Last Thursday I caught the last local theatrical screening of Blade Runner: The Final Cut and it took my breath away. Landmark's Inwood Theatre in Dallas is a grand movie palace, dating back to 1947; the auditorium has been refurbished in recent years but the auditorium retains its gently sloping floor and old-style seating. Sitting close to the very large screen, I became enveloped in the visuals and felt myself transported to its dark vision of the year 2019.

When I first saw the film in 1982, I was a young adult still enamored with science fiction novels and stories that I'd read growing up. I was sorely disappointed by the very narrow type of science fiction stories that were being told cinematically; space wars are fun, but where were the movies that challenged my perceptions of the universe? Blade Runner felt like a huge step forward, though even then the original ending and other elements felt like compromises of Ridley Scott's vision.

Revisiting Blade Runner after so many years, I was struck again by its anti-narrative leanings, but I was even more caught up in the splendid visual details. As much as Blade Runner's graphic schemes have been appropriated by and influenced others, the original maintains a great deal of authentic power, a bold mix of past, present and future.

Looking around the auditorium, I was glad to see that I was probably the oldest person there. When I first became fascinated by film, way back in the Mesozaic Era (i.e. pre-VCR), I was living in Los Angeles and could attend a multitude of repertory theaters to catch up with movies from past decades. Nowadays, the opportunities are few and far between. Dallas does not have a single repertory theater and screenings of older films are usually limited to the acknowledged "classics," overly familiar warhorses that are, presumably, more likely to draw a crowd that will enable the exhibitor to break even or perhaps earn a small profit.
categories Movies, Cinematical