forgotten much of it so take with a side of salt.
    spassky wrote:
    -Was Robin Wright in on it? Did she know the truth?
    Hard to say what she knew. At least for me.

    -Is there a possibility K was actually the male child and that his record was eliminated so he could be controlled as a blade runner?
    I doubt it. I think they wanted the big reveal of him not being the one to be true. I also think they would’ve done something else to have left that window open.

    -Is Deckard a replicant?
    Read some interview w/Sir Ridley a few years ago that did confirm Deck is a replicant.

    -How could Deckard live amongst all that radiation?
    Was there definitely a nuclear blast? I thought the place had just been war torn/environmental byproduct.

    Do you think Luv had a fantasy of getting impregnated by Deckard for the ultimate existential validation?
    Maybe by Niander, if he was really real but otherwise no. She didn’t strike me as seeking any sort of validation beyond attagirl.

  54. leahnz says:

    “Finally saw the movie and was psyched to come back and read Dave’s review and read the comments/debate. I should have known it would be one big argument about how women (and minorities) are portrayed in the movie. I understand these are important issues, and I agree with a lot of points made above. I’m just completely in awe of how online film culture has made this shift into non-stop discussions of rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, gender equality, cultural appropriation…these are important issues and i don’t mean to minimize them but I really miss talking about movies.”

    fuck this shit

    this stuff IS ‘about movies’, that’s the whole point

    and you DO mean to minimise them, exactly that

    “why isn’t everyone talking about movies the way I want them to talk about movies because i’m so used to the perspective of straight white dudes and us being centered and pandered to and unchallenged that when it’s not about me and my ilk i pack a passive-aggressive sad, wah wah wah”

    ETA also, if Deckard is a replicant then the movie’s fucked-up narrow focus on female replicants as would-be baby machines is even dumber and more icky because why not focus on the male side of reproduction; if Deckard produced living sperm then why can’t the male replicants procreate and impregnate?

  55. EtGuild2 says:

    Sometimes I wonder if leah is secretly a “Men’s Rights” advocate who is massively trolling.

  56. Roy Batty says:

    leahnz. I’ve been reading this blog for as long as it’s been in existence. A few other movie blogs I’ve been reading for years and years too. In all that time, you are the only ONLY commenter where I automatically skip over any comment you make. Seriously. Not making this up. Been skipping over every post of yours for years and I’ve never, ever done that with any other commenter on any other site. I read this particular comment because it was a response to me. I think you’re obnoxious, and dull, and annoying, and rude, and stupid, and your unhinged nonsensical rants are absolute torture to read, could not possibly be less interested. You’ve been a blight on this blog for years as far as I’m concerned. Do you just spend 18 hours a day on here? Get a life. Go for a walk. Read a book. Perfect that I got a nasty response from you because I have loathed you for years. And just to spare you an hour, I won’t be reading whatever your all-lowercase novel-length incomprehensible response to this is.

  57. Doug R says:

    Oh, sorry Roy, did Leah get in your safe space?

  58. EtGuild2 says:

    People who are lazy enough to use “did I get in your safe space” or “did I trigger you” or “aw poor snowflake” as a meaningless, yet perfectly Trumpian retort probably DO get in my safe space 🙂

  59. palmtree says:

    Roy, if you really wanted to change the topic of conversation, you could try to add something new to talk about. Instead, now we’re just talking about how you went on a rant accusing another poster of going on rants.

  60. leahnz says:

    oh my gosh. i will wear this comment above like a badge of honour for all eternity

  61. DeanerBreakdown says:

    leahnz is so so wrong. Thanks to The Pope and EtGuild2 for articulating the reasons this beautful film doesn’t fall into the predictable sexism trap certain people want things to fall into these days. Those overly sensitive view points are getting increasingly self centered, lazy and mean spirited when required to be defended.

    I loved this thread. Thank you to the folks who can see the film cleanly.

  62. Bulldog68 says:

    Just my penny on the issue of political correctness, which is a much overused and misused term, but why is it viewed as political when someone talks about diversity in film? I loved Lord of the Rings, but in a vast sprawling Middle Earth with elves, dwarves, wizards, orcs, hobbits, and giant fucking elephants, you couldn’t have one non-white person?

    I haven’t seen BR2049 yet, so can’t comment, but you would think filmmakers who even in a fantasy movie strive for realism, would populate their background with the ethnicities indicative of the environment. Reminds me of the critics of the tv series Friends, where hardly a black person was ever in sight in freakin New York City.

    So I love Spider-Man Homecoming for changing it up. I love Fast & Furious for proving you can have billion dollar films and ethnicity is irrelevant. I’ve always loved Star Wars for Billy Dee Williams. No one batted an eyelid then, but how ironic that the country that boasts the loudest about progressiveness, decades later, had hate filled postings and whispers of boycotts directed toward to a new black character.

    It’s not politically correct. It’s just correct. And you can talk about the movie on just its merits, and talk about its real world implications at the same time. That’s what movies are.

  63. leahnz says:

    holy smokes bulldog, you didn’t get the memo?
    you’re not allowed to comment on sexism/misogyny (and thus i assume race/racism/whitewashing) in BR49 (or other movies) — i mean you can bring it up but not TOO much, you know, don’t make a big deal of it, just make sure you do it exactly the right amount otherwise you harm the cause of actual progressivism don’t you know (don’t worry, they’ll let you know when you’re getting uppity and doing it wrong)

    speaking of, talking to a relatively youngish male director about the sexual objectification of women/misogyny in BR49 and film in general at the moment (we’re kind of on the same page about BR49 as a mixed bag; liked some of it, disliked some of it, a bit of a disappointment overall given the potential and the budget), we had an interesting convo about the old saw ‘depiction does not equal endorsement’ and how this appears to be the fall-back rationalisation, particularly in heavily male-dominated productions. and the paradigm isn’t wrong on the face of it but ignores the equally true and important point, that ‘depiction doesn’t equal a critique’ either, and this is where film-making often fails.
    if you make the choice to portray women as retrograde sex objects/beings without autonomy and violent misogyny but don’t acknowledge/provide some type of critique of these tired tropes in the written narrative itself or in the film-making choices of imagery used – or both, the dual layers of movie-making – then the presentation, and thus ‘normalisation’ of said sexist/misogynist tropes, is entirely open to criticism and to be expected. it’s on the film-makers to do better.

    i’ve seen a fair bit of criticism of the way women are used in BR49 – including the Pope in this very thread – so this thing pretending it’s just me on a lonely island making these observations is hilarious, the ushe.

    (i’d still love to see a gender-flipped version of BR49, see the dudes as sex objects/objects of reproduction/slaves both real and virtual/prostitutes, see a buck-naked dude’s dick sliced off and murdered as punishment for not being able to do his job and reproduce, and see what the reaction would be; somehow i doubt it would be the collective shrug the treatment of women gets)

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon