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Blade Runner: Identity, Memory, Influences


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The Ladd Company, 
Shaw Brothers, 
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Blade Runner: Identity, Memory, Influences

  1. 1. Blade Runner Identity, Memory
  2. 2. Blade Runner• Released 1982 • Directed by Ridley Scott • Based on the Philip K. Dick novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? • Stars Harrison Ford, Rutger Haur, and Daryl Hannah • Soundtrack by Vangelis, evocative both classic noir and science fiction • Poor initial release, but has become a cult classic and gone through several changes (narrative and endings)
  3. 3. Setting • Urban landscapes that are dark, rainy, and crowded • Claustrophobic; lack of privacy- leads to postmodern anxiety/ paranoia • Portrays (white) influx of “aliens” to southern california
  4. 4. Noir Influences • Suggestion of panopticon or the feeling of always being watched • Conception of a society that is always watching in effort to socialize and normalize applies to the film • Ex. of American Consumerism
  5. 5. Narration • Use of voice over in theatrical release (taken out in director cut) • Faithful to noir but does not work in this film • Put in film to help audience understand • Indicative of how neo-noir can create its own niche.
  6. 6. Noir Influences • Deckard is both a detective and hitman • Tough guy and impotent male • World weary and ambivalent to stress • Rachel is the femme fatale (mysterious)- leads to conflicts • Smoke- interior mood setter and environmental pollutants. • Corruption pervades society (another comment on late capitalism being crushed under it’s own weight.
  7. 7. Noir Influences Cont. • Theatrical release: Happy Ending • Subsequently changed; added voice over. • Ending not necessarily bad, but ambivalent • Various cuts of the film provide a metatext understand the terms of postmodernity (texts aren’t closed)
  8. 8. Genre Hybrid • Indebted to film noir and science fiction • Could be part of the problem of initial reception • Takes elements from both • The setting makes the cultural commentary more palatable because it is in the future rather than the present • LA as despotic (society in an repressive and controlled state) • Predates William Gibson’s term “cyberpunk” in Necromancer (1984)
  9. 9. Memory • City of L.A represents a vastly different from the LA we know; more like NY or Tokyo • Plays with our memory or concept of what L.A. represents
  10. 10. Memory • What is memory • Memories of replicants are implanted/artificial • Real to the replicants who have those memories • Photos are reoccurring • Photographs are mechanically reproduced • Recycling and waste are important factors • Waste used for initial purpose
  11. 11. Humanity • What does it mean to be human • Existentialism, indebted to classic noir • Fatalism also present in the built-in obsolescence of the replicants • How are humans and replicants contrasted- • How much influence does noir have on the film?
  12. 12. Blade Runner People, Landscapes, Influences
  13. 13. Influences • Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks (1942)-Conveys mood of the film • Fritz Lanes “Metropolis”- set design, class structure, lighting • Jean Giraud “Moebius” (1938) Heavy Metal • Phillip K. Dick- Do Androids Dream of Electric sheep= Loose adaptation • Use of Drugs and Mood Enhancers • Visual Futurist- Syd mead tried to implement “retrofitting” • Heavy Asian influence
  14. 14. Location • Release in Japan two weeks later July 1o, 1982 • Multiple Magazine Articles and Reviews • Poor critical reception • Japan’s Bubble Era (1980-1989) Late capitalist consumerism • Ranked 27th in Kineman Junpo’s Best films (E.T #1)
  15. 15. People Vertical Class Structure Cops v. Little People
  16. 16. People • Tyrell (Tyrell Corporation) • Tyrell Employees- Fully immersed in job • Mismatched of languages
  17. 17. Class • Upper Class • Wealthy Sector • City People (dressed someone what dirty) • Animoid Row
  18. 18. Replicants • Interact with everyone • Trying to figure out themselves
  19. 19. Vision of the Eye • Appears through out the film as symbol of being watched constantly