Blade Runner – The Eternal Sleep

Blade Runner is a classic. A real cool classic. People with taste like Blade Runner, film buffs like Blade Runner, everyone likes Blade Runner.

I’ve never seen Blade Runner.

This is not through lack of trying. It’s just every time I try to watch it, I fall asleep. So through sci-fi induced narcolepsy it has unfortunately turned in to a film that for years I have lied about and pretended I’ve seen (I would like to point out this is the only film I’ve done this with – well, this and Dirty Dancing, but I think I already know what happens in that; Swayze and some baby have one hell of a party from what I’ve heard.)

The first time I “watched” Blade Runner was a good six or seven years ago, I got pretty stoned, thought “Hell yeah I am so ready for this, Scott it to me Ridley.” Next thing I know it’s Sunday morning, I’m still on the sofa next to a cold cup of herb tea and the dvd menu is running on a loop. “Oh well, never mind,” I think, “I can always try again.”

Years pass. I don’t try again. On numerous occaisions I end up hudddled in circles of cool, smart people and somehow, don’t ask me why, but someone always brings up Blade Runner.  Usually I’m too drunk or stoned (because I’m such a party animal) to be bothered to go through the whole:

Me: “No, don’t know, I’ve never seen it.”

Smart Person: “You’ve never seen Blade Runner?”

Me: “Well, I’ve seen the first 3 minutes ..”

Smart Person: “And…”

Me: “And…then I fell asleep.”

Smart Person: Look of dissaproval.

So I usually just nod along and smile in the right places, go “Yeah that bit was awesome” and hope someone starts talking about Withnail and I.

This social trauma has been part of my life for the last seven years and it kills me that Blade Runner’s entirety hasn’t been. Recently I made this admission to a lovely young man who, sympathetic with my plight kindly lent me his dvd, or his friends, either way nice gesture. I got home, thought “Ok – this is it. There’s been seven years building up to this. I cannot wait. I’m going to be in on this ‘in joke’ that’s not a joke, but I’m finally going to be ‘in’ whatever this clique is.”

Play.

This is great! God look at all those lights! Oh wow cool that’s Harrison Ford, I love Harrison Ford. Oooo .. he’s eating noodles. I’m kind of hungry …….

I fell asleep.

Fuck! How does this keep happening?!  But I’m no fool. I’m not taking this shit from myself. I am going to watch this. So, undeterred from my recent failure as a human I wait for an appropriate time for me to pounce on it, again, again. The time comes last Saturday morning. 10am, fresh from a night of sleep. I am ready for this. I make a coffee and turn that baby on.

This is great! God look at all those lights! Oh wow cool that’s Harrison Ford I love Harrison Ford. Oooo .. he’s eating noodles. I’m kind of hungry. Oh cool, he’s in a space ship. Some guys talking about a tortoise. Pete used to have a tortoise ….

I wake up, no joke, as the credits roll down. It’s nearly 1pm. I make the decision there and then that, like Pavlov trained his dogs to salivate, I have trained myself to fall asleep to Blade Runner. So I may as well give up. It’s over. It will take years of reconditioning to reverse this.

But that would make me A) a tad melodramatic B) a pussy, and more importantly that would be a waste of a dvd loan. So I’d like to announce that this evening my friends, is the big night. I’m keeping the lights on, I’m making coffee, I’m sitting up, like Clockwork Orange I will fasten my eyes open with metal prongs and I will watch the whole of Blade Runner, from beginning to middle to end.

It’s going to be worth all this, right?

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3 thoughts on “

  1. I think this is the most articulate and compelling rally cry for everyone to begin to be honest about the things they say they have read or seen but secretly have not. Though I have not surrounded myself with enough intelligble people to feel any self loathing about not watching Blade Runner, my secret shame comes in the form of Lawrence of Arabia, which had me comatose at the third sand dune.

    Great writing, somebody pay this girl.

  2. Ah, but the question here is: do you dream of electric sheep?

    My experience of “Bladerunner” was also not a fortuitous one: director’s cut in a huge, almost empty, over-air-conditioned cinema in Jerusalem, about 17 years ago. There was an interval, and ice cream sellers. I was shivering. I was so cold I remember little else.

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