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Rediscover the groundbreaking magic of Blade Runner with this revised and updated edition of the classic guide to Ridley Scott’s transformative film—and published in anticipation of its sequel, Blade Runner 2049, premiering October 2017 and starring Ryan Gosling, Jared Leto, Robin Wright, and Harrison Ford. Ridley Scott’s 1992 "Director’s Cut" confirmed the international fi Rediscover the groundbreaking magic of Blade Runner with this revised and updated edition of the classic guide to Ridley Scott’s transformative film—and published in anticipation of its sequel, Blade Runner 2049, premiering October 2017 and starring Ryan Gosling, Jared Leto, Robin Wright, and Harrison Ford. Ridley Scott’s 1992 "Director’s Cut" confirmed the international film cognoscenti’s judgment: Blade Runner, based on Philip K. Dick’s brilliant and troubling science fiction masterpiece Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, is the most visually dense, thematically challenging, and influential science fiction film ever made. Future Noir offers a deeper understanding of this cult phenomenon that is storytelling and visual filmmaking at its best.  In this intensive, intimate and anything-but-glamorous behind-the-scenes account, film insider and cinephile Paul M. Sammon explores how Ridley Scott purposefully used his creative genius to transform the work of science fiction’s most uncompromising author into a critical sensation, a commercial success, and a cult classic that would reinvent the genre. Sammon reveals how the making of the original Blade Runner was a seven-year odyssey that would test the stamina and the imagination of writers, producers, special effects wizards, and the most innovative art directors and set designers in the industry at the time it was made. This revised and expanded edition of Future Noir includes: An overview of Blade Runner’s impact on moviemaking and its acknowledged significance in popular culture since the book’s original publication  An exploration of the history of Blade Runner: The Final Cut and its theatrical release in 2007  An up-close look at its long-awaited sequel Blade Runner 2049 A 2007 interview with Harrison Ford now available to American readers Exclusive interviews with Rutger Hauer and Sean Young A fascinating look at the ever-shifting interface between commerce and art, illustrated with production photos and stills, Future Noir provides an eye-opening and enduring look at modern moviemaking, the business of Hollywood, and one of the greatest films of all time.


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Rediscover the groundbreaking magic of Blade Runner with this revised and updated edition of the classic guide to Ridley Scott’s transformative film—and published in anticipation of its sequel, Blade Runner 2049, premiering October 2017 and starring Ryan Gosling, Jared Leto, Robin Wright, and Harrison Ford. Ridley Scott’s 1992 "Director’s Cut" confirmed the international fi Rediscover the groundbreaking magic of Blade Runner with this revised and updated edition of the classic guide to Ridley Scott’s transformative film—and published in anticipation of its sequel, Blade Runner 2049, premiering October 2017 and starring Ryan Gosling, Jared Leto, Robin Wright, and Harrison Ford. Ridley Scott’s 1992 "Director’s Cut" confirmed the international film cognoscenti’s judgment: Blade Runner, based on Philip K. Dick’s brilliant and troubling science fiction masterpiece Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, is the most visually dense, thematically challenging, and influential science fiction film ever made. Future Noir offers a deeper understanding of this cult phenomenon that is storytelling and visual filmmaking at its best.  In this intensive, intimate and anything-but-glamorous behind-the-scenes account, film insider and cinephile Paul M. Sammon explores how Ridley Scott purposefully used his creative genius to transform the work of science fiction’s most uncompromising author into a critical sensation, a commercial success, and a cult classic that would reinvent the genre. Sammon reveals how the making of the original Blade Runner was a seven-year odyssey that would test the stamina and the imagination of writers, producers, special effects wizards, and the most innovative art directors and set designers in the industry at the time it was made. This revised and expanded edition of Future Noir includes: An overview of Blade Runner’s impact on moviemaking and its acknowledged significance in popular culture since the book’s original publication  An exploration of the history of Blade Runner: The Final Cut and its theatrical release in 2007  An up-close look at its long-awaited sequel Blade Runner 2049 A 2007 interview with Harrison Ford now available to American readers Exclusive interviews with Rutger Hauer and Sean Young A fascinating look at the ever-shifting interface between commerce and art, illustrated with production photos and stills, Future Noir provides an eye-opening and enduring look at modern moviemaking, the business of Hollywood, and one of the greatest films of all time.

30 review for Future Noir Revised & Updated Edition: The Making of Blade Runner

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Kelsey

    This book contains an unbelievably vast amount of information regarding Blade Runner. It is an absolute encyclopedic history, covering everything from Philip K. Dick’s early childhood through the moments leading up to Blade Runner 2049’s release. Blade Runner has had a turbulent history to say the least, and Paul Sammon has done a phenomenal job chronicling everything about it. He was involved in documenting the project before the first shot was filmed, was frequently on set during filming, and This book contains an unbelievably vast amount of information regarding Blade Runner. It is an absolute encyclopedic history, covering everything from Philip K. Dick’s early childhood through the moments leading up to Blade Runner 2049’s release. Blade Runner has had a turbulent history to say the least, and Paul Sammon has done a phenomenal job chronicling everything about it. He was involved in documenting the project before the first shot was filmed, was frequently on set during filming, and through post-production. He was in the screening audience of previews cuts. He was at auctions for props. If it was related to Blade Runner, he was involved, conducting interviews and documenting at all. This book is a massive wealth of film history. This third edition of Future Noir has been extensively rewritten and updated with more current information, new cast and crew interviews, etc. It is quite a doorstop, but remains engaging throughout. I particularly enjoyed the new interview with Sean Young at the end, and the huge amount of information on exactly what it took to create the “Final Cut”. Being involved in the making of an ambitious movie like Blade Runner seems like it would be a special kind of hell, but I am oh so glad that everyone involved took on such a daunting project. If you’re a fan of the movie, or remotely interested in filmmaking or film history, this is a must read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    WarpDrive

