We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
The strangest thing about the future is that this is now the future we once foretold. Twenty years ago, we thought of "now" as "the year 1982," and we wondered what life would be like. Little could we have guessed that there would be no world government, that the cars would look like boxes instead of rocket ships, and that there would still be rock 'n' roll on the radio.
"Blade Runner" asks us to imagine its own future, in "the year 2020." The movie takes place in a Los Angeles that looks like a futuristic Tokyo, with gigantic billboards showing smiling Japanese girls drinking Coca-Cola. I would have predicted L.A. would be Hispanic, but never mind. It looks sensational.
The city is dominated by almost inconceivably huge skyscrapers that look like the Merchandise Mart, times ten. People get around in compact vehicles that fly, hover, climb and swoop. (In a lot of fictional futures, people seem to zip around the city in private aircraft; can you imaging the traffic problems?) At ground level, however, the L.A. of the future is an urban jungle.
The movie stars Harrison Ford as a cop who moves confidently through the city's mean streets. He is laconic, cynical, competent. He has a difficult assignment. A group of "replicants," artificial people who seem amazingly human, have escaped from "off-world," and are trying to inflict themselves on Earth.