The repli­cants are com­ing: Blade Run­ner 2049 opens FNC

Montreal Times - - NEWS -

Ama­jor hit for the Fes­ti­val of New Cin­ema which has started this week: "Blade Run­ner 2049" di­rected by De­nis Vil­leneuve was the open­ing film at this year's edi­tion. Not a small coup for the FNC con­sid­er­ing that both Toronto and Venice had sought to have this movie at their pres­ti­gious fes­ti­vals.

The story takes place thirty years af­ter the first in­stall­ment, this time the Blade Run­ner is Agent K (Ryan Gosling) of the Los An­ge­les Po­lice Depart­ment (LAPD) in charge of lo­cat­ing and dis­pos­ing of "repli­cants" a race of hu­manoids cre­ated by a gi­ant cor­po­ra­tion to pro­duce slaves. A new com­pany that has taken over what re­mains of the old cor­po­ra­tion is now cre­at­ing new mod­els, but one sig­nif­i­cant and un­ex­pected even­tu­al­ity would lead Agent K, to look for some se­cret in­for­ma­tion which might also af­fect him per­son­ally. Nian­der Wal­lace (Jared Leto), the CEO of Wal­lace Corp., would also be in­ter­ested in the se­cret and in get­ting rid of Agent K for which he would count on the mul­ti­fac­eted abil­i­ties of Luv (Sylvia Hoeks) who is also the file clerk at Wal­lace Corp. The quest to find that im­por­tant se­cret would even­tu­ally take Agent K to an iso­lated place where he would meet Rick Deckard (Har­ri­son Ford), a for­mer LAPD blade run­ner who had been missing for 30 years. Wal­lace would also be in­ter­ested in the old blade run­ner, but for dif­fer­ent rea­sons. "Blade Run­ner 2049" is in my view pri­mar­ily a fan­tasy film, al­though the el­e­ments and para­pher­na­lia of science-fic­tion are very much present as well.The em­pha­sis, how­ever, is on the no­tion of fan­tasy be­cause of the premises it presents: the world in 2049 is in a state of de­cay, ex­treme ra­di­a­tion, an eco­log­i­cal dis­as­ter, and a so­ci­etal frame­work of to­tal de­hu­man­iza­tion have taken over.The pho­tog­ra­phy cap­tures very well an at­mos­phere of an­guish that per­me­ates through­out the movie.The char­ac­ters are somber, and life has be­come dread­ful with only a few forms of su­per­fi­cial en­ter­tain­ment in the shape of gi­ant holo­grams of sug­ges­tive fe­males and other forms of in­stant grat­i­fi­ca­tion de­vices.Agent K him­self uses one of those de­vices al­low­ing him to in­ter­act with a fe­male holo­gram, Joi (Ana de Ar­mas) who in the end seems more hu­man-like than the real hu­man be­ings.

This just-re­leased film is cer­tainly one of those that would cre­ate lots of de­bate among crit­ics and the pub­lic. If one com­pares it to "Ar­rival," Vil­leneuve's pre­vi­ous movie, both deal with a con­cep­tion of fu­ture, but while in last year's movie Vil­leneuve presents some el­e­ment of op­ti­mism in the pos­si­bil­ity of com­mu­ni­ca­tion with in­di­vid­u­als from an­other world, in this new movie his view is rather pes­simistic. The fu­ture so­ci­ety is a dystopia, both re­gard­ing the phys­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment dam­aged be­yond re­pair by hu­man ac­tion, and re­gard­ing hu­man re­la­tions which have been sup­planted by tech­no­log­i­cal and ar­ti­fi­cial mech­a­nisms. Would that be our fu­ture? An in­ter­est­ing ques­tion for de­bate.

The 46th edi­tion of the Fes­ti­val of New Cin­ema con­tin­ues un­til Oc­to­ber 15 with many ex­cit­ing pro­duc­tions (I had the chance to see some of them in Toronto) that go from some con­ven­tional nar­ra­tives to some dar­ing ones too.

For more in­for­ma­tion about sched­ules and film de­scrip­tions go to:


Agent K (Ryan Gosling) and the des­o­late land­scape of the Earth in 2049

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