25 May 2004
Here are some similarities between “Blade Runner” and “2001”:
1. As Sebastian (William Sanderson) and Roy Batty (Rutger
Hauer) and Pris (Daryl Hannah) are going up to see Dr.
Tyrell (Joe Turkel) in the elevator, Sebastian announces
his move (which is really Batty’s move), saying: “Queen
to Bishop six, check.” This is how HAL “should” have
announced his forced mate (except without check).
2. When Dr. Tyrell hears this, he first says, “Nonsense.”
As he gets out of bed to go over to check the board, he
then says, “Just a moment.”
HAL says, “Just a moment”
right before he predicts a fault in the AE-35 unit.
3. Batty, the machine, defeats Tyrell, the man, at chess,
just as HAL defeats Poole. Machines kill men right up
to the end in both films.
4. Tyrell is played by Joe Turkel, a Kubrick “regular”
(“The Killing,” “Paths of Glory,” “The Shining”; the
last was Turkel’s last film before “Blade Runner”).
5. Choosing “The Immortal Game” seems quite appropriate
for a film that deals with issues of mortality and
immortality; “2001” deals with these same issues.
6. Eyes play a prominent role in both films, single eyes
as well as pairs:
The theme of immortality, evident throughout the picture, is sometimes worked into scenes in very subtle ways. For example, when we are introduced to Chew, we see a container conspicuously marked with the Chinese character for eternity. Following an ancient tradition among Chinese artisans, this solitary character symbolizes Chew’s hope that the recipient of his eyes will see and understand more clearly, that they will figuratively see into eternity.” Later in the film, there is a chess game which Roy uses to help him gain entry (via Tyrell’s chess partner, Sebastian) into Tyrell’s bedroom. This is a famous game between Anderssen and Kieseritzky, which took place in London in 1851, and is universally known as ‘The Immortal Game’. The historical game concluded exactly as in the film.
Next move: g5 – f7
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