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David Guyatt
02-22-2009, 11:51 AM
An interesting article. I once argued that my articles and books were copyrighted and should not be infringed. But the internet is unstoppable. So I made them all open source and free to download.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7893223.stm

How The Pirate Bay sailed into infamy
By Flora Graham
BBC News

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/45482000/jpg/_45482822_lamont-bay.jpg

The Pirate Bay was launched in 2003 and has established itself as the world's most high-profile file-sharing site. But its founders are now on trial for copyright violation and face imprisonment, if found guilty.

The Pirate Bay team aren't shy about what they are doing - they are pirates, and proud of it. Their logo shows a galleon under full sail, with a cassette tape topping a skull and crossbones in a nod to the Jolly Roger.

It is an accurate characterisation, according to Swedish prosecutors, who have put three of the website's creators and one of its sponsors on trial on charges of contributing to copyright infringement.

But the defendants claim to be more Robin Hood than Blackbeard, freeing creative content from the shackles of copyright.

"There is not a cause closer to my heart," one of the founders told Wired. "This is my crusade."

The Pirate Bay website hosts BitTorrent tracker files, and claims to be the world's largest: in February 2009, it reported 22 million simultaneous users.

BitTorrent connects people so that they can share files over the internet. But users need a "tracker" link to find what they're looking for - like the index card in a library catalogue. The Pirate Bay provides a directory of these trackers, essentially becoming a library of catalogues.

It doesn't store the books, or files, itself, just the information on where to find them.

This distinction is what Pirate Bay claims will protect them under Swedish law.

"The tracker provides the user only with .torrent files which contain no copyrighted data. The actual copyrighted material is to be found on the individual machines of our users, not on our servers," says the site.

The Pirate Bay's enormous success has enraged copyright protection groups like the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). And the site's cheeky bravado rubs salt in the wounds. For example, it posts all of the cease-and-desist letters that it receives, including its sarcastic replies.

"Please don't sue us right now, our lawyer is passed out in an alley," says a reply to videogame giant Electronic Arts.

History

The site was founded by the Swedish file-sharing advocacy group Piratbyran ("The Piracy Bureau") in 2003, but has been run independently since 2004.

As other file-sharing websites were felled by threats and lawsuits from industry heavyweights like the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Pirate Bay held its ground.

Confident that Sweden's lax copyright laws meant that they were on the right side of the rules, the site continued to defy legal threats that caused other torrent sites, such as Isohunt, to remove links to infringing torrents upon request.

After every victory, file sharing has got bigger. I see no reason why the same won't happen this time
Mark Mulligan, Forrester Research
As one of the few high-profile survivors, its piece of the file trading pie grew. The site's antagonistic attitude and tangles with copyright holders and rights organisations increased its profile, and the site now claims to be among the top 100 websites in the world.

The Pirate Bay's fame became too much for Swedish authorities, and in March 2006 the site's offices were raided by police investigating allegations of copyright violations.

Truckloads of file server computers were seized, the site was closed, and three people were held for questioning, including two of the defendants in the court case, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg and Fredrik Neij.

Authorities denied that the raid was prompted by urging from the MPA, the international arm of the MPAA, but the Swedish media revealed that the MPA had met with the justice ministry in the months before the raid.

The Pirate Bay's site administrators scrambled to get the site back up and running, and with help from volunteers around the world, it was restored within three days.

Since the raid, the Pirate Bay has set up a network of servers so that shutting down any one site will only cause the site to go down for minutes. Since then, site administrators have challenged all comers to try to shut them down.

"I really want the pleasure of it being down three minutes, then up again," Frederik Neij told Wired.

With Sweden's waters becoming less pirate-friendly, the Pirate Bay looked for warmer climes. In January 2007, it reportedly tried to buy Sealand, a platform in the North Sea off the Suffolk coast, which claims national sovereignty. After that fell through, the Bay raised money to buy an island, but the plan was never realised.

Some media companies have apparently decided to take matters into their own hands rather than wait for the slow pace of the Swedish courts.

In September 2007, hackers leaked six months of internal e-mails from anti-piracy company Media Defender, which revealed that the company was discussing hiring hackers to attack the Pirate Bay's servers.

