Number 1: “Blade Runner”

Up to this point and after so many great films you’re probably thinking “Really Chris?  “Blade Runner”?  From the 80’s? Oh you’re so deep…”  Well I deserve that sarcastic jab.  But I can’t help loving this film above all other films.  It just connects so deeply with everything that I love; technology, film noir, endless dark neon lit cityscapes, violence, darkness, the future, Japanese/Chinese characters everywhere, an oppressive government, a deeply destroyed and morally bankrupt world where the only value left is legitimate connection be it from man or machine.

SO GOOD!  After seeing this film for the first time I was positively obsessed.  I loved the dark brooding tone of the film.  It was as if the entire world had just given up and decided the only thing left to do was destroy our greatest creations ie synthetic humans.

The visuals in this movie give me eyegasms.  This was a decade before CG would gain prominence and man do I wish it hadn’t.  We’re talking actual sets, real rain, bright neon Japanese symbols, matte painting backgrounds, composite shots, everything!  And it was all real because they actually had to make it!  I love that!

If there is one filmmaker who knows exactly how to take the most beautiful thing I or anyone can think of and create it for us to see it’s Ridley Scott.  Him above all others in this regard at least.

And the concepts, questions, and philosophies this movie forces you to examine.  Ah!  So good.  What does it mean to be human?  If you are created in a lab do you have a soul?  If you feel love, hate, envy, sadness all the colors of the human emotion rainbow does that make you any different if you were genetically modified?  These are not science fiction questions.  These are legitimate questions we will have to answer in the coming decades.  And I couldn’t be happier to get a head start thinking about them thanks to this film.

This film inspired me to begin reading Philip K Dick.  He also wrote the books that “Total Recall”, “Paycheck”, “Minority Report” and basically every great science fiction movie ever has been based upon.  He’s a prolific writer heavily influenced by the drug induced paranoia of the 60’s.  He had a very dark vision for the future that I am absolutely fascinated with.  Every one of his books takes place in the world of “Blade Runner”.

When I ran out of other movies to watch in the vein of “Blade Runner” I was forced to begin reading his entire catalogue.  My favorite so far is “Flow My Tears The Policemen Said” which was not recommended to me I simply randomly chose because I thought the title was insane.   “Blade Runner” was so good it convinced a luddite like myself to pick up a book (#ADD) and read the shit out of it!

I love this movie and will continue to watch it until I have fire and neon Japanese characters burned into my eyeballs.  It has deeply impacted my own work and if you come to my staged reading you’ll see the depth of this impact.

Thanks for reading all of my silly posts and hope you can make it to my reading TODAY!

Love ya!

Chris “Nexus 7” Brodhead

Blade Runner

Number 5: “Alien”/”Aliens”

I was and am to this day COMPLETELY OBSESSED with these dark wet menacing insect like humanoid killing machines known as “Aliens”.

Don’t let the boilerplate name confuse you either.  These are not just ‘Aliens’.  These are the scariest most menacing acid bleeding chest bursters in the galaxy.  I’m not even sure they are a species, maybe more of a virus.

They are the brainchild of master of the dark arts H. R. Geiger.  Who draws the craziest shit you’ve ever seen.  After watching a documentary on him I FINALLY went and checked out some of his other art. HOLY JEEZE what the hell!  To me it would appear this guy either dreams or trips to ANOTHER UNIVERSE where ALL OF THIS STUFF ACTUALLY EXISTS and then draws what he sees.

In the documentary he talks about how these images just show up in his head and he draws them because they scare the hell out of him.  Yeah I can see that.

And who better to bring the most menacing killing machine in the multiverse to life than Ridley Scott.  This dude hangs dong.  (He may be making another appearance in this list as well ;).  Ridley was a graphic designer/visual artist before he was a filmmaker.  This is impeccably apparent in his film “Alien”.  The atmosphere, inside the ship, on the alien planet, inside the alien’s ship, etc are all INCREDIBLY detailed and a feast for your eyes.  But then he’s also a genius at pacing, casting, story structure, and well everything that goes into making an amazing film.

This movie crushes it.  So many deep and bewildering ideas.  It would be years until I understood that the alien skeleton with the hole in his chest was not an “Alien”.  He was another species in the universe who was also horribly killed by an “Alien”.  WHAT? Wow!  Give that man the ten thousand dollars!  What a concept.  You’re telling me we’ve not only found aliens but we’ve found two aliens?  And one totally fucked the other up however many millennia ago? HOMG! I could have a nerd stroke right now.

“Alien” knocked it out of the airlock with the terrifying reality of dealing with a single “Alien” in your space ship.

“Aliens” knocked it out of the much bigger airlock by pitting a group of future marines against an entire nest of “Aliens”.   And for my money is even BETTER!  To say James Cameron is better than Ridley Scott would be very silly.  One is not better than the other they are extremely different.  Without Ridley, Cameron never could have made “Aliens”.  But taking that extremely fertile idea and extrapolating it as only Jim Cameron could, you unleash arguably the greatest science fiction film of all time that STILL stands tall even among today’s much larger budgeted CG filled nightmares.

When I was a boy of let’s say six or seven.  I was so obsessed with these creatures and  would draw them all day.  I loved the length of their skulls and would spend hours making sure my drawing was perfect.  I would even include the little tongue biter that would shoot out of their mouth.  Scary?  Yes, Chris that’s terrifying. I agree!  But here we are.

And if “Alien” inspired your six year old self to draw freaky sexualized alien looking humanoids all day then come on down to the Staged Reading of my Psychadelic Cyberpunk Film Noir screenplay “Mum Knows Best” on Sunday August 9th from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm at the Annoyance Theatre & Bar https://www.facebook.com/events/875860632494808/ because we’ve got your six year old self and he’s freaking out.

 

I say this line to my dog every night before bed
I say this line to my dog every night before bed