Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner (Anglais) Broché – 12 juin 1996
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Présentation de l'éditeur
Future Noir is the story of that triumph.
The making of Blade Runner was a seven-year odyssey that would test the stamina and the imagination of writers, producers, special effects wizards, and the most innovative art directors and set designers in the industry.
A fascinating look at the ever-shifting interface between commerce and the art that is modern Hollywood, Future Noir is the intense, intimate, anything-but-glamerous inside account of how the work of SF's most uncompromising author was transformed into a critical sensation, a commercial success, and a cult classic.
Biographie de l'auteur
Paul M. Sammon's distinctive career can best be described by the film industry expression "hyphenate."
As a writer, Sammon has published numerous articles, short stories and books. His many film journalism pieces have seen print in The American Cinematographer, Cahiers du Cinema, The Los Angeles Times, Omni, Cinefex, and Cinefantastique. Sammon's fiction has appeared in Peter Straub's Ghosts (1995), and he recently edited both the 1994 "dead Elvis" anthology The King Is Dead plus the "no limits" anthologies Splatterpunks: Extreme Horror and Splatterpunks II: Over the Edge (1995).
But Paul M. Sammon does not only write about movies--he works in them as well. He first entered the industry as a publicist in the late 1970s, before moving on as a second-unit director, special effects coordinator, still photographer, electronic press kit producer, and Vice President of Special Promotions. Some of the scores of motion pictures on which Sammon has labored include RoboCop, Platoon, Blue Velvet, Conan the Barbarian, and The Silence of the Lambs.
By the late 1980s, Sammon was working in Japanese television, where he coproduced popular entertainment programs like Hello! Movies for the TV Asahi network. By the 1990s, Sammon had served as Computer Graphics Supervisor for RoboCop 2; he recently was Digital and Optical Effects Supervisor for 1995's XTRO: Watch the Skies.
Despite this background, however, Sammon still likes nothing better than sitting down with a good movie. And Blade Runner remains one of his favorite films.
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On en ressort cependant presque persuadé que certains chefs d'oeuvre sont le résultat du génie, mais aussi parfois de la chance, et d'heureux (ou malheureux) concours de circonstances, etc...
J'ai été captivé de la première à la dernière ligne et j'ai appris encore beaucoup de choses même après voir vu, revu et revu toutes les versions du film et les bonus.
Un pur régal à ne pas manquer.
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Paul M. Sammon's Future Noir: The Making of Blade Runner is not merely a must-have book for any fan of the film - it is _the_ must-have book, both for Blade Runner fans and for anyone interested in thorough and quite readable account of how a film comes to be made and the incredible number of things that influence the evolution of a film as it goes from original idea to finished product.
Future Noir is clearly a labor of love for Sammon, who started following the project from its early inception and has continued to follow it through its evolution and ultimate release - and its later re-release and multiple revised cuts - and the long-term impact it has had on the scifi film genre. First published in 1996 - some fourteen years after the film's original release - he has gone back and updated it to coincide with the film's 25th anniversary and the release of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner: The Final Cut which is supposedly the director's ultimate and last word on the film. The revised edition of the book does in fact contain a great deal of new material which makes it worth finding and reading over the original edition.
In reading Future Noir, one quickly becomes aware of just how thorough Sammon has been, having interviewed seemingly _everyone_ who had any involvement in the making of the film, from Philip K. Dick, the author of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the novel on which Blade Runner was based, to Charles Lauzirika, the DVD producer who was instrumental not only in the production of the Special Edition DVD set for the Final Cut of the film but also in locating an enormous trove of "lost" film from the original production without which the Final Cut would never have happened. And in between of course are quotes from extensive interviews with director Ridley Scott; screenwriters Hampton Fancher and David Peoples; _all_ of the actors, from the major ones (Harrison Ford, Sean Young, Rutger Hauer, Darryl Hannah, Brion James, Joanna Cassidy, Edward James Olmos, William Sanderson, Joe Turkel) to the minor ones (M. Emmet Walsh, James Hong, Hy Pike, Morgan Paull and others), and dozens upon dozens of people involved in the more technical aspects of the film.
