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David Desser wrote:
 
>I've neglected to get into this discussion of _Blade Runner_ partly because
>so much of the discussion of the film itself has been covered, and covered
>years ago. As much has been written about _Blade Runner_, I dare say, as
>any film of our time.  To my knowledge, however, no one has mentioned
>_Blade Runner's Dilemma_ edited by Judith Kerman, published by the Popular
>Press. This is an entire book devoted to the film. Issues like what the
>unicorn means, is Deckard a replicant and why it might seem that he is, the
>imposed ending (the green world), the voice-over narration, etc., are
>covered by many of the articles in that anthology. In addition, many fine
>articles and sections of books discuss the film and these issues.  J.P
>Telotte's _Replications_, for instance, has a wonderfully sensitive take on
>the film around the issue of what it means to be human.  Much of the
>disussion on Screen-L therefore seems to me a little bit like reinventing
>the wheel; at least one should do the relevant reading, acknowledge what's
>out there, and move on from there.  Is it the internet, its immediacy, the
>sense of just saying whatever pops into our head, that enables us to
>neglect the fine work of others and start everything all over again as if
>it's new?  This is said without malice and it's not directed at anyone in
>particular.  But as a film scholar and an editor of a journal, I'd at least
>like to think that what I do and my colleagues do in spending time, effort
>and much blood, sweat and, yes, tears, to produce our work at least gets
>some acknowledgement by the audience for whom the work is intended.  Even
>if you hate the work, and, especially if you disagree, you at least owe it
>not just to us, but to yourself, to work through the stuff first, to
>acknowledge it.
>
>Respectfully,
>
>David Desser
 
 
Although this message is signed "respectfully", as a memeber of the list
involved in the discussion about Blade Runner, I don=B4t think it is
respectfull at all. For one thing, although written in English, this list
is international, and in many countries, like mine, the book by Judith
Kerman is not available in any library or bookstore. The same goes for
Telotte=B4s articles. So sometimes, reinventing the wheel, as Mr Desser says=
,
is the only way to discuss about certain issues. And the Internet becomes a
usefull tool for contacting people with more knowledge of the bibliography.
If I were interested in further readings on BR, a note from somebody saying
simply: "I recommend you to read Kerman=B4s book" will certainly be welcome,
but there is no need to embarrass people. And similar considerations run
for those who don=B4t live in an academic environment and don=B4t know how t=
o
acknowledge easily the relevant reading (you say that there is a lot
written about this film). But I=B4m afraid that the problem with your letter
is deeper. Every day, a lot of questions and opinions are posted to
screen-l. Some are naive, and even some are silly. But, there are still
questions and opinions that somebody else may be interested in. I=B4ve
enjoyed posting and reading about BR here, and I am not particularly
interested in reading hundreds of pages about this film before I read or
post about it. I think I have something to say, and I want to say it now.
And although I didn=B4t read the right books on the subject, this is not the
same as "saying whatever pops into my head". And this becomes an issue of
freedom of speech. Well, let=B4s not get too dramatic. As I said, I=B4ve
enjoyed a good conversation abut a film, and I read some fine and clever
posting from others, and that=B4s good enough for me. Mr Desser, I am a grow=
n
up guy, and I am not one of your students. So please, don=B4t tell me to do
my homework.
I haven't finished, though. The posting on BR was not by any means the
dullest or silliest that I=B4ve seen in Screen-l. Why is it that such a
discussion raises this kind of reprimand? You say that you speak without
malice and that you don=B4t adress anybody in particular. I trust you, but
maybe I would prefer that you had spoken with malice. Because your
reprimand is a corporative one. You are not aware that you are simply
trying to defend the interests of a group, to be the guardian of the temple
of academic knowledge, to own the truth before the truth is spoken. The job
of a scholar and an editor is to write, not to prevent others from writing.
You are not arguing with us. You don=B4t even say things like "As xxx
demonstrated in his paper, Decker is a replicant because...", things that
may be confronted or refutated. You simply claim for silence. A silence
that intends to establish the ownership of the truth by a group in which
you feel that you belong. This kind of silence makes me sad, makes me
lonely, and makes me angry.
 
Yours sincerely
Quintin
El Amante / Cine Magazine
Buenos Aires
Argentina
http://www.apriweb.com/amante/
 
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