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Retro-futurist hallucinations from 2049

Went to Bladerunner 2049 last night. And no, there won’t be spoilers in this post. Or more precisely, I am writing about things not in this sequel rather than about the things it contains. Because for all the loving care taken to it, if not the palpable fear of doing a sequel to a cult hit, it was quit lacking in imagination. Imagination about future constraints, to be precise. Because in a way the classic Hollywood mold of the hero that remains off the radar for prolonged times is losing credibility. Fast, very fast. Especially when today’s mobile networks, payment systems, number plate and face recognition cameras already give a persistent, 360ยบ view of our lives already. This assumption of any ability to keep any secrets has gone out of the window in the last two decades. This in many ways precludes the archetypical narrative of the lone cowboy. It precludes any narrative of an organised resistance even moreso. So, if anything, even a rather dystopian SF flick like Blade Runner 2049 is retro-futurism, a past in which the future was looking so much better. The actual outlook for 2049 is so much more bleak that filming it would probably drive people to suicide. So for all its weaknesses, this is its biggest and at the same time its most forgivable.