Although it meant getting up at dawn, i.e., 10 o’clock, for the early show, because we didn’t want to sit with a bunch of unruly fans, we loved Blade Runner 2049, a brilliant sequel to Blade Runner.
It is absolutely stunning, and not just for SF fans. The cinematography is gorgeous, the bleak, dusty environment is tragically realistic (a dead tree proves emblematic of the lost natural world), and the characters are sharply-drawn, almost human, though most are replicants, bio-engineered beings who work as servants and slaves. As in the first Blade Runner, some replicants are villains but others are very decent, especially K (Ryan Gosling), a “blade runner” whose job is to hunt down earlier models of replicants, who got out of control and went rogue.
K is not a fan of killing, by the way.
K is a fan of Nabokov’s Pale Fire, a book which he claims his girlfriend, Joi, an Alexa-style robot who can shimmeringly half-materialize, hates. After she agrees, smiling, that it would be pleasant to be read to, he says mockingly, “You hate that book.” Coincidentally, a computer who examines K for post-traumatic stress recites line of verse from Pale Fire, and K must repeat them.
Cells interlinked within cells interlinked
Within one stem. And dreadfully distinct
Against the dark, a tall white fountain played.
Anthony Lane in The New Yorker identified these lines, which otherwise (and still?) sound like nonsense.
Later in the movie, K is sometimes called Joe. My husband points out that this is a reference to Joseph K of Kafka’s The Trial. The reference didn’t seem entirely apt, so we’ll see the movie a second time.
We were very glad to see Dekker/Harrison Ford, who is 100% human in his acting, a relief after so many replicants. Somebody should get an Oscar, maybe Ryan Gosling, whom I first encountered in La La Land, or Harrison Ford, who is always brilliant.
MORE ON THE PLANNED PARENTHOOD BOOK SALE. We went back to the Planned Parenthood Book Sale on Half-Price Day. And we did very well, in that we restricted ourselves to filling one shopping bag with books. Usually we huff and puff as we heave boxes of books into the car.
Once home, the books were inspected by various cats. Yup, that’s a cat considering John Updike’s The Witches of Eastwick. I love Updike, but a quick look at a chapter in the middle has convinced me this is not his best. I can always donate it back.
I’d never heard off Searoad: Chronicles of Klatsand, a collection of short stories by Ursula K. Le Guin. According to Goodreads: “Le Guin explores the dreams and sorrows of the inhabitants of Klatsand, Oregon, a beach town where ordinary people bring their dreams and sorrows for a weekend or the rest of their lives…” I can’t tell much from that!
And last but not least, a cat glances at Sue Miller’s Lost in the Forest (she is an excellent writer of literary fiction) and the great mystery writer Sue Grafton’s Q Is for Quarry.