26 July 2007

Do Androids Dream of Directors' Cuts?

On December 18, Warner Home Video will release the long-fabled full director's cut of Blade Runner in three different packages: a 2-disc basic edition, a 4-disc edition with all previously-released versions of the film and tons of extras, and a 5-disc edition that includes the original "workprint" version.

I first saw the movie in my cousin's apartment in Chicago when I was probably much too young to be watching such things, but what are older relatives for if not to corrupt the minds of children? I watched it again after discovering Philip K. Dick, because for a time the only easily-attainable PKD novel was the movie tie-in version of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and at first it caused me to be angry with the film for having so little to do with the book, but soon enough I thought of them as the very separate entities that they are. I think I saw the first "director's cut" when it was released to theatres in 1992, and I know I later saw it at a midnight show at the Angelika. It then became one of the first DVDs I ever bought. I forgot a lot of the differences between the two versions until last year at Dartmouth I watched a laser disc with the theatrical release. (The voice-over was even worse than I remembered it being...)

All of which is just to say ... that 5-disc version was made for suckers aficionados like me...