I have never seen Blade Runner.
Considered a beautiful example of science fiction and cyberpunk as genres, it’s referenced in TV shows, other movies, books, and art. A lot of tropes were spawned from this movie. I know about it. I know about its famous “tears in the rain” speech. I know its visual style and how it has left its mark on subsequent bits of media.
Still, I’ve yet to see the movie itself.
Here’s where the story takes a turn for the ridiculous: I own a copy of Blade Runner. In fact, I own two copies of Blade Runner. I literally do not have any sort of excuse for not seeing it. The movie has been around for as long as I’ve been alive, for crying out loud. (Neat trivia point here: the movie came out two years before I was born).
I am friends with geeks. This should come as little surprise to anyone who’s actually met me. Many of my more vocal nerd friends have never let me forget that I have failed to see Blade Runner. One such friend (who shall remain nameless) has told me that I must watch Blade Runner alone in a dark, quiet room with no distractions. No computers up to check my e-mail, no social networking, nothing. Just me, the movie, and my thoughts.
Needless to say, I find this to be daunting as I’m always connected to. . .something. Thus, despite owning two copies of the film, Blade Runner sits atop one of my many boxes of movies, unwatched. I’ll get to it. . .when I get to it.
For the longest time, I felt like I was some sort of bad geek for having never seen it. I can quote Star Wars and Star Trek. I can talk about the literary origins of Tolkien and how he was inspired by the medieval works that preceded him. I can argue historical context and why one has to keep it in mind when looking at the books and movies people love. I can point out references in movies with the best of them. Yet, somehow, having yet to see Blade Runner and other films somehow made me feel lesser.
I have decided that I’m not going to let my list of unwatched movies define me. I’ve seen so many movies that I feel strangely comfortable with the fact that there are just some movies I haven’t seen yet. Ask anyone who knows me, movies of all kinds are my thing. Some stuff just hasn’t made it in front of my eyes yet. Like Lawrence of Arabia. I really need to watch that especially in light of Peter O’Toole’s recent death. He was one of my most favorite actors ever. Did you guys see his work in The Lion in Winter with Katherine Hepburn and a super young Anthony Hopkins (yes, he was young once)? Hell, he even classed up the joint in Troy, but I digress.
I’m not going to go into the whole Fake Geek Girl bullshit because it’s just a symptom of a larger problem within the geek community. There should be no litmus test to establish if one should be able to call themselves a geek, nerd, or whatever label fits them best. As a group who still sees themselves on the fringes, geeks are doing themselves a great disservice in denying entry to those who would join them.
If your friend hasn’t seen a movie that you believe they simply must see because they’ve been so deprived until now, it’s your duty to sit down with them and watch said movie. Share it with them, don’t shame them for having never seen it. This goes for all kinds of movies from Kinky Boots to Kill Bill. Share your love and enthusiasm. It’ll be way more fun that way.