    “The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long, and you have burned so very very brightly, Roy” This is a well written, detailed and informative book about a timeless masterpiece, about a movie that still now, so many years after its first release, has a lot to say, to all of us, about the nature of the human condition. This book deserves praise for the amount of interesting information about the movie's troubled and complex history, its actors and their relationship to the Director R “The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long, and you have burned so very very brightly, Roy” This is a well written, detailed and informative book about a timeless masterpiece, about a movie that still now, so many years after its first release, has a lot to say, to all of us, about the nature of the human condition. This book deserves praise for the amount of interesting information about the movie's troubled and complex history, its actors and their relationship to the Director Ridley Scott, and its making from an artistic as well as technical perspective. Highly recommended to all fans. A labour of love. But I must admit one thing: the review of this nice book has been for me just an excuse to express my feelings about the movie: the one that has given me so much at many levels since I first watched it: it is time for me to talk about Blade Runner. Blade Runner is a mesmerizing movie with a deceptively simple story, evocatively presenting timeless themes about humanity, consciousness, personal identity, death and oblivion that run deep at many different levels. It is a story where the two main characters (a man and a replicant) discover their own humanity and the uniqueness and preciousness of conscious life. But this movie is not a purely intellectual exercise: the haunting loneliness, the jaded love, the desperation for meaning and for more life, all paired with the haunting soundtrack, are deeply felt and simply unforgettable. This is a work of art in cinematic form, pure and simple. I really struggle to convey the beauty and the layers of meaning of this masterpiece, which always polarized critics (some of them clearly demonstrating, I think, their inability to get past the narrative surface of the movie and get to the meaning of its elliptical narrative and complex thematics – or maybe they should all undertake the Voight-Kampff test :-) ). Quite a few viewers, in particular, appeared not to initially appreciate the downbeat, morally ambiguous (up to the point of being disorienting), enigmatic and subtly sobering overall tone of this unconventional movie. But this movie was well ahead of its times, when it was initially released to the public. That this work of art is something quite remarkable appears clear from the very beginning: the opening scenes are incredible and it all hits you immediately – a wondrous view of a far-future, stark, rain-drenched megalopolis (LA), where the sense of awe and magic of the imagery are exalted by the beautiful and atmospheric soundtrack that some have fittingly defined as “futuristic nostalgia”. Many have called this a dystopian environment, but I personally found it a strangely beautiful and captivating scene. Almost reassuring. Exquisite in its decadence. A beautiful cityscape that is reflected into the iris of one of the main characters. We are in the presence of a human civilization that managed to create artificial consciousness, colonies on other planets, flying cars, forests of skyscrapers, but that also generated increasing wealth disparities and population and climate control issues. Dystopian ? Yes, but also reflecting amazing technical and scientific progress, to an extent that I might even define optimistic in a way, and reflecting faith in the capabilities of humankind, even with all the visible problems affecting its social and ecological environment. A civilization great in its decadence. Exquisite, dreamlike decadence that is also beautifully reflected in the architecturally grandiose but rotting, huge and melancholic apartment building where Sebastian (the nerdish main developer of this Nexus replicant technology) lives alone with his bizarre creations, an environment imbued with an eerie ambiance. His bizarre creations present a discomforting mixture of human-like (when, for example, the Kaiser-looking doll continually shoots a series of urgent, very human looks between the female replicant and Sebastian) and toy/machine-like characteristics (the mechanical movement, the repetition of acts, the bumping against walls). We have, in the same room, all different levels of consciousness, which challenges you to contemplate the nature, threshold and meaning of consciousness. Also, the immense, ziggurat-shaped buildings of the Tyrell corporation, engulfed in golden light, and the vast, stark and intimidating Tyrell's office with its huge picture window, all exude an aura of almost religious power, in stark opposition to the anonymous faceless humanity rushing through the rain-drenched, overpopulated lower level streets. This atmosphere, these environments hit me every time at a deep subliminal level, they provoke in me the same deep reactions that I experience when I contemplate a De Chirico streetscape or some surrealist paintings. The cityscape of LA 2019, where the movie is based, is eerie in its sense of alienation and isolation, even in its bustling overpopulated streets – a sense of isolation that I have seen pictorially rendered in paintings like Nighthawks by Edward Hopper, for example. But I love this immersive, bleak world populated by a melting pot of styles and cultures, an uber-globalised environment with a heavy Eastern Asian influence. It is like Tokyio (which by the way is a stunning city), but with steroids. It is a great movie that keeps giving every time you watch it, but also a visual feast with transcendental and hallucinatory overtones. The main characters have deeply flawed, ambiguous, morally complex, desperate personalities, whose development mirror and contrast each other. It is a constant struggle between feeling admiration or loath for either of them. And the moral and existential boundaries between the two, between human and replicant, get increasingly blurred as the movie progresses towards its conclusion. The purely instinctual and even homicidal greed for survival initially demonstrated by Roy the replicant get progressively nuanced and enriched by other elements. The attraction between Deckard (the “Blade Runner”) and Rachael (the replicant who initially was totally unaware of her own nature, thinking of herself as human but then discovering that her own memories were transplanted) is almost hateful, or at least dysfunctional; the love scene between the two amounts almost to rape – it is about two desperate human beings with a hollow existence who use each other to try and find some comfort that they desperately search for, some life meaning, in a desert of overcrowded anonymity, that they subliminally perceive they can't reach. A desperation that pushes them close to each other. The meeting between the replicant Roy and his maker is also quite unforgettable: its dynamics resemble that of a confession between a believer and a priest (“I have done...questionable things”), between a son and his father, between the creator and his creation (“It's not an easy thing to meet your maker”). It is strangely intimate, and it expresses both the almost paternal pride of Tyrell for his creation and a dim beginning of moral conscience by the replicant, together with his desperate demand for more life, but it ends up with the son killing his father in an act of liberating, unexpected and violent rage. An act laden with symbolic meanings, from Greek mythology to the potential advent of the so-called technological singularity. Some of the other characters are quite fascinating too – including the female replicant Pris (companion of Roy) with her strange mixture of erotic appeal, doll-like but super-human athletic strength, ruthlessness and manipulativeness mixed with fragility and insecurity. Gaff (the enigmatic veteran Blade Runner) and Tyrell himself are also fascinating, even if only (but masterfully) sketched. Sebastian is also very interesting: he is twenty-five years old, a genius, but his skin is wrinkled and he is fast aging because of a physical condition. "Accelerated decrepitude" is how the replicant Pris describes it: in this, he has something in common with the replicants, but also with the civilization he is an exponent of. His condition highlights and magnifies the overall themes of mortality, decadence and caducity that appear throughout the narrative. The theme of the relationship between memories and identity is also recurrent, and developed with intelligence and measure – starting from the fabricated memories of Rachael, to the childhood photographs stored in Deckard's apartment, to his enigmatic unicorn's dream, to the statement by Tyrell (“If we gift them with a past… we create a cushion or pillow for their emotions… and we can control them better”) to the final scene with the death of Roy the replicant. The most emotionally charged scene of the movie is towards the end, when Roy the replicant, having clearly overwhelmed Deckard with his superior physical abilities, has literally Deckard's life in his hand. Roy's final words express and appreciation for life and for the uniqueness and value of his life experiences, which he almost gently remembers and cherishes, and an appreciation for his own personhood; they are all the more poignant because he is about to die, and he knows it. The tragedy and pathos to the kind of knowledge of one's mortality that this replicant possesses, make him more human than his human opponent. While he is dying, he wants to hold onto something that is alive, a white dove that is symbolically released at the very moment of his death. But the deeply human way with which Roy makes us witnesses to his death does not come as a total surprise - glimpses of the developing humanity of this replicant start appearing when he finds his companion dead, with her tongue protruding from her mouth – in a scene of deep tenderness so contrasting to her bizarre, machine-like death, he puts her tongue back into her mouth by kissing her, giving her the dignity she deserved. It is a very strong moment. Even at the beginning of the movie, when the replicants are depicted as ruthless, in-emotional machines with superhuman capabilities and intelligence, one of Roy's replicant companions expresses his emotional desperation, while he is holding by the neck and about to kill his prospective destroyer: “Painful to live in fear, isn't it?". Something very similarly later expressed by Roy himself: "Quite an experience to live in fear, isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave". Finally, by saving the life of the person who was supposed to “retire” him, Roy the replicant shows his full humanity: he comes to fully appreciates the value of human life, and he saves the life of his enemy. In doing so, he reaches emotional maturity by loving life “per se”, anybody’s life, not just his own. The author of this book reports that when Hauer performed the scene, the film crew applauded and some even cried – which I found not surprising at all, considering how beautifully and heartrendingly the replicant wants to make his mark on existence, how his final short speech highlights at the same time his deeply human traits and his super-human (almost in a Nietzsche-an sense) short but very intense existence (as per his “maker” Tyrell unforgettable statement: "The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long, and you have burned so very very brightly, Roy”). Experience. Discovery. Empathy. And, most of all, appreciation of the beauty and majesty of the Universe. All features that characterize the short life of Roy, and that make him intensely human. Maybe he represents Human 2.0. Maybe this is why we are around - what is the point of beauty is there is nobody to contemplate, understand and appreciate it. Roy is an Übermensch, physically and morally speaking - he is morally free of the rules of his human chasers, but ultimately he is not amoral. His choice to save Deckard is made from a position of strength, an utterly free choice. But the replicant life's meaning is ultimately marked by the manner of his death – and in doing so he shows his human opponent Deckard what humanity is about, he shows freedom and free will that his human opponent has not demonstrated yet. He is a fallen angel that has gained his full meaning by the manner of his dying. He shows Deckard the understanding that anybody life's loss is everybody's loss, and how life, consciousness and the unique magic that is the individual “soul” are all so fragile ("all these moments will be lost – like tears in rain”). Existential angst at its most poetic. Our short human life is, after all, not so different to the few years lifespan that has been irreversibly hardwired into the basic structure of these replicants – we too have incept dates and a built-in internal obsolescence mechanism. Like Roy, we too long to meet, or at least fathom, our Maker (whatever it may be – be it in a theistic, deistic or atheistic version). At least Roy can go and find Tyrell – we can't. And, like Roy, Deckard, and Rachael, we all try to figure out ourselves, consciously or unconsciously. At the end of the movie we are left to wonder if these replicants are human, and if Deckard is in fact a replicant (the hint delivered by the puzzling Deckard's unicorn dream). But, does it really matter ? Maybe this is the message – that it does not. Lots of questions are left unanswered – in a deeply ethical movie that, nevertheless, does not provide any clear-cut, ready-made simple answers. It is left to us, viewers. But this is part of the magic and beauty of it. One message from the movie is quite unequivocal, though: to love conscious life as a gift, contemplate it for the mystery that it represents, and live it every day - at its possible best. And that we are not nothing – Roy teaches us that, after all, there is value in us human beings and in our conscious minds. And that we should not waste it. Experience and discover. Learn. Expand your consciousness. Build memories. Contemplate beauty. Make your own light burn as bright as you can. "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears...in...rain. Time to die." I love Blade Runner. I always will. PS: note that this review is about the “director's cut” version, not about the versions containing the silly, feel-good happy ending that was tacked on for purely commercial reasons.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Paul Christensen

