From those that experienced the original release of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner in the 80’s to those that view the film as a cult classic might all agree that Los Angeles can handle a new translation of the inspirational film, only in real life.
My reference to this iconographic science-fiction-masterpiece, is in response to LA Times writer Tim Rutten, who’s “censored” opinion was directed to developer Sonny Astani. Astani wants to hang a 14-story animated billboard on the side of the condominium tower he’s building at 9th and Figueroa, up the street from the Staples Center and the new Nokia Theatre, which already is shrouded in video billboards. As in Blade Runner’s introductory scene, the billboard will smile and wink at the passers-by who will acknowledge its presence. Where is the wrongdoing?
In the LA times article entitled ” LA’s Blade Runner’ plans”, Rutten protected with his righteous opinion with armor made of grandeur, as he autocratically throws the first stone. Rutton sharpens his scribbling rhetoric with lyrical arguments as he discredits the entire proposed development.
Rutten’s difficulty to differentiate fiction from reality is apparent as his intention to terminate Astani, as Deckard (Blade Runner) did with the replicants. The “Nexus-6″ prototype he wishes to be forgets that he is only human. Shall we forgive him? Shall we drag him back to earth, year 2008? (This is getting personal now. Emancipation time!)
Rutten’s argument to defend the honor of the oppressed “eclectic, vibrant Latino population ” and prevent a forced migration to another location is simply wrong. The proposed billboards do not bear the weight of that conviction. If he really wants a cause, the vendors from the boardwalk in Venice have been looking for a voice for two years now, where was he then?
Dressed in his new costume of “Robin Hood”, he advocates pretentiously LA and its minority (ies). In his Shakespearian tirade attempt, he cunningly narrows his verve to transpose in fears to reality. Attached to insignificant and phantasmagoric details, he makes the conditions of living of Dick’s novel a reflection of our time. What he consciously and conveniently does obliterate from his mind is that the Bradbury building situated in downtown had a preeminent role in Ridley Scott’s film. It was the premises of the denouement of the plot. Did it become the stain of LA as a result? So let’s be realistic! Let’s not be paralyzed by his negativism. Let’s move on towards the future!
In perpetual motion, LA like other cities worldwide needs a lifting and Satoni’s scalper won’t damage its soul!
When the French president Mr. Francois Mitterrand decided to have a glass pyramid inlaid in the court of the Louvre, little did he know that the public would utter of indignation. I was among them! The futuristic monument clashed in my imagination with the surrounding classical buildings! And now, I love it!
My conclusion is not being as judgmental as Rutten! Let’s give creativity the margin of action and the space necessary. Doesn’t Tokyo celebrate and advertise its technological advance through its luminous billboards? Doesn’t Times Square acquire its memorable identity with its illuminated billboard?
“Ok, I’m done”