Blade Runner (1982) – Ridley Scott

First Lesson (During Lunch) 25/3/14

  • Dark, suspenseful music is played during the opening credits which cycle at an abnormally slow pace.
  • Extreme close-up shot of a man’s blue eyes with reflections of explosions and fire displayed.
  • Opening scene, a man clothed in a typical work-devoted suit smokes a cigarette in a futuristic room.
  • A man being interrogated, Leon, with a series of questions replies to the interrogator, “my mother? I’ll tell you about my mother” and then proceeds to pull out a pistol from underneath the table and shoots the interrogator directly. Implies the likability of murder to occur further onwards in the film.
  • Mystical, sensual, new-aged music is played as a ship ascends from the streets and flies across the city. