Tyrell Corporation: the Blade Runner
This scene establishes the position of Tyrell and illustrates his power.The mammoth size of the Tyrell Corporation implies the complete power of the Tyrell Corporation over society.The building is structured like a Mayan pyramid perhaps representing the similarity between the Mayans and Los Angeles as presented by Ridley Scott in 2019.
The Mayans having built mammoth, aesthetically impenetrable cities were forced to flee the cities as vine and jungle took over the city. It was later revealed the Mayans had no agriculture skills and had a lack of understanding of nature. Los Angeles 2019 is not dissimilar. Earth has been drained of its natural resources and left to decay.
The scene inside the Tyrell Corporation opens with a full shot of owl eyes. Deckard inquires, “is it artificial”, Rachael answers “of course”. The reader realizes the true extent of the artificial nature of this society. This confirms that artificial objects have taken over nature – first humans and now animals. The owl is relatively indistinguishable from a ‘real’ owl, raising the persistent question ‘what is natural?’ The owl is also associated with Tyrell; representing his false wisdom.
The viewer is first introduced to Rachael and Deckard in natural light – this is the first time the viewer sees the natural source of light in the film. The sun can be seen as a metaphor for their real love for one another. The artificial surroundings of the Tyrell Corporation and the world below greatly contrast with the sense of the natural world the sun is symbolic of. Natural light quickly disappears as Deckard commences the Voigh-Kampff test demonstrating the artificial nature of the Tyrell Corporation and simultaneously the world below.
This scene establishes the position of the Tyrell Corporation and the characters in the film. The viewer realizes the true extent of Tyrell’s power. Perhaps more importantly the viewer is introduced to the key issue of the film ‘What is natural?’ and illustrates how the natural and artificial are indistinguishable.
Tyrell’s Death – Tyrell, Sebastian and Batty
The scene again begins with a close-up of the artificial owl reinforcing the false wisdom of Tyrell and the question of what is natural or artificial? Tyrell’s room is also very large further emphasizing his power and position. The surroundings are pristine and luxurious; Tyrell’s bed was actually modeled on the bed of Pope John Paul II. This illustrates Tyrell’s affinity to the role of God and his role as creator.
Tyrell is presented as arrogant, smug and extremely patronizing, “you burnt so very, very brightly Roy”. Tyrell is impersonal and cold towards his ‘son’ in his quest for life; he does not offer any sympathy or comfort. This is a subtle way Ridley Scott makes the viewer empathise with Roy. However this is somewhat altered following the brutality of Tyrell’s death.
The method of Tyrell’s death emphasizes his false wisdom and inability to see the consequences of his actions. Roy removes Tyrell’s glasses before crushing his scull allowing Tyrell to finally see the consequences of his actions – although it is too late.
The fact that Roy has killed his creator is significant to the overall themes presented in the film. The killing of Tyrell can be seen as representing how man has killed nature (essentially this is creation killing creator) in our own society and emphasizes the complete destruction of the environment of Los Angeles 2019 as represented by Ridley Scott.