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Director: Denis Villeneuve Starring: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Robin Wright, Jared Leto, Ana de Armas Running Time: 163 minutes


 

The advanced screening of Blade Runner 2049 and presumably, all advanced screenings of the film, began with a letter from the director, imploring those in attendance to keep tight lipped about the film’s various twists and turns, to “not spoil the magic”. And though there are plenty of spoilers that will, for the purposes of playing ball, be avoided in this review, Blade Runner and its sequel are not films about the plot details, not really. Despite the many story-changing cuts and decades of speculation and misleading trailers and advance screening advanced warnings, these are films whose true value lays not in the story beats but in the ideas and the images and everything else that a rogue tweet or a too-curious eye over a Wikipedia page cannot take away from you. From the outside, Blade Runner 2049 may look like yet another nostalgia cash-in, and an odd choice for one at that, but it’s no mere replicant of the original, providing a beautiful backdrop against which the series’ themes about identity, memory and autonomy are given further thought.

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With Rogue One out this week, I decided to take a look back at last year’s Star Wars offering, The Force Awakens. While both new Star Wars films have been both celebrated and attacked for championing ‘minority’ characters, they’re still very much focused on Fathers and the passing on of power, which shows that patrilineage is still king. Patrilineage means the ways that we keep track of, and idolize, biological fatherhood. And nothing has preserved patrilineage quite like domesticated dogs – where would we be without man’s best friend? Probably still figuring out farming.

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