    Epic read on all aspects of the making of Blade Runner, one of the best films of the 1980s. So, was Deckard a replicant or not? The answer is that Ridley Scott intended him to be so (hence the unicorn sequence in the director’s cut), but few other of the film’s participants agreed. Hopper’s painting 'Night Hawks' is mentioned as an influence, along with the French comic ‘Heavy Metal’. Scott’s obsession to detail was such that the set ‘even smelled like a sleazy metropolis’. Epic read on all aspects of the making of Blade Runner, one of the best films of the 1980s. So, was Deckard a replicant or not? The answer is that Ridley Scott intended him to be so (hence the unicorn sequence in the director’s cut), but few other of the film’s participants agreed. Hopper’s painting 'Night Hawks' is mentioned as an influence, along with the French comic ‘Heavy Metal’. Scott’s obsession to detail was such that the set ‘even smelled like a sleazy metropolis’.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Carla Remy

    I actually read this before, 12 years ago I think. Same copy of the book I have now. I remembered liking all the Philip K. Dick stuff in it, and also that he died after it was made but before the movie came out. I also remembered that Harrison Ford didn't like Sean Young (gossipy of me, I know, but I think you can see this in the film, the lack of chemistry). Future Noir is a very thorough, book written by a man who was actually on the Blade Runner set. It is a detailed analysis of every aspect I actually read this before, 12 years ago I think. Same copy of the book I have now. I remembered liking all the Philip K. Dick stuff in it, and also that he died after it was made but before the movie came out. I also remembered that Harrison Ford didn't like Sean Young (gossipy of me, I know, but I think you can see this in the film, the lack of chemistry). Future Noir is a very thorough, book written by a man who was actually on the Blade Runner set. It is a detailed analysis of every aspect of making the film, starting with the optioning of the novel and the script writing and going on to everything else I could even name. Very eye opening, in terms of filmmaking . Regarding the differences between Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep and Blade Runner, PKD said, when they were making the movie: "I do accept the word 'replicant' now, since 'android' genuinely has been overused."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bill Lynas

    A superb book about a classic film. Paul M Sammon has been fortunate enough to to put his wealth of knowledge on Blade Runner into print. From being on the set while the film was being made in the early 1980s, right up to conducting new interviews in 2017, Sammon covers it all. This is not really a book for the casual viewer, but if you love Blade Runner as much as I do then this is the ultimate "making of" book. Even the Acknowledgements section is worth a read where it's nice to see him thank his A superb book about a classic film. Paul M Sammon has been fortunate enough to to put his wealth of knowledge on Blade Runner into print. From being on the set while the film was being made in the early 1980s, right up to conducting new interviews in 2017, Sammon covers it all. This is not really a book for the casual viewer, but if you love Blade Runner as much as I do then this is the ultimate "making of" book. Even the Acknowledgements section is worth a read where it's nice to see him thank his wife, "who never wants to hear the words Blade Runner again." I think my wife feels the same!

  6. 4 out of 5

    William Johnson

    Future Noir is certainly a unique book at least as far as I can tell. It is very rare to find a book dedicated to every ounce of a film. This includes examinations of the original source material, all the sales of stories and pitches to directors, rewrites, design, preproduction, production, postproduction, release, re-release, and multiple editions on video/laser disc (this book was written before DVD). If you wanted to know EVERYTHING about Blade Runner, and haven't watched the four hour doc on Future Noir is certainly a unique book at least as far as I can tell. It is very rare to find a book dedicated to every ounce of a film. This includes examinations of the original source material, all the sales of stories and pitches to directors, rewrites, design, preproduction, production, postproduction, release, re-release, and multiple editions on video/laser disc (this book was written before DVD). If you wanted to know EVERYTHING about Blade Runner, and haven't watched the four hour doc on the Blu-Ray 5-disc set (I have and I still liked the book), then this is the book for you. The writer, Paul Sammon, had insider access during production and during sneak previews so this isn't a researcher just pounding the pavement doing interviews. So you've got insider access and, at the time of the publishing, 13 years of relationships with almost everyone (excluding Harrison Ford, of course) including Ridley Scott. And the author even says the book is not exactly a book but more of a reference guide which can be read at any point. And even if you don't want to do that, there are a billion appendices in the back summarizing anything. The insider access and comprehensive review of all aspects of production certainly helps because Paul Sammon can't write to save his life. Switching between documentarian to ass-kissing fanboy to elitist snob, the book is, at times, troublesome to read if going from beginning to end. Plus, Sammon can't simply just use 'I' in a sentence. He has to say 'this author thinks' or 'at least to this author', etc. I literally was tearing my eyeballs out at the incessant use of 'this author'. I know this seems trivial but just read the book. . .I took off a whole star because of it. Anyway, amateur writing aside, the book is THE go-to for Blade Runner knowledge.

  7. 4 out of 5

    C.T. Phipps

    Do you like Blade Runner? I mean, do you REALLY like Blade Runner? Well, I do REALLY-REALLY like Blade Runner. I've watched the movie dozens of times and it's really one of those films which exists up there in my head space with Alien and Star Wars that influence everything from my personal life to writing. As such, I was interested in what has been considered to be the definitive book on the movie. That's because not only was Paul M. Sammon on set with the movie during filming but he's returned Do you like Blade Runner? I mean, do you REALLY like Blade Runner? Well, I do REALLY-REALLY like Blade Runner. I've watched the movie dozens of times and it's really one of those films which exists up there in my head space with Alien and Star Wars that influence everything from my personal life to writing. As such, I was interested in what has been considered to be the definitive book on the movie. That's because not only was Paul M. Sammon on set with the movie during filming but he's returned to write about Blade Runner consistently for the past thirty or so years. This book has a number of editions because he keeps coming back to write on it. This book more or less follows the creation of the film from its beginnings as an adaptation of DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP to retrospectives from the actors on the film twenty-to-thirty years later. We find out everything from how individual scenes were filmed to the making of the neon lights to how everyone thought about Ridley Scott (he was not a popular director with the cast and terrified Sean Young). This is an in-depth and wonderful work on the subject even if it sometimes drags. Paul M. Sammon doesn't really touch on any of the movie's deeper themes and keeps himself laser-focused on the facts of production. As such, this is more a book for those interested in the nuts and bolts of the movies' creation as well as influence. Still, I definitely got my money's worth. I mean, how many other books talk about how the snake was actually owned by Joanna Cassidy a.k.a Zhora, how she really wanted to do the snake dance but got shot down by the producers (even going so far as to film it years later), and how she felt walking around the set naked the entire time? Those are the kind of stories you find within. In fact there's a lot of humor to be found in how much the cast you'd think would get along didn't and the cast which you'd think would be difficult turned out to be the best of friends. Ridley Scott, Harrison Ford, and Sean Young all came away from the movie hating one another while Rutger Howard is apparently friends with everyone to this day. Indeed, funnily, most of them know the author due to his constant checking up on them for fan material. Harrison Ford is a great interviewee in this book as well, which is to say it's clear he's only barely tolerating being interviewed and hates most of his former cast. The best part of the book is, hands down, "Do you want to talk about your co-star Sean Young" and his answer of, "No." That was worth the price of the book by itself. In conclusion, this is only a book which a super-fan would want but why would you be buying it otherwise? 9/10

  8. 5 out of 5

    Noah

    Blade Runner is my favorite movie. The first time I watched it, I was awestruck. Although it is over thirty years old by now, the atmosphere and setting left me bewildered. I was so blown away by the environment within the film that I did not understand much of either the story or the symbolism. However, I knew that I liked it. It confused me, but it was one of the most interesting and unique films I had seen. Since then, I have watched it over multiple times, and have come to understand many a Blade Runner is my favorite movie. The first time I watched it, I was awestruck. Although it is over thirty years old by now, the atmosphere and setting left me bewildered. I was so blown away by the environment within the film that I did not understand much of either the story or the symbolism. However, I knew that I liked it. It confused me, but it was one of the most interesting and unique films I had seen. Since then, I have watched it over multiple times, and have come to understand many aspects of Blade Runner that had confused me originally. Even after re-watching it multiple times, however, I was still amazed by it. So when I heard about this book, I decided that I had to read it. This book goes into all of the aspects of the making of Blade Runner, with all of its significant events and developments recorded, often in the form of interviews with the many people involved in the film-making process. This book also goes beyond just the development of the theater release of the film, and goes into the story behind the Workprint as well as the Director's Cut. Sadly, it does not cover the Final Cut, which was released many years after this book was written. The only other section of the book that I consider lacking is the chapter on the soundtrack, and that is mainly because Vangelis did not want to be interviewed for this book. Besides these few flaws, this book should be required reading for any Blade Runner fan.

