Blade Runner ★★

Seeing this a second time helped me sort through how I felt about it. I get what people mean when they say it's more about the aesthetic than it is about the plot and characters, and to an extent I can dig that. It's still really, really not what I'm about, but I did enjoy it a lot more this time around at least.

What I didn't enjoy was how much more obvious Ridley Scott's racism was to me this time around. I've heard people talk about how cool the Asian overtones of this futuristic world were as though it were some kind of innocent, neutral thing. But it's pretty clear to me that this is coming from intensely-80s Cold War Era paranoia about Chinese and Japanese influence in the American economy. This is even more obvious to me in light of Scott's more recent baggage about racism, like his incredibly defensive reaction to criticism of his whitewashed casting in Gods of Egypt and the fact that his two most recent Alien movies both only managed to have a single black character apiece.

Even were it not for the likely motivations behind Scott's decision to include a lot of Asian imagery in his vision of 2019 (lol) Los Angeles, it would still be galling that he can't find any use for actual Asian people than as extras who are also just part of the background where a bunch of white people are chasing each other around.

Plenty of people have pointed out how damn rapey Deckard is towards Rachael, so I don't think I need to really get into that.

And like, I'll be completely transparent about the fact that these aren't the reasons I didn't enjoy the movie as much as everyone else. It's mostly just that I really have a hard time connecting with movies that are like 99% aesthetic and 1% plot and characters. It's just really not my style. I think I enjoyed this about as much as I can probably enjoy that style of narrative, but there's just a pretty low ceiling on that for me.

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