Bit of Bladerunner

I am quite impressed with how many of you have contacted me these holidays with questions about texts that you are studying. So here is a little bit on Bladerunner.

Blade Runner is a film set in a futuristic Los Angeles of 2019. There are two parallel narratives. At the centre is the pursuit by Deckard, a so called ‘Blade Runner’, of a violent group of artificial human beings called replicants. As Deckard hunts them down, one by one, and attempts to eliminate them, the replicants themselves conduct their own quest to find and confront their creator before Deckard destroys them. As the replicants themselves appear more human as the film goes on, Deckard himself is challenged by the thought that he might be a replicant himself.

Director Ridley Scott has said of the futuristic setting of the film that he “wanted to create a futuristic urban film noir”. An understanding of film noir will help you to understand the visual style of the film. It is also very important for the viewer to understand the  futuristic setting of the film that they appreciate Scott’s use of different camera movements and shots. A lot of significant information is conveyed visually, through use of mise-en-scene.

The mise-en-scene establishes what this imaginary future society is like.

* The opening long shots convey a vision of a future Los Angeles.

* The next sequence begins with a giant close-up of an eye. Close-ups are used to highlight or emphasise objects of faces that are important to the narrative.

* The next scene is a street scene, in which a series of medium or mid-shots, along with close ups of Deckard on the streets are shown to the audience.

* Lighting of these scenes for the camera is another important element for creating a mood or atmosphere.

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