  9. 4 out of 5

    TK Keanini

    I've collected everything over the years that had anything to do with Blade Runner. On page 338, there is talk about a 35mm dupe of the 70mm workprint viewing at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco. I was there. In fact, I was there for the first show, 4 hours before the box office opened and yes, I was first in line to view this rare event. It got pulled after running for 13 days because of the legalities involved but as pointed out in this book, it made 94,000.00 during one week of the two wee I've collected everything over the years that had anything to do with Blade Runner. On page 338, there is talk about a 35mm dupe of the 70mm workprint viewing at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco. I was there. In fact, I was there for the first show, 4 hours before the box office opened and yes, I was first in line to view this rare event. It got pulled after running for 13 days because of the legalities involved but as pointed out in this book, it made 94,000.00 during one week of the two week run making it the top-grossing theater in America for that 7-day period back in 1991.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Todd

    If you are a Blade Runner fan, then you must read this book. There is no other work about any specific film, let alone Blade Runner, that exists. Paul M. Sammon has put together a collector's masterpiece. The book covers every single detail any fan could ever want, and some that many fans would never have even thought of. Sammon, a film journalist and film maker/worker, was on the set during the making of Blade Runner. He interviewed the actors, the director, and every other major player in If you are a Blade Runner fan, then you must read this book. There is no other work about any specific film, let alone Blade Runner, that exists. Paul M. Sammon has put together a collector's masterpiece. The book covers every single detail any fan could ever want, and some that many fans would never have even thought of. Sammon, a film journalist and film maker/worker, was on the set during the making of Blade Runner. He interviewed the actors, the director, and every other major player in the making of this film. Moreover, throughout the years, Sammon has updated the work (up to 1995), and has included nine appendices that cover film credits, to director interviews, to various versions of the films, to blunders in the film and much more. Additionally, portions of this work discuss Philip K. Dick, the author of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, and his feelings about Hollywood and this film. Once again, this is a must read for fans of Ridley Scott, the movie Blade Runner, the writer Philip K. Dick, or movie making in general.

  11. 5 out of 5

    D.M.

    This is THE book on Ridley Scott's 80s epic Blade Runner. Not only is it an utterly indispensable guide through the making of the film, it is a pleasantly readable account of the battle that can happen in making any film. Though the special effects chapter is necessarily a little dry, Sammon makes efforts to direct it to the uninitiated as well as those more versed in the ways of effects. Aside from that one section, Sammon did an admirable job assembling years-worth of information on all the as This is THE book on Ridley Scott's 80s epic Blade Runner. Not only is it an utterly indispensable guide through the making of the film, it is a pleasantly readable account of the battle that can happen in making any film. Though the special effects chapter is necessarily a little dry, Sammon makes efforts to direct it to the uninitiated as well as those more versed in the ways of effects. Aside from that one section, Sammon did an admirable job assembling years-worth of information on all the aspects of the film into a coherent whole. There is almost certainly an up-to-date version of this book that will cover the eventual re-re-release of the film in its Final Cut version, but even this earlier edition (published after the Director's Cut was released for home viewing) explains why so many different versions of the film exist. Chockful of information both necessary and trivial, this is essential reading for the fan, and informative for the curious.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Matthias Thorn

    The first time I even heard of the movie known as Blade Runner, I was ten years old and in the backseat of a stationwagon. I'd just gotten picked up by Rebecca's mom as part of a four-kid carpool I was in. Rebecca's mom had just seen the movie the night before and wanted to talk about it to the oldest and most intellectually sophisticated person in the car with her at the time, which happened to be yours truly. She had enjoyed the film, but she also frankly disclosed a certain amount of surprise The first time I even heard of the movie known as Blade Runner, I was ten years old and in the backseat of a stationwagon. I'd just gotten picked up by Rebecca's mom as part of a four-kid carpool I was in. Rebecca's mom had just seen the movie the night before and wanted to talk about it to the oldest and most intellectually sophisticated person in the car with her at the time, which happened to be yours truly. She had enjoyed the film, but she also frankly disclosed a certain amount of surprise and confusion. It was nothing like Star Wars, Alien, Empire or any of the other big-name sci-fi movies making their way through the movie theaters at that time, the dawn of the big-budget special-effects blockbuster era. She wanted to describe BR to me, but couldn't, not adequately. This of course drove me mad with a desire to see it. But my parents were strict about movie ratings, and so, since it was R for Restricted, I didn't get to see Blade Runner until its television premier in 1986. I didn't really understand it myself, but, like a lot of movies at that time, I made a mental footnote to watch it again later if I ever had the chance. Thanks to first VHS and then DVD, I've since had many chances to watch it. I've also watched a lot of Ridley Scott's other movies, and a lot of movies inspired by Blade Runner. I've also read a lot of Philip K. Dick short stories, and watched pretty much every PKD-based movie I can find. Nothing is really quite like Blade Runner. I wouldn't say it's my favorite movie, by any stretch, but it's probably one of my favorite movies to think about, take apart, and analyze. It's also one of my favorite movies just to see - it's such a fantastically beautiful and richly textured movie. I can enjoy it almost as much with the sound off as I can with the sound on. I love its mood, and its moodiness. I love the world that it creates, more than the story or the characters. I've never been able to figure out why I'm so fascinated by certain parts of Blade Runner, or why, on the whole, it seems so different from so many other movies. So imagine my surprise and reserved delight when I discovered that a man named Paul Sammon had written a book in the 90's called Future Noir: the Making of Blade Runner. Here was a book that, maybe, might just possibly give me a clue as to what's so different and elusive about this one particular movie. I put the book on my wishlist, but then decided I'd probably never buy it. Like I said, it's not my favorite movie. I'm not even sure I can say it's a terribly strong movie, all told. Harrison Ford himself, the leading man, says it's one of his least favorite movies he's ever been involved with. But here's the thing. When I watch that movie, I feel like it's brushing up against some kind of ceiling, and if it had just had a little more oomph, strength, speed, brilliance, I don't know what, it could have, I don't know, somehow transcended. Transcended what? I don't know. Become what instead? I also don't know. All I know is that sometimes I feel like in Blade Runner, Ridley Scott achieved something that might have put that film on the threshold of being something else entirely. Which makes me sound like a crazy sort of fan. Which I'm definitely not. So I put off buying Future Noir. Because I didn't want to feed what felt like an embryonic obsession. Then I completely and totally just happened to run across one used copy of it at the Strand in NYC this past winter. Well. What did you think I would do? I threw my hands up in the air, said what the hell, and bought it. I know a sign when I see it after all. Now, a couple months later, Future Noir has finally bubbled up the bedside reading stack. I've read it almost cover to cover (I skipped the short chapter on how the special effects were done, and a couple of the appendices), and I wanted to write a review, but it's hard to write a review of a book like this. So even though this blog entry started its life with intention of being a book review, the actual review book is going to be pretty short. Future Noir mostly does what it sets out to do, tell how BR was made. Sammon goes into great exclusive detail regarding how the rights to the story were acquired, how the screenplay evolved over time, how Scott got involved, and so on. The longest chapter of the book is a scene-by-scene breakdown of the movie, and each scene usually has one or two "behind the scenes" anecdotes that are just the sort of thing you'd hope for from a book like this. Sammon's obviously a huge fan of the movie, and went to great lengths to get access to some of the people and materials that he did. He's a true film geek and a true, unapologetic BR fan. This very fandom, though, is also one of the places where the book falls down a couple times. There's more space devoted to gushing over how great BR is than there is space devoted to critical analysis or deconstruction. He doesn't ask hard questions of his interviewees. That's all ok, though. No one but a fan could have possibly cared enough to write this book. Also, I have to say, Sammon did a great job in getting himself conversations with almost all the major players involved with the making of BR. The only people he didn't get any substantial time with were Harrison Ford and Sean Young, the stars. While this may seem like a big omission, he actually does have interview excerpts from so many other big players - writers, producer, director, other actors - you almost don't notice these two glaring absences. Ah well. I never thought Young did much for the film anyway. The biggest problem, though, with FN is not anything Sammon had any say over: Future Noir is just really dated at this point. It came out in 1996, fourteen years into the movie's history, sure, but now that's less than half way into its 31-year life span. Since then, the so-called Final Cut has been released, the authoritative version, and the only version with Ridley Scott's full seal of approval. At the time that FN came out, the most authoritative version was the so-called "Director's Cut", which was still a compromise between what Scott wanted and what the studio let him get away with. More significantly, however, Sammon wound up missing everything that the Internet would do for BR, or the plateau to which said Internet would allow fandom of any sort to ascend. Another strip of fabric that's inevitably missing from Sammon's otherwise master opus is all the material that got scraped up to serve as "bonus materials" on the various DVD boxed sets, 25th anniversary edition and 30th anniversary Blu-Ray edition. All of these sources probably could have informed FN's ultimate direction and scope. I definitely recommend Future Noir to anyone interested in learning more about Blade Runner. It's a great place to begin, especially if, like me, you're trying to decide how much of a fan you want to be. Because, as much as Sammon loves this particular movie, somehow, this book winds up laying out what should be plain to see: it's just a movie. A movie that happened to come along before it's time maybe, and maybe a movie that had a creative director behind it who was just coming into the height of his powers, but still for all that, just a movie. Me? Now that I can see how much of what went into Blade Runner was actually flawed and broken and human, I'm actually more interested in how it, as a work of art, manages to rise above its medium and point to something else. But that's another review altogether.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Diz

