25 July 2019

Blade Runner, Rutger Hauer a hero from the future

    Written by

  • Niccolò Serri

The Nexus-6 replicant, Roy Batty, is officially "retired" in the futuristic 2019 of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner. Actor Rutger Hauer died in the same year as his most iconic film character. With his interpretation, capable of transposing all the literary genius of Philip K. Dick, Hauer has managed to pierce the world of popular science fiction, catapulting us with a single monologue towards the future of the relationship between man and machine.

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Before him, automata had been painted as servile instruments, from Isaac Asimov’s three laws of robotics to the friendly androids of Star Wars, or as the emblems of an exterminating rationality in Stanley Kubrick's artificial intelligence. Hauer, on the other hand, succeeded in condensing all the contradictions of being human into an ineffable biomechanical body, giving us an android that is more human than human, engaged in the spasmodic search for an antidote to his own mortality, capable of demonstrating the pietas of a comrade in arms and the passion of a lover. The same transcendental spirituality - which distinguishes us in an archetypal manner – was not spared by Hauer's synthetic Ulysses: meeting the scientist Eldon Tyrell, Batty reminds us that it is not easy meet one’s maker, he may not even have the answers we are looking for.

Our 2019 is not made of flying cars and synthetic brains, but with his face stained by the blood and tears of the final scene, Batty seems to be asking us: beyond our flesh and our circuits, what does it mean to be men?

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