Wednesday, August 24, 2011

That's Typing Tuesday Wednesday # 16: Blade Runner

"That's Typing" Tuesday, in which I share unpolished, unpublished writings from my vast store of unpolished, unpublished writings. Usually, although not always, on Tuesdays.

When I was a kid, sportswriters used to say that a football team that had three quarterbacks was a football team that didn't have a quarterback. And I have to say, a movie available in five different version is a movie begging for a sixth.

Nevertheless. Raymond Chandler wrote in his introduction to a collection of short stories,
Trouble Is My Business: "There are things in my stories which I might like to change or leave out altogether. To do this may look simple, but if you try, you find you cannot do it at all. You will only destroy what is good without having any noticeable effect on what is bad. You cannot recapture the mood, the state of innocence, much less the animal gusto you had when you had very little else."

While a director (or any other artist) might have a right to revisit the work of his youth, at some point the effort becomes counterproductive, not only diminishing the quality of the original work, but also robbing him or her of the energy to create something new. I mean, I can't help wondering what movies Francis Ford Coppola and Ridley Scott could have made and never will while they re-worked
Apocalypse Now and Blade Runner.

To quote Woody Allen paraphrasing Balzac, "There goes another novel."

Postscript: By the way, I used to wonder the same thing about George Lucas as he fiddled with the original Star Wars trilogy, speculating idly what movies he could have been making had he not been revisiting old ones. Unfortunately, the answer turned out to be The Phantom Menace ...


Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Opportunity costs ... a friend once reproved me, saying, "Who, how come you're always assuming that if only you'd done something different, things would be better today? I mean, maybe if you had done the other thing you would've gotten run over by a truck."

Mythical Monkey said...

That's a good point, Who. I think the past is an integral part of who we are now, so if you like who you are now, you should revel in the past. And if you don't like who you are, well, you might as well embrace the past anyway, because there's nothing you can do about it now.