    This is a must-read for Blade Runner fans. It is an exhaustive resource on everything about the movie from the novel to the final cut of the movie released on DVD in the 2000's. There's even a short section introducing Blade Runner 2049, but since this was published before that movie was released, there isn't much content on the new movie. I particularly enjoyed the interviews with Scott, Ford, Young, and Bauer that were printed at the end of the book. Those interviews really give an in-depth lo This is a must-read for Blade Runner fans. It is an exhaustive resource on everything about the movie from the novel to the final cut of the movie released on DVD in the 2000's. There's even a short section introducing Blade Runner 2049, but since this was published before that movie was released, there isn't much content on the new movie. I particularly enjoyed the interviews with Scott, Ford, Young, and Bauer that were printed at the end of the book. Those interviews really give an in-depth look into how they viewed their work on that film.

  14. 5 out of 5

    A.

    There is an undeniable wealth of information here, hidden among some of the worst writing available in print. If you wade through the repetition, disorganization, & tuneless language, you will find a solid, unparalleled history. There are good quotes on artist intent & technical processes; though there's not much in the way of BR theories, just the old familiar ground you've already tread. Ridley Scott should take time off to illustrate a graphic novel. There is an undeniable wealth of information here, hidden among some of the worst writing available in print. If you wade through the repetition, disorganization, & tuneless language, you will find a solid, unparalleled history. There are good quotes on artist intent & technical processes; though there's not much in the way of BR theories, just the old familiar ground you've already tread. Ridley Scott should take time off to illustrate a graphic novel.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    After finishing Paul M. Sammon's update to an already exhaustive undertaking, I can only say that I wish every movie that I liked had a similar volume to go along with it. Sammon was there at the beginning of Blade Runner's production in the early 1980s, and he's created the only resource that any fans of the film's pockmarked history will ever truly need. Each scene of each version of the film has been thoughtfully analyzed, and Sammon's objective presentation of the behind-the-scenes controver After finishing Paul M. Sammon's update to an already exhaustive undertaking, I can only say that I wish every movie that I liked had a similar volume to go along with it. Sammon was there at the beginning of Blade Runner's production in the early 1980s, and he's created the only resource that any fans of the film's pockmarked history will ever truly need. Each scene of each version of the film has been thoughtfully analyzed, and Sammon's objective presentation of the behind-the-scenes controversies sets the perfect stage for drawing our own conclusions. If you even kind of like Blade Runner, I can't recommend this enough.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tom Franklin

    An exhaustive review of the film making process from purchasing the rights to the Phillip K. Dick story "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" through scrips, backing, casting, direction, production, set designs, etc., etc. Blade Runner was a difficult film to make and Sammon was there for most of it, reporting for various SF magazines of the 80s. His access to the people involved makes this an authoritative study of the work behind the magic of this film. The only drawback to the book is Sammon's An exhaustive review of the film making process from purchasing the rights to the Phillip K. Dick story "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" through scrips, backing, casting, direction, production, set designs, etc., etc. Blade Runner was a difficult film to make and Sammon was there for most of it, reporting for various SF magazines of the 80s. His access to the people involved makes this an authoritative study of the work behind the magic of this film. The only drawback to the book is Sammon's occasionally clumsy writing style. Unnecessary asides and point out details to be found in future chapters made reading his book frustrating at times. If you can't find this book, try to find the film "Dangerous Days" (an early script title for Blade Runner). In many ways it is the filmed adaptation of Sammon's book, featuring interviews with all of the people in Sammon's book, including Sammon himself.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    All literate fans of the Ridley Scott film Blade Runner most likely know this book. Paul M. Sammon did an enormous amount of research. And, he's a fan of the genre. It's a fascinating read. The table of contents are useful because there's some repetition. In fact, the entire book could have used a careful editor. I think about 1/5th of the text would have been edited away without losing any content. The interviews are very good. It's possible to be concerned with the tone he took in at least one All literate fans of the Ridley Scott film Blade Runner most likely know this book. Paul M. Sammon did an enormous amount of research. And, he's a fan of the genre. It's a fascinating read. The table of contents are useful because there's some repetition. In fact, the entire book could have used a careful editor. I think about 1/5th of the text would have been edited away without losing any content. The interviews are very good. It's possible to be concerned with the tone he took in at least one interview. A new, and "final cut" of the book would: (1). go through a careful and rigorous proofreading process; and (2). consider reorganizing the chapter sections so that different subjects are focused on at different points.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Trin

    Blade Runner went through so many incarnations and has such a complicated history, and Sammon does a great job of telling its story. This book is really engaging, with a POV that's Just Fannish Enough. (Although Sammon's totally wrong about the Director's Cut being better than the International Cut. Narration rules!) It's a shame that Ridley Scott comes off as totally batshit insane in the interview at the end of the book. ("Deckard's a Replicant...and he's immortal!") Blade Runner went through so many incarnations and has such a complicated history, and Sammon does a great job of telling its story. This book is really engaging, with a POV that's Just Fannish Enough. (Although Sammon's totally wrong about the Director's Cut being better than the International Cut. Narration rules!) It's a shame that Ridley Scott comes off as totally batshit insane in the interview at the end of the book. ("Deckard's a Replicant...and he's immortal!")

  19. 5 out of 5

    Exapno Mapcase

    This is a Goodreads First Reads review. This is an amazingly detailed book, it goes through everything related to Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep/Blade Runner. A combination of the first two editions Sammon has at one time or another had access to a number people involved from Phillip K. Dick to Harrison Ford which leads to some impressive coverage from page to studio, to filming, to editing, and to fan reaction.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Everything you do (and probably do not) want to know about Blade Runner. Wow. This is a nearly exhaustive look at the making and cultural impact of the Blade Runner film, including its various 'cuts'. It contains an extensive interview with star Harrison Ford and director Ridley Scott at the end. It includes discussion of the then-upcoming Blade Runner 2049 and one can hope the next edition, or a separate follow-up book will deal with that sequel as well. A good read for fans of the film, the ge Everything you do (and probably do not) want to know about Blade Runner. Wow. This is a nearly exhaustive look at the making and cultural impact of the Blade Runner film, including its various 'cuts'. It contains an extensive interview with star Harrison Ford and director Ridley Scott at the end. It includes discussion of the then-upcoming Blade Runner 2049 and one can hope the next edition, or a separate follow-up book will deal with that sequel as well. A good read for fans of the film, the genre, and those who enjoy pop culture and film history.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Joshua

    This beautifully composed account of the making of Blade Runner (one of the greatest sci-fi films of all time) is a must-read for hardcore fans of the movie and of filmmaking in general. Future Noir opened my eyes to many details in the film that I missed in my first few viewings and it added background context to the development of one of my favorite movies. I should note that this book is quite lengthy - the 2017 edition is nearly 600 pages.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Paul Haspel

