Originally Posted by Josh Z
In the movie Blade Runner, it was left deliberately ambiguous as to whether Deckard is human or Replicant. It is not explained in the work itself conclusively. Therefore, it is up to the viewer to come to their own conclusion. What Ridley Scott says about the matter outside of the movie itself is his opinion, but not necessarily a definitive answer. If Ridley Scott had wanted every viewer to come to the same conclusion he did, he would have spelled it out in the movie without ambiguity. The fact that he left it ambiguous means that it's up to the viewer to decide.
That's the way art works.
Nicely stated, Josh Z. It had occurred to me that the Director's Cut (sans voice over) was an attempt to render the issue less ambiguous, i.e., insofar as the voice-over represents internal monologue, this might be said to signify his self-aware consciousness and, as such, a prima facia case for his (Deckard's) humanity. But it just as easily I suppose could be that Scott just found the noir tone disagreeable, or any other from among a hundred probable causations for excision.
In any event, virtually anything/everything in a film is open to interpretation -- even if explicit evidence is provided, one can always question the authenticity of a given direction. One can generally interpret words to mean anything -- a geo-politics professor of mine had us study Mao's LITTLE RED BOOK. He seemed impressed. I pointed out that with any compendium of general aphorisms, that out of context they could be used to "prove" anything. He challenged me via treatise to prove that Mao was advocating a Capitalist doctrine, which given the ambiguity and amorphous character of the quotations out of context, was not hard to do.
Also, the artist himself is RARELY to be trusted to identify what his art "means." The British "existential expressionist" painter Francis Bacon was once asked what statement he was making about intravenous drug use with his inclusion of hypodermic needles in the arms of his portrait subjects. He chose to offer up some silliness of having nothing whatsoever to do with drug use, but he was looking for a pictorial element to anchor the image at a given position in space (which just coincidentally turned out to be a needle in an arm).....alright, whatever.
For myself, a work of art is always what it is, and signifies what I decide -- artist be damned. Not to say I have NO interest in the artist's "illuminations," just that they carry little more weight than anyone elses POV.