It was the Pirate Bay's turn to go to the courts, and it filed charges against the Swedish arms of Media Defender clients such as Twentieth Century Fox, EMI and Paramount. The charges were not pursued, which also led to protests after the police investigator, Jim Keyzer, took a job for Warner Brothers, a member of the MPAA. Mr Keyzer is scheduled to be a witness in the Pirate Bay trial.

But the Pirate Bay's Robin Hood reputation was sullied in July 2007 when a reporter, posing as a potential advertiser on the site, estimated that the site was earning up to 55,000 per month that was being channelled into a front company in Switzerland.

Mr Neij has denied that his team was getting rich from operating the Pirate Bay. "I wish I earned that," he told Vanity Fair. "Do I look like I have, like, $2m?"

Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, another defendant, pointed out that they lost $60,000 worth of equipment in the raids. "It's not free to operate a website on this scale," he said.

Strongest challenge

With the Pirate Bay facing its strongest challenge yet, its administrators have not stopped rattling their cutlasses.

Mr Warg, in a webcast on Sunday, said: "What are they going to do about it? They have already failed to take down the site once. Let them fail again.

"It has a life without us."

Mark Mulligan, a digital media analyst at Forrester Research, agreed that even if the Pirate Bay was brought down by the case, the file-sharing genie could not be put back in the bottle.

"The industry knows this. But they also know that they need to go through the motions, particularly with the big players. If they don't, that essentially green lights file sharing."

He points to previous industry victories against companies like Napster, which shut down the network but didn't reduce the market.

"After every victory, file-sharing has got bigger. I see no reason why the same won't happen this time."

Magda Hassan
02-22-2009, 12:47 PM
These guys have also been big supporters of Wikileaks. May be more than the royalties involved here.

David Guyatt
02-22-2009, 05:09 PM
Ah ha! I didn't know that. I think you;re right in that case. Kill two pirates with one stone...:withstupid:

Peter Lemkin
02-22-2009, 05:49 PM
For some reason my computer refuses to 'do' bittorrents.....no idea why.

David Guyatt
02-22-2009, 05:59 PM
I am reliably informed that you need to download a small, free piece of bittorrent application/software like Vuze (formerly Azureus) in order to download stuff:

http://azureus.sourceforge.net/

Damien Lloyd
02-22-2009, 07:25 PM
For some reason my computer refuses to 'do' bittorrents.....no idea why.

I use Bittornado. Once installed you may have to do a bit of port forwarding (which sounds complicated but really isn't just goto http://portforward.com/ once you now the torrent program your using and your router details this site will take you through the port forwarding aspect step by step).

I'm sorry to say I use the bay daily. I never download music however, don't know why, never considered it. If I like an album I buy it, if it's a single I like I might get it from Itunes. I do download movies though, and lots of them. I'm not a thief, I'm a conscientious consumer. Every legal original DVD I own was once an illegal download on my hard drive (but I've had a lot of rubbish movies on my hard drive too, thats why I now "Try before I buy". I also download Battlestar Galactica once a week, but thats because I do not and will not have Sky One. When the DVD boxset comes out I buy it, as I love that show and think everyone involved does deserve some revenue from me after giving me so many hours of enjoyment.
In fact if it wasnt for illegal file sharing my DVD collection would not be anywhere near it's current size, I have discovered literally hundreds of amazing films that I would never have heard of, or considered buying if I had not seen the torrent on the Piratebay and decided to give it a quick look.

Also most DVD stores have a tiny amount of space dedicated to independant and foreign cinema with sites like the piratebay you have access to thousands of titles that aren't even available in this country.

Damien Lloyd
02-22-2009, 07:29 PM
The guys at the Pirate bay are also involved in the Net neutrality movement.

David Guyatt
02-22-2009, 09:39 PM
I now "Try before I buy".

Now there's a thought...

Are you saying Damien, that making a DVD copy of an illegal downloaded film renders that DVD copy legal?

Now there's a thought...
:party:

Damien Lloyd
02-22-2009, 10:56 PM
I now "Try before I buy".

Now there's a thought...