    The future is now, for Blade Runner fans – for it is in this present month of November 2019 that Ridley Scott’s visionary 1982 science-fiction film Blade Runner is set. The film’s production and reception history involves a story as intricate and compelling as what one sees on screen, and Paul M. Sammon sets forth that story well in his book Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner. Sammon, a Hollywood-based journalist and filmmaker, has worked on a variety of films such as Platoon (1986) and Robo The future is now, for Blade Runner fans – for it is in this present month of November 2019 that Ridley Scott’s visionary 1982 science-fiction film Blade Runner is set. The film’s production and reception history involves a story as intricate and compelling as what one sees on screen, and Paul M. Sammon sets forth that story well in his book Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner. Sammon, a Hollywood-based journalist and filmmaker, has worked on a variety of films such as Platoon (1986) and RoboCop (1987), but has truly made the study of Blade Runner his life’s work. Future Noir was originally published in 1996, but has now been republished in a revised, much-expanded, 594-page magnum opus that members of Blade Runner’s sizable and enthusiastic fan community refer to as “the Blade Runner Bible.” Future Noir, among other things, works as an explanation of the process by which a major motion picture comes to the screen. It all started with science-fiction author Philip K. Dick’s 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the story of a bounty hunter named Rick Deckard whose job it is to hunt down and “retire” renegade androids who have escaped from off-world colonial slavery and come to Earth. The book, with its morally ambiguous story and noir--ish elements, turned out to be perfect for a film that would bring together elements of science fiction and film noir. After a number of fits and starts, Do Androids Dream was optioned for development; an ambitious young director named Ridley Scott was hired; and two different screenwriters, Hampton Fancher and David Webb Peoples, took their different shots at adapting Do Androids Dream for the screen – coming up, in the process, with the innovative idea of calling the androids “replicants.” And a talented cast – including Harrison Ford, Sean Young, Rutger Hauer, Edward James Olmos, Daryl Hannah, and Joanna Cassidy – was assembled. As art directors and set decorators, under Ridley Scott’s close supervision, began to construct the highly distinctive, profoundly detailed production design for which Blade Runner would become particularly well-known, everyone involved with the film seems to have realized that they had the opportunity to create a film that would be much more than a ray-gun shoot-’em-up – as when producer Michael Deeley stated that “The central problems in Blade Runner are essentially moral ones….Should the replicants kill to gain more life? Should Harrison Ford be killing them simply because they want to exist? These questions begin to tangle up Deckard’s thinking” (p. 100). A shot-by-shot, scene-by-scene, sequence-by-sequence of Blade Runner’s action provides a number of intriguing examples of roads not taken, of ideas that were considered but never filmed, often for reasons of cost. This part of the book also emphasizes how the collaborative nature of filmmaking as an art form means that sometimes the best ideas come together when talented people bounce good ideas off one another. An example of this principle occurs in the death scene for Roy Batty, the replicant leader played by Rutger Hauer. Looking back, Hauer explains that he felt that the original, protracted, half-page death speech that Batty speaks to Rick Deckard was not suitable: “[W]e’d already seen this opera of dying replicants; I didn’t think the audience would stand another protracted death scene.” When the scene was filmed, therefore, Hauer “cut a little bit out of the opening and then improvised these closing lines: ‘All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die’” (p. 230). It is one of the most deeply moving and poetic moments that I have ever witnessed in cinema. After a difficult production history and the addition of a dizzying array of special effects, Blade Runner was ready to be presented to the moviegoing world. Editor Terry Rawlings said of an early screening that “when the film finished and the lights came up, Ridley [Scott] turned to me and said, ‘God, it’s marvelous. What the f—k does it all mean?’ We knew then we had a lot to do to really get the audience to understand what was going on. Because this was a very difficult work to translate” (p. 310). Rawlings’s words were prophetic – for when it was released in 1982, Blade Runner was a critical and commercial failure. Critics generally panned it, and audiences largely stayed away. I saw Blade Runner during its original release, as a 21-year-old college student, and my initial response to the film mirrored what I read in the response cards filled out by early-1980’s moviegoers. The production design was mesmerizing, the actors’ performances were strong and evocative, and Vangelis’ music complemented the film’s action perfectly; but the film’s more graphic moments of violence distracted from the story rather than emphasizing its drama, and there were internal contradictions in the narrative that I still don’t think were ever fully resolved. To wit: Philip K. Dick’s original Do Androids Dream novel was about a bounty hunter; and it makes sense that a bounty hunter works alone, under dangerous conditions. For his film, director Scott clearly wanted to evoke the traditions of the film noir narrative within a futuristic setting. Yet Blade Runner’s Deckard is a member of a special police squad; and everyone knows that police squads do not send out officers alone to confront dangerous suspects. Think about when you see a vehicle stopped by police in your own town or city. If only one police car is there, then it’s probably a routine traffic stop: speeding, or expired license plates. More than one police car means that it’s a more serious matter – a drug arrest, perhaps or the capture of a dangerous fugitive. It is the principle of bringing superior force to bear, and Blade Runner blithely ignores that basic principle of police work – because the noir elements of the story demand that the protagonist confront dangerous enemies all by himself. Usually, when a film bombs with critics and at the box office, that is the end of it; it fades into obscurity, with a one- or two-star rating in Leonard Maltin’s Movies on TV books. Yet with the profusion of cable and videocassette technology in the 1980’s, viewers had multiple opportunities to re-view Blade Runner over the years; and increasingly, viewers liked what they saw. The film began to gather a cult following, and Ridley Scott, even while busy with other film projects, found himself returning time and again to Blade Runner, overseeing the release of a Director’s Cut in 1992, and of a “Final Cut” in 2007. To date, six different versions of Blade Runner exist. It is as if the film’s Tyrell Corporation can’t stop turning out new-model replicants! This updated version of Future Noir includes a discussion of the second Blade Runner film – Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 (2017) – as well as new and illuminating interviews with Harrison Ford, Sean Young, and Rutger Hauer. When the film came out, I recall Ford being interviewed by a journalist who, in those post-Star Wars, post-Raiders of the Lost Ark days, asked if Ford wasn’t concerned about being typecast as a summer-blockbuster action hero. Ford’s reply with regard to Blade Runner was something on the order of, “This is not that kind of movie.” Thirty-five years later, Ford suggests, aptly, that the film’s initial critical and commercial failure occurred “Perhaps because it wasn’t…what people originally expected it to be. Blade Runner was a powerful cinematic experience. And, it was ahead of its time” (p. 521). Like Blade Runner itself, Ford's words are prophetic. Today, in our world of November 2019, rising sea levels caused by climate change threaten coastal cities and small island nations around the world. Overpopulation has accelerated, from 4.6 billion people in the world in 1982 to 7.7 billion people today. Increasing income inequality means that, in more and more cities around the world, the unfortunate many are crowded onto filthy, traffic-choked streets below, while the lucky few enjoy spacious penthouse luxury above. Pervasive surveillance technology, from facial-recognition software in China to CCTV in Great Britain, gives one that sense of constantly being watched by faceless, all-powerful entities. From Times Square to Piccadilly Circus to Shibuya, neon advertisements, three and four stories high, constantly demand the viewer's attention. From New York and Chicago to Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, and Shanghai, impossibly tall skyscrapers loom over the landscape - structures so vast that they can never be torn down but will rather have to be "retrofitted," built onto like the Tyrell Corporation's 700-story-tall pyramidal headquarters. Amid a culture awash in high-tech amusements, there are regular and sudden outbreaks of hideous violence; in response, increasingly militarized police forces wield virtually unlimited power in a manner that puts the rights of ordinary citizens at risk. And the proliferation of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) technology causes the moral philosophers of today to ask some troubling questions. What does it mean to be sentient? What does it mean to be human? Our world of today, in short, is a world much like what was forecast in Blade Runner. And any aficionado of this classic motion picture, I think, would enjoy the opportunity to learn more about the film and its production history that is offered by Paul Sammon’s Future Noir.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sergey Selyutin

    Re-watched the Blade Runner (The Final Cut) movie a day ago and before moving on to the Dangerous Days and various other documentaries on the Blu-ray set decided to find out more about the work done by the DVD/Blu-ray edition producer Charles de Lauzirika. The book (the third 2017 edition) was informative enough so I'm also going to read the four interviews it features as supplementary. And if Dangerous Days re-kindles my interest in how the movie was made (for some reason I found the plot of BR Re-watched the Blade Runner (The Final Cut) movie a day ago and before moving on to the Dangerous Days and various other documentaries on the Blu-ray set decided to find out more about the work done by the DVD/Blu-ray edition producer Charles de Lauzirika. The book (the third 2017 edition) was informative enough so I'm also going to read the four interviews it features as supplementary. And if Dangerous Days re-kindles my interest in how the movie was made (for some reason I found the plot of BR sort of unpolished and even half-baked), I'm doing to read Furture Noir in full. PS. There is a major drawback to this book: it does not concentrate enough on the beautiful soundtrack by Vangelis, and numerous bootlegs the lasting lack of the full official score has spawned. Vangelis' fans will hardly find anything of interest here. PPS. Read the interviews - they are great. Watched a documentary on the Final Cut restoration/errors fixing. Listened to several interviews with Charles de Lauzirika. Still feel that the plot of the movie is rather simplistic (not to say haphazard), but want to re-experience the film's visuals and atmosphere. This time I'm going to watch the Workprint. And, yeah, I found myself reading Future Noir from the beginning. PPPS. Good gracious! It's been a while. Started to read Future Noir from the beginning and went on a Blade Runner spree. Watched all the featurettes on the 5-disk set. Listened to all 4 audio commentaries (Paul M. Sammon's is by far the best one, you will find it on disk 5 - he comments the Workprint). Watched 3 versions of the movie (the Workprint, the International Theatrical, the Final Cut). Watched two documentaries that are not on the DVD-set (but can be easily find on YouTube - On the Edge of Blade Runner and Future Shocks. So. My opinion. While the BR videos are more emotionally charged (you actually see people talk), the book is much more informative. So, if you really want to know more about the movie, you absolutely have to read it. Featurettes are not enough. Two drawbacks. As I've already said, the lack of material on Vangelis' soundtrack borders on a crime. Sorry, JF, I mean, Paul M., you've lost one star because of it. Second, the small chapter on BR 2049 reads like an advertisement. Obviously, author just tried to cash in on the release of the sequel with this third edition that I've got. The bottom line: highly recommended. Read it. Buy it. Makes an excellent gift to any BR fan.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Marianne Donovan

