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Entries in Rutger Hauer (5)

Wednesday
Jul242019

Remembering Rutger Hauer (1944-2019)

by Nathaniel R

"All those moments will be lost like tears in the rain."

Thus went the immortal words of Roy Batty, in Blade Runner (1982) as he breathed his last, betrayed by the cruel brevity of life. Rutger Hauer improvised one of cinema's all-time greatest death scenes when he was just 38. The actor, who turned 75 this past January, has now passed on, dying at his home in The Netherlands after a short illness.

Rutger Hauer first came to worldwide fame in 1973 as the star of Paul Verhoeven's Oscar-nominated sexually provocative Turkish Delight (the most successful Dutch film of all time). More buzzy international hits from his home country followed. Hollywood soon came calling as they usually do when someone who can speak English fluently has multiple imported hits...

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Friday
Jan082016

A Very Batty Birthday

Today is the inception date of one of the world's all time most compelling screen characters. It's Replicant, Roy Batty (of Blade Runner fame). Oh the places he'll go... 

Or, rather the things he'll see in his short life: Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion; C-beams glittering in the darkness at Tannhäuser Gate.

We speak of course of Replicant N6MAA10816 Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) of Blade Runner fame. Who will be incepted at some point... today (gulp). Given how prescient so much of Blade Runner was, particularly in its inarguably genius production design (which hilariously lost the Oscar to Gandhi - okay, Hollywood *rotflmao* you do you!), this shouldn't surprise us.

With Alicia Vikander's gloriously sly Ex Machina performance winning recent honors (BAFTA & Globe nominations) for a brand new potentially classic synthetic antagonist, this is a perfect time for us to honor Rutger Hauer's greatest performance yet again. Hauer's work as Roy Batty has long since become a personal symbol of what heights actors who are in tune with their film's message, their auteur's vision, and their genre's style can soar to... even if awards bodies have historically always had trouble understanding the level of difficulty and the mad genius that shapes the best genre acting, nearly always to their detriment since these performances often become classics examples of great screen acting nearly the very second people are done cordoning of the movies that house them as "sci-fi" or "horror" or "comedy" and have started thinking of them as simply "a classic."

After the jump a slight reworking of a tribute written by yours truly in 2007 on the occasion of his film's then 25th birthday...

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Monday
Jun252012

Monologue Monday: "Time To Die"

Today marked the 30th anniversary of Blade Runner, one of the most influential movies of all time. The last time I saw the picture was  5 years ago for its restored 25th anniversary . T'was quite a mindfuck to see a movie so clearly 80s looking like it just came from the lab. For the anniversary I thought I'd share this previous article on Roy Batty's famous final monologue...

Blade Runner's perfect opening shot. Human but abstract

I've lost track of the times I've seen people steal from it, particularly in the art direction/ production design world (the world that spawned auteur Ridley Scott, don'cha know?). Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), the leader of a freethinking band of androids known as "replicants" is the best character in the movie. He's scary yet soulful and sympathetic... like a 21st century Frankenstein monster. [More after the jump]

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Thursday
Mar222012

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: "Ladyhawke"

Time for Season 3 of Hit Me With Your Best Shot. Wednesday evenings.

from left to right: Goliath, Navarre (Rutger Hauer) and Isabeau (Michelle Pfeiffer's stunt double)

I thought we'd kick off this season with a personal favorite from the 80s. I use the word favorite emphatically because in many ways, Ladyhawke (1985) is a movie with a confusing relationship to objective quality. It's both great and bad, the score arguing that it's a feature that absolutely should not exist outside of 1985 while the mythic story fights for timelessness. The sound (Oscar-nominated) has wonderful details, maximizing the earthly details of fluttering wings, wolf howls and horse hooves while also embracing the transcendently romantic voices (Rutger Hauer and Michelle Pfeiffer) but it's marred by jarring score cues that take you out of the action and weird post-production "comedy" vocal work from extras. It feels, at least for its first half, like it's a movie with several authors and endless studio interference from people who didn't believe in a romantic fantasy epic in a time long before fairy tales were hot commodities and sword and sorcery epics were the furthest thing from bankable. So, would you laugh at me if I claimed I thought it was thisclose to being a classic? People are always reediting the Star Wars prequels to try to make them into the movies they should have been but the fantasy with the easiest fix to nudge it from punchline to greatness is Ladyhawke.

The one area where Ladyhawke can lay legitimate claim to greatness without lengthy conditional explanations is in the cinematography of three-time Oscar winner Vittorio Storaro (most famous for Apocalypse Now and various Warren Beatty epics). Many films throughout history have used sunsets and sunrises for their sheer beauty but Ladyhawke's reliance on light is more than vanity; it's storytelling.

Pfeiffer's beauty and Hauer's pain after the jump

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Friday
May272011

Do Androids Dream of Polaroid Film?

I'm dying. Look at this! From the set of Blade Runner!! The internet is a wondrous place!!! (Filled with things worthy of exclamation points, too.) I have no idea if it's freshly revealed or if it's been online forever and it matters not, "Roy Batty" (Rutger Hauer) & "Rachel" (Sean Young), all friendly-like.

from the personal collection of Mary Sean Young

You can see more of such polaroids at Sean Young's home page. Including shots with Harrison Ford and Ridley Scott (both pictured below) as well as plentiful crew members I'm guessing but none of the photos are labelled). [Hat tip to the always enjoyable Natasha VC.]

Once my initial joy expires (maybe in one hour, two?) I'll sniffle at the appropriateness of extinct Replicants captured on extinct Polaroid film.

All these moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain.