KOWALSKI TO DECKARD: WAKE UP... TIME TO DRINK! ONE THUMB OR TWO?
If, like me, you have 150 bottles of wine and 40 bottles of varying spirits awaiting the next guests – even better if none arrive as I head through a Sebastian period – then you probably have a penchant for fancy glassware too. You could have these amazing Blade Runner whisky glasses sitting amongst the limited edition whisky packaging from The Glenlivet and seasonal Baileys gift boxes and any other film memorabilia that you might have dotted around.
I like to sip from an heavy glass, sip, because when drinking 40/80 proof (20%/40%) alcoholic spirits, distilled for many a year for optimum taste and vivid reflection, it’s the weight and the wait that really takes it home. I’m not James Bond nor am I some tricky aficionado who knows how to make the best Whisky and avoid the worst. I do enjoy a touch of style however, an occasion amongst friends with a story to delve into.
That’s what these Blade Runner crystal tumblers provide. A talking point, a feature of a visit, a topical discussion that can lead to tales of DNA manufactured prostitutes as much as the sale of Elon Musk’s Hyperloop Trains, Space Planes and underground Auto-mobiles, did you see what I did there? In the run up to 1982 and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner release an Italian manufacturer Arnolfo Di Cambio was presumably contacted by a set designer to see if they would mind their infamous Cibi glasses being featured.
Featured Blade Runner Whisky Glasses - Cibi Glasses
Designed by Cini Boeri in 1973 these iconic glassware, which I believe may include Cibi shot glasses too, but elsewhere have been reported those seen in the film to be another style, are immutable. For almost half a century each glass has been crafted from hand blown crystal , with the 37cl Blade Runner Whisky glasses, the tumbler known in the industry as a ‘Double Old Fashioned Glass’ being the size to feature in the films (2019 and 2049) proper.
They’re not signed or imprinted, they’re not the exacting originals nor are they ‘replicants’ or perhaps they are, in a way, they are perfect replicas from the same manufacturer, Arnolfo Di Cambio, that supplied the film set with props for the 1982 Blade Runner film that featured Harrison Ford. His character Rick Deckard was at the Whisky and holding aloft the Cibi glasses a lot and why not, it must be stressful retiring unruly replicants, especially when you yourself are supposed to be retired in a more humane manner.
Take The Voight-Kampff Test
Unfortunately our partner suppliers of the iconic Blade Runner whisky glasses won’t allow Skin Jobs to purchase them, before you click out you’ll need to answer a few questions before you can continue. Let’s hope you’re not as advanced as the presumable Nexus 7 model and uncannily near human like Rachael with her realistic memory capacity. Are you ready? Should you fail Deckard is going to jump out of 2049 like Arnold Schwarzenegger (he was considered for the Deckard role, alongside Eastwood and Pacino) and like a Last Action Hero, chase after and retire you.
Play The Human
Play The Replicant
Would you like to kill me now as I’m going to end up talking about your Mother or would you like to hear the first question?
How was your journey to Earth? Did you drink from a Blade Runner tumbler? Did you happen to dream about a Unicorn on the way here? Hey, let’s get this party really going, do your eyes only glow at Halloween?
You are being held under water in the bath of your home, as you pass out you consider that you have two options. Do you drink the water as you are dizzy and believe it to be Blade Runner whisky or do you die? As your four years are up anyway.
I keep kicking Replicant ass, despite you being more intelligent, super human and I’m a mere ‘cop.’ Don’t you find that a little bit strange? Don’t you feel like having a drink from a Blade Runner Scotch glass?
You are stranded in the desert, nothing but sand for hundreds of miles. You see an oasis of water and trees, do you crawl to it in the hope it is real or continue to pour sand (you really wish you had some lead) in the hope that it forms Blade Runner Whisky glasses with a dram of Johnnie Walker whisky 2049 soon to follow?
My apartment (Deckard) is full of random ornaments that could have been left by the ex Wife, and photos of an unknown origin that don’t make much sense collectively and could well be akin to memories of Eldon Tyrell’s niece. Do you consider me family or do you wish you had my Mother? I’ll just stand on the balcony contemplating your death while I drink this Limited edition Johnnie Walker Blade Runner Whisky from this Cibi Blade Runner glass.
It seems Deckard is still a little unsure having only asked three questions – after all this 2049 Johnnie Walker whisky he may well just be drunk. He believes you to be a good egg however and while he is unsure if you’re more like Gaff (Skinjob or human?) than Rachael, you are free to go… for now. So get out that Arnolfo Di Cambio Cibi glass and chill with a dram of Johnnie Walker black label Blade Runner whisky.
You flunked this test worse than Leon Kowalski. You may choose how you wish to die as your four years are now up early. Be beheaded like Rachael wasn’t but the audience thought she was. Die between Pris’s legs just as ‘Harrison Ford’ wishes he could or have your eyes pressed through Roy Replicant style. If you choose the most action packed way to meet your maker – even though you already killed him, I may allow you one last sip from my Blade Runner Whisky glass.
Yet while these blade runner Whisky glasses are much vaunted, people may not actually realise why they find them so attractive. Yes the angular symmetry is most unusual. The fact it is hand blown and each created for its new master as new, it’s a wonder how many other oddly shaped glasses have featured in other films that have simply become another piece of glass rather than sitting next to the 1977 Apollo landing mug on the mantelpiece.
I think it is to do with the absolute rule of art law that Mr Ridley Scott ensures in his films to deliver an authentic alternative reality that could be possible in our timeline, that sees the drinking glasses tell the whole story of the film, rather than trying to buy into another featured art piece such as a World Fair lamp or lifelike model of one of Sebastian’s creations.
No, a Blade Runner whisky glass is the tell all story. Instantly recognisable and if a pause in conversation, quickly turned to and the suggestion of cost will also come about, should it need to be mentioned. Because I don’t have it and you probably won’t either, as the people at Johnnie Walker’s Whiskey which is featured in the film heavily, only decided to create a Limited Edition 39,000 bottles. Hey, I would never have opened it anyway but to own one would have looked pretty dashing next to these Cibi glasses from the Italian inspired 1970’s or if you’re feeling a bit Back to The Future’ish, then Los Angeles 2019.
Having watched the film again – it had been a while – to write about these Blade Runner drinking glasses and Blade Runner tumblers, vases, ash trays and cigarette lighters. I am moved by the name of the hotel. I am quite aware of the design intellect surrounding the Bradbury building and without trying to scour the web for justification. I was pondering whether its inclusion has anything to do with Ray Bradbury as opposed to being a fantastic building to film within. Bradbury himself a science fiction author, although the building named after its architect from a previous century.
It’s quite touching that this immortal film should be dedicated to the author of the original novel the film is based upon and also be so memorable for the Cibi glassware. In the same vein, we’ll raise a Blade Runner whisky glass to Philip K. Dick. While Director Ridley Scott, scriptwriters and author all had different ideas on who was a replicant and how big the moral understanding should be in the battle between who is truly human and humane, there’s no escaping how brilliant, artistic and… I’ll shut up, pass the bottle and I’ll try those black crystal Cibi glasses instead!