Are you saying Damien, that making a DVD copy of an illegal downloaded film renders that DVD copy legal?

Now there's a thought...
:party:

Hmm, I just re-read my post and it appears thats exactly what I said.
It is also a complete LIE. I bought legal copies of all of the good films I've downloaded and deleted the rest.

I'm sure the makers of rubbish films would hope to profit from wasting hours of my life that I will never get back, but I went the cinema and paid 16 for 2 tickets to watch Blair Witch Project. NEVER AGAIN. (The amazing thing is I still meet people today who claim they enjoyed that film, the media has told them it's amazing, and so they actually believe what they saw wasn't in fact a piece of crap. Which of course it was).

"But they worked hard to create that film, and you did watch it, so why shouldn't they get paid for their efforts?"

Thats a fair question. Now imagine that the media didn't tell the whole planet that the Blair witch project was pure cinematic genius, and that if you didn't enjoy it then it was because your brain was too small to comprehend it's greatness. Then everyone involved would have been unable to break even. They may have ended up living on the streets as prostitutes and drug addicts. I think nobody can honestly deny that that would be preferable to letting these people near a camera again.

Magda Hassan
02-22-2009, 11:23 PM
It is true. They are soooo greedy. If they just dropped the price of their tickets and DVDs more people would actually pay for them. Cinema prices are such a rip off. It costs us $50 here even before the candy bar to see a movie. More if you want 'silver class' or 'gold class'. The cinemas themselves look like they are staffed by 14 year olds. I suppose they come cheaper. But the tickets don't. It works out cheaper to pay full retail price of a DVD buy chocolates and ice cream from the super market and make popcorn at home. Which is what we do now except I'm with you Damien in the try before you buy department. Same with software. Thousands of dollars for much of it. And most of it was stolen from others in the first place. A la Microsoft and Xerox.

David Guyatt
02-23-2009, 01:51 PM
Hmm, I just re-read my post and it appears thats exactly what I said. It is also a complete LIE. I bought legal copies of all of the good films I've downloaded and deleted the rest.[/QUOTE]

Ah ha! :hello:

Would I be correct in my surmise that a great many of the legal copies you bought have since been passed on to other friends and relatives or generously given to charity shops and that they are, therefore, no longer in your collection?

Damien Lloyd
02-23-2009, 07:04 PM
Hmm, I just re-read my post and it appears thats exactly what I said. It is also a complete LIE. I bought legal copies of all of the good films I've downloaded and deleted the rest.

Ah ha! :hello:

Would I be correct in my surmise that a great many of the legal copies you bought have since been passed on to other friends and relatives or generously given to charity shops and that they are, therefore, no longer in your collection?

Nice idea, but alas no, I keep all of my originals. I have hundreds of DVD's and with the rubbish on television they come in very handy. Everytime I turn on the box it's nothing but mind numbing garbage like Jade Goody's wedding plans. (No I'm not completely heartless. It is sad that someone her age is dying, but she is still a rascist bigot, and I can think of many other newsworthy stories that should be covered at the moment).

David Guyatt
02-23-2009, 09:39 PM
Agreed. TV is usually complete crap these days. They must brainstorm for the worst possible ideas say, The Complete History of Snot, and then make a series out of it, and thereafter call it "Big Brother" or "Home and Away" etc.

I recently watched "Eagle Eye" "Seven Pounds" and also "Body of Lies", all very well worth watching I thought. As indeed was "Gran Torino" which I was not expecting to be particularly good.

Your fav pics?

Damien Lloyd
02-25-2009, 12:47 AM
Agreed. TV is usually complete crap these days. They must brainstorm for the worst possible ideas say, The Complete History of Snot, and then make a series out of it, and thereafter call it "Big Brother" or "Home and Away" etc.

I recently watched "Eagle Eye" "Seven Pounds" and also "Body of Lies", all very well worth watching I thought. As indeed was "Gran Torino" which I was not expecting to be particularly good.

Your fav pics?

I just watched "Body of Lies", and "Taken" tonight, "Gran Torino" tomorrow.

My favourite film ever is Blade Runner. After that I have loads. Empire Strikes Back, The Godfather (1 and 2), Fight Club, The Fountain, Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources, The Big Sleep, The Third Man; to name a few.

