Friday, February 11, 2011

Method-Watching: Blade Runner

You're in a desert, walking along in the sand, when all of a sudden you look down... You look down and see a tortoise, Leon. It's crawling toward you... You reach down and you flip the tortoise over on its back, Leon... the tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can't. Not without your help. But you're not helping... Why is that, Leon?
*Like Method-Acting, method-watching is the implementation of various external elements into the movie experience so as to heighten the film-goers' identification with the journey of the protagonist.

On Monday, I, along with several others, will be launching a website: One of the slogans of our site is the phrase, "Soon I will die." Part of the concept of the site is that we don't have much time on this earth. And, until the Lord redeems all things, we will die. All of us. Blade Runner is a film with an arrow like focus on this reality. But it's impact is all the more astounding when we can supplant ourselves into that reality. The goal is not to observe, but to implant ourselves within the story itself; to look from within.

Now, Blade Runner is an epic film in league with the original Star Wars trilogy, Lord of the Rings, and perhaps 2001: A Space Odyssey. The problem is, however, that Blade Runner just doesn't stay around as long as those other epics. At a swift two hour run-time, you don't have much time to soak in Los Angeles circa 2019. So to give the evening of method-watching the correct rhythm, I recommend these opening acts.

  1. Read this article: 2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal. A certain detachment from the absurd advances of technology, is necessary to empathize with the plight of Detective Deckard. 
  2. Find a way to get a hold of Werner Herzog's Lessons of Darkness. This, one of the surrealist and creepiest documentaries imaginable, this gem of Herzog's, running at a brisk 50minutes, is the perfect 'expect the unexpected' aroma to preview the main attraction. 
  3. Most importantly: Reflect upon a sad memory, and then go run in the rain until your body is ready to collapse. Trust me. Do it.
Do not read "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" by Philip K. Dick -- the novel Blade Runner was built from. If you read it first, you'll spend the whole film comparing the two stories. Comparisoning does not lead to methoding.

Time of Day: Night time - Raining
Avoid: Don't watch the theatrical cut. Go with the director's final cut or go home. 
Attire: Turn the movie on just after taking a warm shower after you come home from that run in the rain. Then put on some old, dirty jeans and a jacket without a shirt. And go commando with the jeans.
Drinks: Shots of vodka (not too much to get overly drunk, though, you gotta stay with Deckard).
Food: The oldest, rattiest looking chinese food you can find. 

Drive a nail through your palm in order to feel Roy's desperate battle waged against his own mortality. 

  1. Go to sleep immediately. 
  2. Let your dreamlife continue the journey.

It's too bad she won't live! But then again, who does?


  1. Good stuff. Leads my mind to other films that would be conducive to method watching.

  2. Yeah? You should do a guest post if you have a good idea!