Their Favourite Film – Gavin Saville

Chris : Hi everyone, and welcome to my second blog post for Their Favourite film! I first want to thank everyone who took their time to read my first one and let me know their thoughts; it really meant a lot.

Now that the mushy stuff is over, I would like to introduce my next guest on this blog, Gavin Saville.  Ex-scientist specialising in Marine Ecology, Gavin is now the founder of Wild Indie Production. Wild Indie produces their own sci-fi and fantasy shorts and feature-length films and also specialises in education and outreach films for various clients ranging from NASA and the United Nations to theatrical promos for shows like Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap. As well as this, in 2019, he started the Wild Indie Sci-fi & Fantasy Film Festival, a yearly event that encourages filmmakers of these genres to make their stories heard. As well as the chance for filmmakers to show their films, the festival also offers awards and prizes that provide them with skills and assets to help them produce more films, all voted by a panel of volunteers. The last festival was held in May at the Greenwich Odeon in London and expanded online to allow these films to be watched worldwide.

So now that Gavin is introduced, it’s time I let him talk about his favourite film.

Their Favourite Film – Gavin Saville

Blade Runner

Gavin : What’s my favourite film? Wow, what a question. There’s so many options here.

As an adult I tend to start critiquing story and film elements a bit now, so I think I’d have to go back to the emotional responses as a kid watching movies (usually ones way above my PG rating at the time). I’m talking about those responses watching a Saturday afternoon flick. They stick and still generally elicit the same feelings as an adult. Raider’s of the Lost Ark, Singing In The Rain, The Burbs, Rear Window/Vertigo, Alien, The Thing, The Good The Bad and the Ugly … all made me feel like a kid in a candy store. With maturity you add more; Forest Gump, Memento, Seven, Shawshank Redemption I could list sooo many… but if I simply add a quote you’ll know where you are.

“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 Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.”

Those words still give me goose flesh many years after I first watched the moment. They struck a chord about the fragility of life. Ridley Scott’s “Bladerunner” is rightly an icon in sci-fi-fi and fantasy film. In the near future dystopian world, after watching replicant Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) chase down and throw Deckard (Harrison Ford) through a wall or two, that moment of humanity from an android was a 180 with depth that has generated many pub conversations years later. A moment for a character where any life, even that of his hunter, becomes so precious to a someone brutalised by his existence… well to me, it is a piece of cinematic history. I could prattle on for an age about this film, but others have done it before me, and far more eloquently. My advice… just watch it. The sets are physical sets, the VFX is practical, the lighting and cinematic are cool as a cucumber in a fridge in the artic. The story is an adaptation of Philip K Dick’s book, but I think bringing it to life on-screen adds so much more to the story. Yes, you can pick holes in the film in places, like any film. But my favourite film. yes it is Bladerunner. I go back to that boy who sat watching a film that grabbed his imagination so much he ended up starting a film festival to celebrate the genre.

My Thoughts – Christopher Roberts

Chris : Blade Runner, A detective noir story set in the distant future (or in our case 2 years ago) is considered as one of the greatest sci-fi films of all time and with good reason. With Ridley Scott’s vision, we were given a visually stunning look into the future of a city in a perpetual night, filled with neon lights and skyscrapers that tower over the city, governed by corporations. It was a look not done before but soon became the foundation of tv shows and movies of this genre and was even known to be one of the defining films that started the cyberpunk movement. It was an ambitious film to make at the time and eventually paid off, becoming a cult classic that inspired future filmmakers since. As Guillermo Del Toro once perfectly said, “‘Blade Runner’ is simply one of those cinematic drugs, that when I first saw it, I never saw the world the same way again.”

But besides the visually stunning world, what also made this film one that I enjoyed personally was the artificial intelligence storyline. I love any stories involving A.I, of man playing God and the repercussion of it. While Blade Runner was not the first to approach this subject with stories already like this in the ’60s and 70s, it was one of the ones that defined it when we were introduced to the antagonist, the android or, in this case, replicant, Roy Batty. Roy is an intelligent, charming yet intimidating character and while he is the antagonist to Harrison ford’s grizzled Detective Deckard, I would not say he is a villain; instead, he is a victim of a system that never gave him or other replicants a chance. They are forced into servitude from the moment they are created; however, this life of servitude is short as a fail-safe programmed into them that they die after four years. Its a harsh life for a replicant but one nobody cares due to seeing them as nothing more than objects. While Roy’s actions are questionable, throughout this film, his only goal is to break from this cruel system and find a way to stop from dying; I ask you, what is more human than that? It was because of Roy and the philosophical quandary of what it means to be human that, for me, makes this one of the best A.I films out there as well as the on goging debate on the ambiguous ending that leads you questions who or what is real.

Favourite Trivia

It turns out The Blade Runner film had an unusual curse known as “The Commercial Curse of Blade Runner”. Many companies that had product placements in the movie hit massive losses, with some companies even facing bankruptcy and closing down, including Pan Am and Atari.

Article written by Christopher Roberts

Chris Roberts has worked on many film projects across Essex as a boom operator and production assistant. Chris is a full time film trivia expert!

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