Embarassingly I have a comfort film, it's like a security blanket, Raiders of the lost Ark. A sleepless night is ended by the time Indy gets the golden idle at the start, as my brain is relaxed from whatever was troubling it.

Jan Klimkowski
02-25-2009, 07:36 PM
My favourite film ever is Blade Runner.

The Final (or Director's) Cut, I hope.... :top:

Damien Lloyd
02-25-2009, 09:10 PM
[quote=Damien Lloyd;4230]My favourite film ever is Blade Runner.

The Final (or Director's) Cut, I hope.... :top:

Actually I don't have a favourite version. I got the Final Cut boxset with all of the versions included on the day it was released. I've watched the final cut a few times and it's excellent, I like the way they got Harrison Fords son into the studio to film his mouth and fix the scene in Abdul Ben-Hassan's shop. Watching the workprint was fun too.

I grew up with the original European version (with extra violence and the cheesy talkover). I love that version, I'm obviously the only person I know who likes the cheesy talk over. The continuous narrative makes the film like a "Mike Hammer in Space" movie. I accept that it dumbs down the films narrative, removes the clues that Deckard is a replicant, and the add on ending (which used scenes borrowed from the cutting room floor of "The Shining") detracts from the whole feel of the movie. But with it's faults I still love it. The '97 directors cut I also love. I was obviously a lot older when I watched it and therefore able to appreciate the significance of the dream sequence, and the shorter (better) ending leaves you with a sense of apprehension as you worry about the future of these two illegal replicants as thier journey for freedom begins.

The Final Cut is obviously the best version. The scenes have been fixed, the visual effects tweaked, the sound and picture bought bang up to date and the film restored to be viewed as originally intended. But sometimes I want to hear the lines "Sushi, that's what my ex-wife called me. Cold Fish".

I used to teach a film studies course and whenever I started on genres I always began with Blade Runner and worked backwards. (starting with films from the 1930's never worked with a class of high school children, you have to teach the skills needed to appreciate all forms of cinema first).

Oh and when my daughter was born... I named her Rachael ;)

Jan Klimkowski
02-25-2009, 09:26 PM
All fair points.

But but but...

Most embarrassing ending of all time: Bladerunner original cut.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&hl=en-GB&v=4fCeH-WnJYM&feature=related

Clean, revelatory ending which makes sense of everything you've just seen: Bladerunner Final Cut:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&hl=en-GB&v=1skkb-6R6U0&feature=related

Plus the cop's origami figures are completely meaningless in the butchered studio version.

My problem with the original is not the Chandleresque voiceover - which I quite like. And the look and feel of the original is also great.

But as story - as soul - the original cut is a betrayal of the dark speedfreak genius of Philip K Dick and his musings on caritas as the heart of authentic human identity.

Deckard beckons Rachael across the hallway and she steps on one of the oriental copper's little origami figures. Deckard looks at it wrily - it's a very specific origami figure.

In his head, he hears the cop say
"Too bad she won't live. But then again - who does?"

Deckard knows what it means. Deckard joins Rachael in the lift, and the doors close hard, and the music booms over the dark endcredits.

Damien Lloyd
02-26-2009, 09:13 PM
I agree, but something I should have pointed out is that when I first watched the original in 1983 I was 7, it was 10 years later that I actually read a book by Philip K Dick. If I'd watched the directors cut first I don't know if I would have been such a huge fan, and I probably wouldn't have understood the complex themes at that age.
A year later I watched David Lynch's Dune (my favourite novel) and absolutley loved it... It makes me cringe at times now (but is still a guilty pleasure). So all of those dumbed down versions of classic literature do actually work enough to attract a new fan base... If viewed by 7 year olds.

Jan Klimkowski
02-26-2009, 11:13 PM
I agree, but something I should have pointed out is that when I first watched the original in 1983 I was 7, it was 10 years later that I actually read a book by Philip K Dick. If I'd watched the directors cut first I don't know if I would have been such a huge fan, and I probably wouldn't have understood the complex themes at that age.


A lot of the original, voiceover-driven, Bladerunner is excellent - I entirely agree.