    "Future Noir Revised Updated Edition: The Making of Blade Runner" by Paul M. Sammon is an incredibly long book with everything you could ever want to know about the movie Blade Runner. I will admit that Blade Runner was one of my favorite all time movies and I am anxiously awaiting the release of the sequel Blade Runner 2049, so perhaps I am a bit biased, but I could not put this book down. I would have liked more pictures and color ones. I loved all the little details that were so lovingly rese "Future Noir Revised Updated Edition: The Making of Blade Runner" by Paul M. Sammon is an incredibly long book with everything you could ever want to know about the movie Blade Runner. I will admit that Blade Runner was one of my favorite all time movies and I am anxiously awaiting the release of the sequel Blade Runner 2049, so perhaps I am a bit biased, but I could not put this book down. I would have liked more pictures and color ones. I loved all the little details that were so lovingly researched and written about. The end of the book contained interviews with Ridley Scott, Harrison Ford, Sean Young, and Rutger Hauer from back in the early 2000s, which provide wonderful insights from each on the cult phenomenon that embodies this movie. Wonderful book for all lovers of sci-fi and "modern" movie buffs.

  25. 4 out of 5

    kesseljunkie

    Despite the numerous punctuation/proofing errors this book is delightful. An incredibly insightful read about one of the most influential films of all time.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    I had heard somewhere that this was the best book ever written about the making of a movie, and the fact that I don't think I had ever heard any other book described in that way, and the fact that I love the movie Blade Runner, it was enough to pique my interest. I'm not sure if it was actually the best book ever written about the making of a movie, since I don't think I've ever read another one. But there were a few things about it I really liked. Odd trivia like the fact that the movie probabl I had heard somewhere that this was the best book ever written about the making of a movie, and the fact that I don't think I had ever heard any other book described in that way, and the fact that I love the movie Blade Runner, it was enough to pique my interest. I'm not sure if it was actually the best book ever written about the making of a movie, since I don't think I've ever read another one. But there were a few things about it I really liked. Odd trivia like the fact that the movie probably would never have been made if it weren't for Gregory Peck. I do like stuff like that. There were also a lot of little details I didn't much care for. Apparently, Harrison Ford and Sean Young didn't like each other. That may be extremely important if you're Harrison Ford or Sean Young, but it didn't mean much to me. And the extent of detail into the differences between the varying versions of the movie was probably more than I needed. As much as I love the movie, I am not quite an obsessed fan. But what did interest me the most was probably the fact that so much of the appearance of the movie, and it is an extremely visual movie, came down to the fact that they didn't have much money. They made it dark and rainy so the sets didn't have to be so elaborate, just because they couldn't afford them to be. And a lot of the stuff they used was already there, they just modified it a little bit. They called it retrofitting the future, and I think that worked really well. So it didn't look like some other planet or another dimension, it was all very familiar, just altered a little bit. That made it a believable future. And the darkness and the rain and the claustrophobic nature of the whole thing made very dystopic, which was really appropriate. I have seen a few other science fiction movies that had a lot more money and created much more elaborate worlds that were a lot less believable, because they overdid it. Blade Runner didn't overdo it. That may have been because they couldn't afford to, but it still worked in their favor. The other topic that got covered a lot was whether or not Rick Deckard was a replicant. The director has definitively stated that he is. Harrison Ford didn't want him to be, and I agree. The fundamental theme of the story is that Deckard is conflicted by his job, which entails destroying replicants. The replicants have been programmed to think and feel as humans, so much so that they don't even realize they're not humans. And they are very much afraid of dying. At that point, Deckard doesn't see the difference between killing them and killing humans, and he is conflicted by that. I think that's a really interesting examination of what it is that makes us humans - the biological versus the philosophical. The problem is, I think Deckard's conflict is much more interesting if he is a human. If he's a replicant, then of course he can empathize with the replicants he is destroying - he is one. Even if he doesn't know he's a replicant, making him one undercuts the source of his empathy. I think it is a lot more compelling if he is a human, and he knows he's a human, but he feels that connection to them because he recognizes the makeup of their emotions, and their fears, as identical to his. That leap is interesting if it crosses from man to machine. I think it's less so if it is only going from machine to machine. At any rate, it certainly renews my respect for the movie. It also makes me concerned about the upcoming sequel. Now they'll have all the money they want, and I think that will probably end up working against them. And now that Ridley Scott has unequivocally stated Deckard is a replicant, he will probably take the narrative in that direction. I doubt that will work for me.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Stuart Hill

    To begin with I wondered whether this book would have anything new to offer, having watched the comprehensive documentaries that were issued with the 25th anniversary DVD edition of the movie. My fears were unfounded, this was an extremely thorough book which covers pretty much every aspect of the film; how the script was developed, how the special effects were crafted, what the shooting process was like etc. Sammon had direct access to the cast and crew during production and also undertook furth To begin with I wondered whether this book would have anything new to offer, having watched the comprehensive documentaries that were issued with the 25th anniversary DVD edition of the movie. My fears were unfounded, this was an extremely thorough book which covers pretty much every aspect of the film; how the script was developed, how the special effects were crafted, what the shooting process was like etc. Sammon had direct access to the cast and crew during production and also undertook further research and interviews in the following years, all of which fed into one of the most detailed 'making of' books of all time. Future Noir does a really good job of scotching myths which had become common currency such as that a voice-over had only ever been added to please the studio; in fact voice-overs had been included in many early drafts of the script, although it was true that by the end of the shoot director Ridley Scott had decided that his preference was to dispense with the voice-over. Also intriguing was that the narration finally used was not the work of either of the principal scriptwriters, though oddly Sammon does not really explain why this was so. Nevertheless, the key selling point of this book was the sheer amount of detail accumulated. A more casual reader would doubtless find it all a bit too much but it's certainly an engaging read for those with a significant interest in the film, or of hollywood movie making in general. It wasn't perfect; as other reviewers have noted Sammon's prose was rather clunky at times and it does have the feel of a bunch of magazine articles thrown together to make up the book rather than a finely crafted piece. I was also surprised that despite several useful appendices there wasn't an index. The impression was also given that the author was granted so much access in the expectation of sympathetic coverage. Sammon rarely has anything negative to say about the film, and whilst this may be genuine, I felt the book would have been even better if he had asked some more challenging questions at times. There were also a couple of gaffes in the edition I read. Sammon mistook Tsing-tao for a spirit when it is actually a Chinese beer. The other error was on the part of the publisher, a reference in the text to the cover illustration must have been referring to a previous edition as it was describing something which wasn't on the book cover. Future Noir was originally published in 1996 which gives some of the text a quaintly nostalgic feeling when read today. At one point it explains how to enter a url on that super-duper new concept, the world wide web, in order to access various Blade Runner fansites. DVDs were on the cusp of being released so the only home versions of the film discussed are video cassettes and laser discs. Despite the depth of coverage Sammon also missed a few points about the film which should have been included in my opinion such as the influence of the landscape of the North East of England on the film's industrial dystopia and how Scott had visited Hong Kong whilst scouting for potential shooting locations which fed in to the design of the feature. Overall though this was a very enjoyable and informative read and I would certainly consider other books by the same author.

