Blade Runner Is a CyberPunk Science Fiction Movie Filmed and Directed by Acclaimed Director Ridley Scott in 1982. The film depicts a dystopia society of the future in which man has reached the level of technological supremacy where his exact copy can be engineered. These “Replicants” have superior Strength, Speed, Agility and at least equal intelligence to their creators. A fail safe device in the form of an incept date; the replicants only have four years in which they can live. The narrative follows Deckard (Harrison Ford) who is a Blade Runner, and a Blade Runners job is to Retire (kill) Replicants.
A group of Replicants have escaped from an off-world and travelled back to earth. This group is represented cleverly, allowing the Human viewer to feel strong empathy towards the group of desperate robots who display basic human instincts, and only want to live longer. When we see robots that are exactly alike to Humans, the Human viewer can understand that desperation for life. It is with this creation of Empathy that the serious question is asked, “What makes us Human? ” The Backdrop of a dystopia society (L. A. , 2019) the actual humans appear to be Lonely, Dirty, sad and unsympathetic.
The Replicates of these people display the Human traits that we regard ourselves with; they show Empathy, Compassion, love and desperation to live. Looking at the various film Conventions, we can see and understand the portrayal of these Replicants by Scott. In Visual Texts, the written Conventions are extremely important in anchoring the directors preferred meaning, and guiding the narrative. Especially with the misunderstood film Blade Runner, the opening sentences are extremely important in introducing the story and setting the viewer up for the revaluations they will make.
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The words creeping onto the screen explain how Tyrell Corporation advanced Robots into Beings “Virtually identical to a human” known as Replicants. These superior Robots are straight away used as slaves in hazardous Off-World Colonies. From this the viewer can gather that the vision of the future they’re witnessing shares some similarities to the past, so that history is repeating itself. It may be implying that human instincts will always stay the same. That is, that a human will send people different than themselves, people they’re somewhat afraid of, to do things they wouldn’t do.
The replicants are representing slavery, they are determined as an underclass the moment they’re made, an underclass in a society made up of historically stereotypical under classes. There aren’t many white people in the future America, plenty of Asians, middle easterners and Latinos. From this we can gather that racism has evolved with technology, from this we can gather that people show specism instead. Through their hardships though, the Replicants form bonds and friendships with each other, humanity that serves as a shining light in the dark world.
Continuing on the theme of Humanity, Symbolic elements are very important in representing the Replicants as Humans. Throughout the film, Eyes are a recurring theme, as it is widely recognised that the eyes a window to the soul. The soul can then be thought of as the symbolic object of being human. The opening shot of the LA landscape reflects the dystopia of Scott’s vision. An eye is then shown, reflecting the industrial landscape and the Tyrell Pyramids, the residing picture evokes a similarity to the “Eye of Providence,” one of many religious themes that occur in the film.
The Voight-Kampff test that determines if your human, it studies the eyes, questions are asked to provoke empathy, which is suggested as an important human quality. But this notion is questioned, for the replicants express far more empathy and compassion than the disillusioned Humans. J. F. Sebastian and Pris share short life ps, so the Replicant befriends the lonely human abandoned by his fellow species. Leon becomes angry that Zhora was shot in the back by Deckard, is it acceptable to shoot a woman in the back even if they’re created by humans?
Lastly Roy saves Deckard’s life during the closing scenes, he purely terrorised the questionable hero so Deckard could feel what it’s like to live in fear. The robot teaches the human how to feel. These basic human instincts aren’t shown in the depicted humans, from these representations we can see what Ridley Scott was aiming to address. These themes were furthermore helped by the technical aspect of filmmaking. Visual effects and film techniques work in hand with the audio aspect in creating mood and provoking emotions by messing with our senses.
The opening shot of an Urban L. A. in Blade Runner was revolutionary in cinematography and filmmaking, along with the rest of the film, inspired by early crime dramas. These quick two minutes sum up the feeling and mood Scott was aiming for. We are shown what the world has the potential to become, and with this we feel the basic human emotion of fear. With this dark backdrop the Replicants elegantly shine. The aim of Blade Runner is to trigger emotions within the viewer, in part so empathy can be felt towards Replicants and their emotions they feel.
Film Noir is cinematically used to emphasise the cynical and desperate mood of dystopias. Blade Runner pays homage to classic crime dramas that became popular during the 50’s and 60’s. The Smokey police office in which Deckard talk’s to Bryant is very similar to classic Noir movies. With this old but effective film technique, the carefully composed but simply presented soundtrack evokes this sought after emotion and empathy. Vangelis’s creation of classical music and futuristic synthesises work in harmony with the film Noir to portray the Replicants.
It is with this emotion that we evaluate what it means to be human, thanks in part to the representations of Replicants and the Visual texts used to convey these representations. Blade Runner was ahead of its time. Undoubtly it was groundbreaking in its field of Science Fiction and contained the best cinematography films could show in its time. It asked questions of emotions Humans take for granted. Looking at the representations and groups in society of history, the film somewhat predicts how human’s may react in certain situations/societies.
When we see a burned out world with depleted resources and dirty unliveable conditions, there is no surprise that off-world colonies are available. Typically in human history, when problems become too big, we just forget it and move to something else. Another prediction made by the film is the representations of Replicants. They convey human actions very cleverly, that is that we become scared of feel threatened by people/things that are different to us. The initial reaction is to mistreat or kill these dissimilar beings, as is the reaction towards the Replicants.
It is through these faster, Stronger more intelligent replicates that we gather a glimpse of what it means to be human. From the get-go the Replicants are mistreated, used as tools, they are implanted with fake memories which only make the situation worse. But regardless of the adversity, the Replicants still manage to show compassion. They live in fear, fear cause by humans, but when handed the opportunity to extract revenge and even kill this source. The Replicant decides that purely knowing the Person causing them pain can experience empathy for them, robots, they become human, it’s with that Roy batty dies, but Human emotion lives on.
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