Do Androids etc. trumps Blade Runner

I’ve been teaching a science fiction class for several years now with Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? on the reading list. I also include sf films, but in previous years haven’t shown Blade Runner fearing the popular film might eclipse the book. I shouldn’t have been concerned. The students overwhelmingly preferred the book. While the look of the film is stunning and influential, the narrative is no match for the original novel. The “love story” upon which the movie turns is embarrassingly awkward. One of my students described the pivotal love scene as a bit like witnessing date rape. I have to agree. The same student informed me that the film’s designer, Syd Mead, was on campus last semester, and she passed along this handsome poster for the event. I’m kicking myself for missing it. His other work includes Tron and Aliens.

2 thoughts on “Do Androids etc. trumps Blade Runner

  1. You know I’ve been kicking myself a lot for missing Syd Mead’s lecture. He was one of the reasons I got into illustration with the hope of being an art director some day. Heh.

    It’s so odd to me that your students preferred the novel. Odd, but refreshing. The “love story” is bizarre, especially stuck in a Dick-inspired world like that (though I’m sure one could argue “date rape” is about all the romance you could expect from Dick’s characters sometimes). The one thing I do love about the movie is the way the androids are portrayed. I do really love the final scene with Roy Batty though. Something about it almost makes me ignore the other blunders of the movie’s narrative. Even if they decided to throw in that stupid shot of the dove.

    But it makes me wonder, when they’re going to run out of PKD short stories to rape for screenplays, and someone steps up to make a DADOES movie for real.

  2. I was pleasantly surprised myself. The most romantic moment in the novel is when Iran (Deckard’s wife) thoughtfully orders some electric flies for her hard-working hubbie’s new electric toad. The dove is a bit much, but I do like the child-like quality of the androids.

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