Today’s bummer is the news of Rutger Hauer’s death. Like most moviegoers my age, I know Mr Hauer primarily from his performance as the main antagonist in Blade Runner. Hauer, with his chiseled features and platinum blond hair, convincingly played an android Ubermensch, an image undercut by the pathos he brought to the role. This Ubermensch was designed with a critical flaw, an extremely short lifespan, which he was determined to remedy, even to the extent of killing. Hauer endowed this pulp sci-fi/noir villain with humanity, and his Tears in Rain soliloquy (remarkly ad-libbed by the non-native English speaker) is one of the all-time greats of sci-fi AND of cinema. Sure, Rutger played in other movies, good movies at that, but this will always be his tour de force.
He’s no longer among us, but I just know he’s out there, glittering by the Tannhäuser Gate.