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Rutger Hauer and how poetry makes us human

Rutger Hauer is a cool dude and, as an actor, is probably most well known for his role as the replicant Batty in the sci-fi masterpiece Blade Runner. I was recently reading an old interview he gave to the AV Club (the wonderful pop-culture and media magazine operated by The Onion) and spoke about some of his iconic roles. In the course of the conversation he discussed his most famous cinematic performance as the android Batty and how he was seeking to imbue him with the essence of being human. As a poetry fan, I was particularly taken with Ridley Scott’s response to that very question.

One of the first things Ridley [Scott] said when we finally started to talk about what he was looking for from me as an actor, he said, “I want everything and more, because that’s what makes a human.” So the first thing he says is poetry—that’s not strange, because it’s sort of in the character. He has a few moments where he recites poetry, and I love the fact that he has no clue what it means, but it comes out of him. So I said, “Can I do a sense of poetry, and maybe a sense of beauty, and can I have a soul, or sense of humor, or be a seven-year-old?” [Read the entire interview with the Dutch master here]

And no finer example of that poetry can be found in Rutger Hauer’s lyrical final scene in Blade Runner. It really does stand out as the most human and poetic moment in the film. All the more remarkable when the legendary line “…tears in rain…” was apparently improvised by Rutger Hauer himself on set. So, we tip our hat to you Mr. Hauer. A fine, poetic human/replicant. Take a moment and marvel again at his subtle performance and the dazzling imagery of the words. “I’ve seen things…”

A stream of consciousness about creativity

I’m fascinated by creativity (hence this website) and I admire so many forms of creativity. In a world increasingly dominated by automation and technological solutions, creativity is quickly becoming the most precious asset any employer or industry can have. But what is creativity? It’s not that easy to define, yet we all know creative people when we see them. We all know when we have sparks of creativity and ingenuity, but you’d be hard pushed to define it, or how to access that place in your brain easily.

I think there is a lot of bullshit spoken about creativity, and in different ways, almost everyone has some semblance of creative thoughts – be they artistic impulses, inventive problem solving, flair for cooking or handicrafts.

To me, creativity is ultimately about making something new.

Asking a question and finding an interesting path to the answer. Sometimes that question is directly posed and other times it appears to you (but not necessarily to others) and only you can see an inventive way to respond to the prompt.

All art is a response to something. The world around you. The challenges or restrictions placed in your way (creativity loves constraint). Or indeed the need to put an idea or piece of art out into the universe to bring a creative balance to the world you perceive & receive.

Creativity is a key.