  28. 5 out of 5

    K

    Paul Sammon's Future Noir is about as close as one can get to having experienced every part of Blade Runner's production from development all the way through post production. Sammon is the authority on this film and this book is the final word on the making of this film. But that doesn't mean the book is without its faults. Sammon's talent with prose is tested to its limits here. The writing in Future Noir is often wordy and clumsily arranged into graphs that contradict each other and sometimes Paul Sammon's Future Noir is about as close as one can get to having experienced every part of Blade Runner's production from development all the way through post production. Sammon is the authority on this film and this book is the final word on the making of this film. But that doesn't mean the book is without its faults. Sammon's talent with prose is tested to its limits here. The writing in Future Noir is often wordy and clumsily arranged into graphs that contradict each other and sometimes don't even reflect chapter titles and sub-headers. One minor complaint that turned into a huge turn-off as I got further into the book was the author's insistence on referring to himself as "this author". The usage may not bother some, but comes off the page awkwardly and is pointless because it suggests an academic, objective approach that Sammon has clearly not taken with this book. Sammon uses his personal experiences from his relationship with Blade Runner (Sammon had unparalleled access to the production as a journalist tasked with writing a comprehensive "Making Of" article for a film magazine during Blade Runner's production) to his advantage and makes no attempt to hide the fact that he is a complete fanboy (he refers to Blade Runner as an "obsession" in the intro), which is fine. It lends credibility to the information Sammon presents and it gives the reader a rather intimate look into the making of this divisive film. So why bother with the formality of referring to oneself in the third person? It's just off-putting. Future Noir's other weakness is the way the book is structured (or not structured, as it were). The book feels thrown together and the organization seems haphazard or the product of an afterthought. Sammon awkwardly pauses in the narrative many times to inform the reader that he is taking a detour (organizationally speaking) and wastes a lot of ink (and time) explaining why. Perhaps this is owed to the fact that the book is largely cobbled together from articles that Sammon had written over the years for various publications. But, if that is true, it's even more damning than just not being good at organizing one's thoughts. If Sammon meant to collect a book of essays and articles, then that is what he should have done, and that is what should have been sold to the reader. But throwing together previously-written material and calling it a book is disingenuous and lazy. I gave the book 4 stars because I am a big Blade Runner and PKD fan. If I had not had this proclivity toward the source material, I would probably have given it 2-3 stars. If you, too, are a fan of the film or PKD book, I doubt you will be disappointed, but don't go into it expecting Faulkner.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Noiresque

    This is pretty much the definitive book on the making of Blade Runner, the seminal work of sci-fi. If you haven't heard of Blade Runner, that means you haven't seen it, and you can frigging stop reading this review right now. I don't recall being particularly enamored of the writing style of this book, but the research is top-notch. There were more interesting little tidbits that anyone has a right to expect. This started out as the contents of a special issue of Starlog that came out before the This is pretty much the definitive book on the making of Blade Runner, the seminal work of sci-fi. If you haven't heard of Blade Runner, that means you haven't seen it, and you can frigging stop reading this review right now. I don't recall being particularly enamored of the writing style of this book, but the research is top-notch. There were more interesting little tidbits that anyone has a right to expect. This started out as the contents of a special issue of Starlog that came out before the movie. The author added quite a bit to that article, including first person interviews with Sean Young, et al. The big story, like many wonderful works of art, is that it barely came off. Infighting, a laborious writing and re-writing process, personality clases between cast, crew and especially director - you name it. In spite of, or maybe because of it, it turned out to be a very important movie. Any real fan will enjoy this. Added bonus: lots of discussion about the Director's Cut, how it came to be, etc.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Susan Weinstein

    FUTURE NOIR: The Making of Blade Runner (Dey Street Books, HarperCollins) by Paul M. Sammon has a headline that's not hyperbole--The Fascinating Story Behind the Darkest, Most Influential Sci-fi Film Evermade. Though 594 pages, I found this book obsessively interesting, though I'm not a Blade Runner fan. An art history and fan book, this revised and updated version of FUTURE NOIR delivers new interviews of Sean Young and Rutger Hauer, and the longest interview Harrison Ford ever did on Blade Run FUTURE NOIR: The Making of Blade Runner (Dey Street Books, HarperCollins) by Paul M. Sammon has a headline that's not hyperbole--The Fascinating Story Behind the Darkest, Most Influential Sci-fi Film Evermade. Though 594 pages, I found this book obsessively interesting, though I'm not a Blade Runner fan. An art history and fan book, this revised and updated version of FUTURE NOIR delivers new interviews of Sean Young and Rutger Hauer, and the longest interview Harrison Ford ever did on Blade Runner. The original interview with Ridley Scott is pretty good. The book also delivers talk about Ford's inexplicable antipathy for Young, Daryl Hannah's uncanny insight into being a replicant, the backgrounds of every actor, as well as the contributions of set, prop, costume designers and mechanics. It also gives a intriguing peek into Blade Runner 2049. The author, Paul Sammon, investigates the genesis of the film from Phil Dick's book and early scripts with tidbits of synchronicity, like securing the title Blade Runner from William Burroughs. It is a lot of fun to be on Sammon's Blade Runner set, where visionary designers and builders, inspired by Ridley Scott's visions, make leaps of creative thought. Some crash and burn, others bring another twist to their futureworld of 2019. Sammon provides useful hindsight about Blade Runner's impact on moviemaking and popular culture over the past twenty years.Writer, filmaker and Hollywood insider, Sammon has credits on iconic art film Blue Velvet and pop confection Conan the Barbarian. He's no stranger to the necessities of both art and commerce. With wry humor, he relates Ridley's excesses, sublime and absurd, and the vetoes of exiting producers. He narrates the seessaw of art vs. commerce with a knowing irony. For me, the most interesting revelations were the actual drawings by Ridley Scott, which became the visually dense, detailled world of Blade Runner. Scott's approach, well illustrated in this book, answered my questions about both the wildly unfaithful translation of Dick's novel, Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep and why he came to welcome it. From the dedication of FUTURE NOIR: "When it comes to Hollywood I had an automatic flinch reaction." --Philip K. Dick "Sometimes the design is the statement." --Ridley Scott It was a surprise to me that Dick's worst nightmare was fulfilled (though I am unsure if he knew it). A major film of his book was being made by a director who never read it. Yet Sammon fairly relates the perspectives of both men. As an art school grad, who's worked as an illustrator, I understand Scott's training to think in images. But around 1981, the same year Scott began to shoot Blade Runner, I began work as a publicist for a science fiction press. A couple years before, I had begun my own dystopian novel,, Paradise Gardens. The appearance of the world of my book is not far off from Scott's. In that politically conservative era, psychiatric hospitals were closed, tossing mentally ill people into the streets. New Wave bands, late 70s early 80s, investigated the forms and textures of sound, language, style. Post punk fashion, art and music, were about layering. Textures, colors, shapes, eras,were repurposed for ambiguous often apocalyptic content. Some of Bladerunner's look seemed derived to me from art culture, bands like Devo, Talking Heads, Sonic Youth, Basquiat paintings, Madonna/Lauper's looks. Scott was brilliantly improvising from his era to a futureworld, where dystopian cities were ultra cosmopolitan, densely packed with diverse peoples and artifacts. Extrapolating from what was actually happening culturally, he made his visionary futureworld as consistent and detailed as the real world. Blade Runner seemed a layered psychic experiment, projecting Scott's art cultural present forward in time and place. I read Phil Dick's "paranoid fiction" and believe Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep reflects the 60's, when humanism seemed under attack by corporations; the military industrial complex of the Vietnam War, the assassinations of King, Kennedys, the Nixon sell-outs (In 1961 his cronies in life insurance were given management of our health care). In Dick's fiction, the "little guy" was trying to preserve his humanity. In Androids having a real animal, a sheep, was a status symbol, because with animals we human beings are part of a natural order. Androids Replicants) were cold souless corporate products,which can replace people and serve those in power. In Ridley's late 70s early 80's aesthetics, the loss of human values in Blade Runner era was a foregone condition. He takes the mix-up of people and replicants, machines that are becoming more human than many people. They are a kind of receptacle for "humane awareness," and in his story this may be due to their ahort lives and hyper awareness of death. (Man is supposedly the only animal with awareness of his own death, considered a defining characteristic of the human condition). This idea in regard to the replicants is emotionally consistent with Ridley's world, but could be confusing for literal audiences. When I saw this film, I was overwhelmed by the dark emotional affect, sadness, nostalgia for what mankind had lost. There was also fear it was inevitable that humans would not survive, except those with money to flee to other planets. 2017 doesn't yet resemble Scott's future world but we face very real existential challenges. Our environment is almost beyond recall. I am very curious how Blade Runner 2049 will deal with that or not. In 2017, my novel Paradise Gardens, was published in an updated and illustrated new edition. While I am glad some people are reading it, I think Phil Dick's Time Out of Joint, may best fit our present. In this book, a man in two different eras, must discover where he actually exists. Another prescient book about identity on the internet is Vernor Vinge's True Names. Both were, I believe, late 50s early 60's novels with clarity that bears rereading.

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