Wednesday, 3 February 2010

The Incredible Suit's 30-Minute Freeze-Frame Challenge #3: Blade Runner

Required reading:
30-Minute Freeze-Frame Challenge #1: The Shining
30-Minute Freeze-Frame Challenge #2: A Clockwork Orange

Got all that? Good.

Bizarrely-monikered viewer (is there any other kind?) Lowrezolushun suggested we put Blade Runner through The Incredible Suit's version of the Voight-Kampff test and see if it's a replicant or not. Ridley Scott seems as good a subject as any to subject to the intense scrutiny of the 30MFFC; as a director obsessed with stunning futuristic visuals, he must surely have envisaged that one day some prattling berk would come along and apply some arbitrary nonsense rules to the works of art over which he sweated blood for vast swathes of his life.

Before we start, at the last count there were 825 different versions of Blade Runner out there. The version I'm using is 'The Final Cut', as pictured above. So no squabbling.

And so without further ado, let's get arty.

0:30:00 Here's Rick "Black And" Deckard having a good yawn in a lift. Moody, yes. Interesting, no. Tragically, one second later, he whips round and draws his gun in an award-winning pose perfectly framed to please The Incredible Suit's eye. The rules are a cruel mistress, Scotty!

1:00:00 In a fight with Leon, the replicant whose face was designed by the Cruel Joke Department of the Tyrell Corporation, Rick is thrown against the windscreen of a car. This is probably the least remarkable shot in the whole sequence. Not looking good, is it?

1:30:00 Here's a staircase. A moodily lit staircase, to be fair, but a staircase nevertheless.


At last. I was beginning to think I was wasting my time with this feature, and although I obviously am, at least Blade Runner demonstrates that even the artiest and fartiest films struggle to meet the strict criteria of The Incredible Suit's 30-Minute Freeze-Frame Challenge.

So Kubrick's crown remains untouched. Who else will step up to try and take it? Leave your suggestions in the comments below and we'll see if death or glory or a silly picture of a man in a dunce hat awaits your choice.

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  1. I'm not sure if I understand the rules of the Mein Kamphf test.

    What I do know is that every frame of a Fellini film is a work of art.

  2. I'm not sure if I understand the rules either. Who thought up this rubbish?

  3. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 2

  4. Antonioni's 'Blow Up' would be worth a try. As would Tarkovsky's 'Mirror'.

    Come to think of it I can't see how any Tarkovsky film could fail.

  5. All suggestions are welcome but no promises are made. It's great being a ruthless dictator.

  6. Do you know, I really thought Blade Runner would work out. I'd suggest David Cronenburg, but I wouldn't listen to me. The present Mrs Rezolushun thinks that Luc Besson would be worth a try or even Krysztof Kieslowski, although I'd avoid the gloomfest that is Dekalog.

  7. Don't be disheartened old boy, Kubrick has given false hope to so many with his damnably perfectly crafted films.

    Tell Mrs R that I shall add Monsieur Besson to the burgeoning queue of future victims.

  8. Is Citizen Kane too obvious a suggestion?

  9. Was that really a fail? I like the way the light comes through the window in the top shot, plus the composition of the first and third is quite moody, and the second is in your face (boom boom) and powerful. In fact, I think it works better than A Clockwork Orange to be honest... maybe I should just shut up now....

  10. Well Doc, if there are any vague rules to this rubbish then it's that every shot should be the kind of thing you might use to advertise the film or maybe put up on your wall because it's a thing of beauty, or maybe just be something interesting to look at.

    Let's face it, if these three stills were the first to be released to promote the film you wouldn't have a heart attack with excitement. Nor, I suggest, would you want them in your house instead of that photo of your grandparents.

    Anyway, what do I know? I don't make the rules.

  11. Ah... yes, you do.
    Hmmm, if that's your criteria, I'd still rather have the Blade Runner frames than the A Clockwork Orange frames or pics of my grandparents on my wall. They do look arty....
    Bah, this is a pointless and stupid argument, but I'll be damned if I'm not looking forward to the next installment of this stupid challenge.

  12. Hell, I don't even know how to put my name on this thing. Also, I don't have a blog, so feel free to ignore me. Though I did send you the best email ever.


    This blog appears to be a bit of a Michael Mann free zone, so how about Last of the Mohicans for the 30MFFC? I've always had a soft spot for it.

  13. Not having a blog does not mean you should be ignored PJB, quite the opposite in fact.

    You're right about The Suit being largely Michael Mann free, not by design although his films are the epitome of style over substance. Nevertheless I shall endeavour to lay my hands on a copy of LOTM and give it the business.