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What is a Tannhauser Gate, and what are C-Beams?
September 17, 2004 2:44 PM   Subscribe

What is a Tannhauser Gate, and what are C-Beams?
posted by brownpau to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I always just assumed he made them up.
posted by coelecanth at 2:55 PM on September 17, 2004


There's a medium-geeky conversation about Tannhauser's gate here.
posted by coelecanth at 2:59 PM on September 17, 2004


It's a split metaphor, if I remember correctly:

1) In Scott's film, Roy Batty was supposedly involved in colony defense - namely, engineering corps and.or demolitions. The beams glittering near the gate could refer to debris, or construction equipment.

2) The legend of Tannhauser was focused on redemption. A passionate, yet misguided soldier suddenly sees the light and corrects his ways in the end. In Wagner's Ring Cycle, Tannhauser passed through an enchanted portal, much like a) the transations Batty himself would encounter, b) the (possible) space docking ring/jumpgate/whatever Batty witnessed off-world, c) the long (wayward?) journey Batty undertook when he and the other replicants hijacked a shuttle and headed towward Earth.

There's also the Ezekiel/Johnny Cash connection:

Ezekiel saw a wheel a-turning,
Way in the middle of the air,
A wheel within a wheel a-turning,
Way in the middle of the air,
And the little wheel turned by faith,
And the big wheel turned
By the grace of God,
Ezekiel saw a wheel a turning,
Way in the middle of the air.

Love is a burning thing
and it makes a firery ring
bound by wild desire
I fell in to a ring of fire...


Regardless to say, along with the owl, unicorn, and Bryant's Tiffany lamp depicting
a hunter felling a buffalo, the film is very heavy in metaphor.
posted by Smart Dalek at 3:32 PM on September 17, 2004 [2 favorites]


The entire soliloquoy was apparently ad-libbed by Rutger Hauer. So, there's no real meaning.
posted by neckro23 at 4:13 PM on September 17, 2004


In Wagner's Ring Cycle, Tannhauser passed through an enchanted portal

Er, that's in Wagner's opera Tannhäuser, which is entirely separate from his Ring Cycle.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:44 PM on September 17, 2004


Taken from the Bad Astronomy board:

It's also an excellent name for a writer who wants a good name for a Earth < -> Venus transit system without falling into cliches like warp / tunnel / jumpgate etc.etc.etc.

It sounds cool. Using a proper noun when referring to an object lends to deepend the viewers suspension of belief. We don't say "nasal tissue" we say "Kleenex". It gives the sense that the name is so engrained in the culture, they don't refer to it using common language (quantum transfer device, etc.). Very cool technique if used effectively, like in Blade Runner. Not so cool when the name sounds forced or alien when the actors say it.
posted by geoff. at 5:07 PM on September 17, 2004


neckro, coelcanth's link seems to clarify that a little more:

"I think Heinlein and David Peoples were both inspired from the same Wagnerian source material. Rutger Hauer is on record as improvising the "All those moments will be lost, in time. Like tears in rain. Time to Die." but the earlier part of that speech is from the Peoples draft, according to Hauer himself.

(pp 195-196 Future Noir by Paul M Sammon, ISBN 0061053147 )"

David Peoples being a writer on Blade Runner.
posted by Big Fat Tycoon at 5:14 PM on September 17, 2004 [1 favorite]


In the underlying universe, they're both examples of Macro-Causal Grand Unified Field Format Inverter Nodes.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:17 PM on September 17, 2004 [5 favorites]


I always assumed that c-beams refered to light beams, ie lasers, coming from c being used to represent the speed of light in physics.
posted by biffa at 12:45 PM on September 18, 2004


ROU, do you have an automatic acronym axpander?
posted by billsaysthis at 5:08 PM on September 18, 2004


I figured they were like I-beams, but C or [ shaped.
posted by cardboard at 6:45 PM on September 18, 2004


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