However, as a filmmaker, I'm a tad obsessed with how story and meaning is created. A lot of director's cuts are primarily ways for studios to squeeze extra cash out of their "product". But there are a few movies where the different cuts genuinely represent different films.

Bladerunner is a great example.

Apocalypse Now and the later Redux are another fine instance. In the original, Willard, the Sheen character, is ruthlessly edited so that he doesn't smile or engage with the crew on the boat. In Redux, he horses about (eg the new surfboard scene), he pays for the kids to have a Playboy fantasy in a muddy hellhole, he is no longer entirely driven by his mission. Imo those restored scenes, shots, nuances, are all mistakes - although other viewers may very well disagree.

The French plantation chapter also fundamentally changes the meaning of the film. It shifts it towards a meditation on imperialism. Rather than the dark heart of ruthless action - the Milius vision as espoused by Brando/Kurtz in the timeless malarial temple.

Imo Redux is interesting. The original Apocalypse Now is fascinating.

Redux is about hubris, arrogance. Apocalypse Now is about the journey of the soul from honour to horror.

And a third example is another Ridley Scott film, Kingdom of Heaven. The original was butchered by the studio. After shite like Black Hawk Down, I thought Ridley had lost the plot, and watched the Director's Cut of Kingdom of Heaven solely because it was on the telly. And I was amazed.

I thought Kingdom of Heaven was unsalvageable. But, for me, the Director's Cut is probably Ridley Scott's best movie since Bladerunner.

Damien Lloyd
02-27-2009, 12:52 AM
I watched the directors cut of Kingdom of Heaven by accident. I had absolutely no intention of sitting through that rubbish again and explained to my friends why the film was so bad. Of course all of those reasons were now obsolete and I looked quite foolish, as we enjoyed the film.

And I completely agree about redux except for one thing, the playboy bunnies at the camp. If that scene alone had been in the original I think Willards character would be truly terrifying. Finding the bunnies drugged up and being used as sex slaves, Willard uses it to his advantage. His river escorts had no problem continuing up river after that. And Willard is stripped of any humanity, or compassion that the viewer may have begrudgingly bestowed upon him prior to that.

Conveniently this brings us back to the boards topic. Why pay to watch an incomplete film at the cinema when the finished version will be released 6 months after the cinema version is published on DVD. Lord of the rings for example, is there any point at all in watching the cinema versions? As you say, most of the time a directors cut is just a way to squeeze more money out of people, I have the "Memento" boxset, which I understand (but have no intention of ever watching) has a version of the film re-edited so that the film runs in chronological order. POINTLESS thats not even interesting, it's just pointless.

And now I destroy any credibility I might have had as I admit that my favourite version of the Godfather was the "Epic" cut. This was a version of the first 2 films re-edited in chronological order that most people consider an act of barbarism. I know, I'm a dirty heathen but it is really really good, you just have to watch it all in one go (I downloaded a VHS conversion of it from the Piratebay, as you can't get it on DVD).

Why are good films so few and far between nowdays? When the best performace comes from a Batman movie I think thats a valid question. The past couple of years have been really poor with only a few truly memorable titles like "The Fountain", "The Fall", "The assassination of Jesse James", "Persepolis", and "Charlie Wilsons war". I'm struggling to think of more. This is why the PirateBay is as popular as it is. Until the corporations leave movie making to talented individuals instead of demographic surveys I don't think we'll see any improvment.

Damien Lloyd
02-27-2009, 12:58 AM
You can't give Ridley grief over "Blackhawk down", not when it came after "G.I. Jane". He also made "Gladiator"... What a bastard.

David Guyatt
02-27-2009, 11:34 AM
(I downloaded a VHS conversion of it from the Piratebay, as you can't get it on DVD).


I think you meant to say that you considered downloading it from Piratebay, right?

I also consider downloading from there almost every day. But I am able, by sheer force of will, to stop myself from doing so. And so I can only comment in the most general way about lots of films. Like the Russian film "Night Watch" (Nochnoi Dozor) which I'm about to consider commenting on in due course -- after I have considered watching it.

Phew! Got that off my chest.

