Anyone reading this will know Bladerunner, that neo-noir science fiction film influenced by Metropolis and others and one of Ridley Scott’s greatest.
That was 1982. 34 years later and it’s every bit as relevant.
|Sydney's Bradbury Bldg|
GoldenAge as the name suggests celebrates the timeless cinematic works of art we’ve all known and come to love. This initiative is bold and it is worth paying homage to. One of our genres during the upcoming Hong Kong event will be retro futures.
This cluster looks at how our predecessors perceived and portrayed the future, giving us valuable insight and perspective on our own problems in the present. It also explores how historical images of the future managed to influence or otherwise the future as it unfolded into the present.
Popular it was. All tickets were sold within 4.5 minutes via Eventbrite. Being held on the top two floors of a less-than-esthetically pleasing parking building approaching Chinatown in downtown Sydney meant approvals had to be secured for each and every use. Municipal administration is notoriously reticent with the result that the original planned date late 2015 had to be postponed.
Another challenge in the form of precipitation came close to threatening the event as it started. The numerous rain scenes in the epic nevertheless were re-invoked and we felt did not detract. Plastic ponchos were dispensed to fans and while nothing of the sort appeared in the movie, collectively it did lend to the event overall.
Surrounded by tall buildings, some with neon motifs emblazoned towards their tops with the screen against a similar backdrop lent to the eeriness, especially given that headphones were used by all producing a ‘silent’ cinema.
Fans were greeted at the base of the building by attractive women adorned with the facial ‘warpaint’ of Pris Stratton, the ‘basic pleasure model’ who was legendary in the movie, even if replicants of Roy Batty, played by Rutger Hauer were not in evidence. More could have been made we felt in this regard.
Fans ascended the building via a fire escape and traversed the final two floors, coming face to face with a laser show, together with dry ice discharging from a number of sources. Albeit lonely, one installation was the work of Freya Jobbins, ‘Plastic Surgeon’ at www.freyajobbins.com
Topside revealed the neon which fans will recall from the movie. The giant billboard showing the geisha girl played by Alexis Rhee in a larger affair might have been well received, and in its place was the food servery displaying pastels, and set against a stark skyline.
Beyond this was a couple of installations bringing to mind Matrix more than BladeRunner, but atmospheric all the same.
The original movie used the Bradbury Building in Los Angeles as a key setting. Obviously a city of that size with a not insignificant Chinese population is a superior location but we must be reminded that the makers of Matrix chose Sydney on a number of occasions for that series and we see definite commonalities.
It is significant that it was Shaw Studios, Hong Kong which came to the financial rescue in the early days of production of BladeRunner. f3 maintains a rapport with this studio and it is fitting that our first international event should actually be in Hong Kong SAR, China. Somewhat distant from the city in a place called Telegraph Point is Hong Kong’s “unique creative digital community”, Cyberport. f3 will be bringing media into contact with futurists worldwide as we seek to provoke what the future is, can be and should be. Part of the Cyberport complex is known as the Arcade, a futuristic shopping mall with a large outdoor screen as one of its features. This will appear in the f3 programme, soon to appear on www.f3the-event.com