“…he wondered if Mozart had any intuition that the future did not exist, that he had already used up his little time. Maybe I have too, Rick thought as he watched the rehearsal move along. This rehearsal will end, the performance will end, the singers will die, eventually the last score of the music will be destroyed in one way or another; finally the name “Mozart” will vanish, the dust will have won.”
Philip K Dick-Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Here we are then at the cusp of years end, my latest work for some future event, peering over my shoulder.
Watching it now, 37 years on, feels more like opening a time capsule of early 80s milieu.
One retrofitted like it’s Bradbury building, with a heady array of that eras cultural zeitgeist.
Hypnagogic film noir, decaying Rococo decadence, grainy Philip Marlow silhouettes and Erte flourishes, against a sprawling cityscape that looks like Fritz Lang’s Metropolis meets Limehouse, populated by the peacock exotica of the Blitz nightclub. All whilst a small guerrilla band of lethal new wave androids, fronted by a Bowie like Übermensch-Roy Batty, follow a promethium quest to meet their maker.
At the end when Batty recited the beautiful tears in rain monologue that I’ve heard so many times , I could repeat it from memory, I couldn’t help but feel the sting of my own tears.
Not because I remembered that Rutger Haur had died this year-as sad and untimely unjust as that seems, given the crass grotesque that still sucks air from everything.
Nor was it because I felt as stirred again by the message and it’s messenger, despite the words feeling ever more prevalent as they do with aging.
But that it represented moments lost in time from my nascent years that have long gone, ones that envisaged a monolithic vision of sophisticated cultural and technological culmination, imbued by a literary assemblage of references from Dante to Burroughs, Shelley to the Sex Pistols. A metaphorical aesthetic that was a hallucinatory collage of a potential future as past, from a period in time when it didn’t seem any future was promised us.
It still isn’t.
Of all the things that 2019 failed to live up to-and I’m thinking of my beloved England’s recent sepukku -I can’t help but feel that one of it’s greatest disappointments, was in not realizing the aspirations we held back then.