Sammon's prose is both wonderfully descriptive and engaging, as can be seen in this bit on what makes Blade Runner so significant as a film:
"Blade Runner presents one of the most elaborately visualized fictional environments ever constructed for an American film; each frame is bursting with an obsessive accretion of detail. Still, it's not a pretty sight. Ridley Scott's twenty-first century is a decayed, jaded, mutated place, a cheerless landscape whose meager humanity is being ground down by the microchipped jackboot of a ruthless technological zeitgeist. Its mean streets teem with hundreds of oddly dressed citizens (mostly Asians, some punks, street gangs, Hare Krishnas, and the ever-present police). All scurrying ratlike through concrete canyons whose confines are constantly bombarded by ubiquitous neon advertising, by the blare of unctuous announcers hawking pristine 'Off-world colonies,' from huge, insanely graphic-heavy blimps, and by the sodden, perpetual downpour of a numbing acid rain.
--It is exactly this deluge of details -- the striking costumes, the fantastic flying cars, the atmospheric ethnicity, the moody music, the lavish, lived-in sets -- which makes Blade Runner such addictive eye-candy. And it is to this bewitching visual surface which most viewers repeatedly return. Like its industrial counterparts in the worlds of high fashion and architecture, Blade Runner is a form of ultrasophisticated 'designer cinema', one whose astonishingly complex visual field has, despite a subsequent decade's worth of futuristic/alternate world spectaculars like Time Burton's Batman tilogy or Judge Dredd, remained the high-water mark against which all other big-buget SF entertainments are measured."
In addition to Sammon's narrative attention to detail, Future Noir is also lavishly illustrated with hundreds of production shots taken during the making of the film giving the reader an intimate feeling of what it must have been like to witness the making of Blade Runner.
My only quibble with the book (at least the 2007 edition that I read) is that it lacks an index. It's still a great read, but the lack of an index makes it hard to look up particular points of interest if you're trying to do research or answer a specific question.
Highly, highly recommended for anyone with an interest in Blade Runner as a film or in how the film-making industry works in general.
If you enjoyed the book and/or movie, this is an excellent resource to understand why the film was so different from the book.
I just wish the publishers had allowed more pages. Apparently, he has quite a bit more to share.
A brilliant read.
The novel is simply an overwhelming wealth of information on all things Blade Runner; chapters focus on every minute detail such as the evolution of the story as it passed through the hands of Phillip K. Dick's novel, Hampton Fancher's screenplay, then into the hands of David Peoples and Ridley Scott. Chapter VIII is such a delight, as it meticulously works through each scene in the film, stopping along the way to add tidbits of info such as exclusive interviews with the actors. Sammon apparently also had the luxury of roaming the set of Blade Runner, and he reveals things such as the futuristic magazine covers he would see on the magazine racks and many other incredibly obscure decorations the design team threw in that are virtually impossible to see when you watch the film.
Like the other reviewers, I agree that Sammon is not perhaps the most skilled writer, and the prose of the book is very choppy and (especially in Chapter I) pretty corny. What troubles me most, though, is that Sammon has a particularly annoying habit of throwing out names without properly introducing them and explaining their role in the Blade Runner universe. Mercifully, there is a cast and crew listing printed as an appendix, which is a great help. This, and some of the other errors in the book seem quite obvious, and it leaves one wondering who was in charge of the editing.
Anyhow, the book allows great insight into the workings of the film, all gathered from what must be piles and piles of notes and cassette-recorded dialogue Sammon collected over the years to produce a rather well-organized book for fans of the film to read. I have seen the film countless times, and the new perspectives and ideas gained from this book keep the film fresh and wondrous as the years go by.