Btw, have either of you seen the Spanish film Pan's Labyrinth which I found most enjoyable?

Jan Klimkowski
02-27-2009, 08:48 PM
And I completely agree about redux except for one thing, the playboy bunnies at the camp. If that scene alone had been in the original I think Willards character would be truly terrifying. Finding the bunnies drugged up and being used as sex slaves, Willard uses it to his advantage. His river escorts had no problem continuing up river after that. And Willard is stripped of any humanity, or compassion that the viewer may have begrudgingly bestowed upon him prior to that.


Excellent point. Which again highlights the fluid nature of storytelling.

If Apocalypse Now had just the drugged up Playboy bunnies scene added, Willard would be even more the character you describe. Their obedient slave blind to everything except his mission.

However, in the context of Redux, with the extra scenes (eg stealing the surfboard) and smiling and joking with the crew of the boat, I interpret Willard's actions in the Playboy bunnies' metal bunker as more compassionate than ruthlessly manipulative.

When making documentaries, working with a great editor, I've found that cutting room problems with a film can often be solved by cutting out a scene, changing the order of another, restoring a couple of reaction shots etc.

The Playboy bunnies in the muddy hellhole is a great example of two things:
the power of a scene both to change the overall meaning of a film;
and the manner in which a scene can have different meanings in different contexts.

It was dropped from the original Apocalype Now. However, if it had been added and not another frame of the original had been changed, Willard would - as you say - have been an even more terrifying character.

Damien Lloyd
03-02-2009, 06:12 PM
(I downloaded a VHS conversion of it from the Piratebay, as you can't get it on DVD).


I think you meant to say that you considered downloading it from Piratebay, right?

I also consider downloading from there almost every day. But I am able, by sheer force of will, to stop myself from doing so. And so I can only comment in the most general way about lots of films. Like the Russian film "Night Watch" (Nochnoi Dozor) which I'm about to consider commenting on in due course -- after I have considered watching it.

Phew! Got that off my chest.

Btw, have either of you seen the Spanish film Pan's Labyrinth which I found most enjoyable?

Night watch and Day Watch are both good films, but the books are excellent. I saw Pan's Labyrinth only a little while ago, it was great. I thought the ending was tragic, my girlfriend thought it uplifting. We watched the film together and have completely opposing views as to what the ending meant. I don't want to say more here in case I ruin it for anybody else.

Did you get hold of the Fountain yet? I really want to know what you think of it. I keep lending it to people who then accuse me of wasting hours of their lives (bet they loved Blair witch though:dong:).

Jan... We are in complete agrement regarding redux. I might even upload both versions and re-edit the "Ultimate Cut" on Premiere Pro :)

Charles Drago
03-02-2009, 06:14 PM
Jan, Damien,

As Jan knows, I share your enthusiasm for Blade Runner, and in particular the meditation on the nature of soul as proffered in Roy's death scene.

The white dove that suddenly appears in his hand is his newly "earned" immortality -- the spirit -- that somehow he has gained through his trevails. Roy's speech builds toward the ultimate climax: He conceives a metaphor.

"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time... like tears in rain... Time to die."

The replicant creates artistic expression --"like tears in rain" ... and finally his totality is greater than the sum of his material inventory. Art as prayer and benediction.

Then it is time to die -- clearly Roy's reference to Ecclesiastes 3:2 -- and when he passes, Roy's soul-as-dove is released to soar heavenward.

Roy may indeed have done "questionable things ... but nothing the God of biomechanics wouldn't put you in heaven for."

We also should remember that previously, during his extraordinary conversation with Tyrell, Roy had exhibited an astounding knowledge of biomechanics. But all of it is quantifiable and predictable -- and none of it can withstand Tyrell's greater knowledge and insight. It's Catechism 101, and the altar boy is being taught a lesson by the Pope. At that point, Roy is simply a machine.

But not for long.

Androids, it seems, do dream of electric sheep. And when they interpret meaning from the dreams, they and the sheep become ... real.

CD

Damien Lloyd
03-02-2009, 07:08 PM
http://www.bfi.org.uk/whatson/bfi_southbank/events/meltdown/blade_runner_the_final_cut

Friday 20th and Saturday 21st June Blade Runner Final Cut at the IMAX. I am seriously considering a little trip to London.

I can't believe I missed the reference to Ecclesiastes. I think you're definately onto something with your interpretation of the ending. The dove rises to meet the God of biomechanics after Roy redeems himself by saving a precious life. But what of Deckards tortured soul? Left to contemplate his own mortality and the sins he's commited?

Jan Klimkowski
03-02-2009, 07:46 PM
The replicant creates artistic expression --"like tears in rain" ... and finally his totality is greater than the sum of his material inventory. Art as prayer and benediction.

Then it is time to die -- clearly Roy's reference to Ecclesiastes 3:2 -- and when he passes, Roy's soul-as-dove is released to soar heavenward.

Roy may indeed have done "questionable things ... but nothing the God of biomechanics wouldn't put you in heaven for."

We also should remember that previously, during his extraordinary conversation with Tyrell, Roy had exhibited an astounding knowledge of biomechanics. But all of it is quantifiable and predictable -- and none of it can withstand Tyrell's greater knowledge and insight. It's Catechism 101, and the altar boy is being taught a lesson by the Pope. At that point, Roy is simply a machine.

But not for long.

Androids, it seems, do dream of electric sheep. And when they interpret meaning from the dreams, they and the sheep become ... real.

CD

Great interpretation. To which I would simply suggest...

Dreams and memories.

Roy asks the other male replicant, Leon, if he's found his "precious photos".

The photos represent Leon's memories. But not real memories. Implanted memories.

As Charles suggests, it's when these dreams and memories have resonant meaning for an individual that that individual possesses "soul" in the value system that permeates virtually all of Philip K Dick's work.

This of course is made very clear after Deckard exposes Rachael's "baby spider" memory as belonging to Tyrell's niece. Rachael is a replicant. She had no childhood. And so she has no childhood memories. And Deckard retreats to a bottle of liquor, his piano, and photos of his own childhood memories.... His proof of his own superior authenticity, or soul....

Meanwhile, Earthly Father Tyrell has realized that his replicant creations need memories - to grasp a sense of their own reality. So he clones the memories of his family and implants them in his Nexus-6 replicants.

For functional, business, productivity, reasons.

Which produce an unintended consequence in the epiphanies of Roy, Rachael, and finally Deckard himself.


[URL]I can't believe I missed the reference to Ecclesiastes. I think you're definately onto something with your interpretation of the ending. The dove rises to meet the God of biomechanics after Roy redeems himself by saving a precious life. But what of Deckards tortured soul? Left to contemplate his own mortality and the sins he's commited?

The "precious life" Roy saves is that of a bounty hunter and killer. The Blade Runner, Deckard, whose job is to "terminate skin jobs".

Roy kills Tyrell, his Earthly Maker. And then saves Deckard, a brutal sinner who has killed Roy's friends and would have killed Roy himself, given the chance.

And what of Deckard's "tortured soul"?

In the butchered ending of the original version, Deckard fancies Rachael, learns she's "special" and has "no termination date", and they ride off into some bourgeois sunset holding hands in a space buggy. :bootyshake: Groan. No transcendence there...

In the Final/Director's cut, Deckard's persona is more fundamentally changed both by Roy's act of nobility in saving him (from a machine, Deckard is thinking?) and by disgust at his own actions of slaughter. Deckard decides to spirit Rachael away from the clutches of other Blade Runners, even though he knows she will shortly die.

Then, crossing the hallway to the apartment, he sees the origami unicorn - the reference to his own dream, known to noone except himself. The paper figure was created by the oriental cop, who has access to Deckard's personnel file, and placed where Deckard would find it.

In his head, Deckard hears the cop's words on the rainswept rooftop, taunting him about Rachael: "Too bad she won't live. But then again, who does?"

Deckard's own existential fate is revealed to him. But his replicant soul has probably been redeemed by his decision to save Rachael when Deckard still believed he was of a superior (human) species....

Or something like that.... :dancing:

Damien Lloyd
03-02-2009, 08:41 PM
Again, complete agreement. Now tell me "Blair Witch Project" has no redeemable features and we'll have a hat trick, lol.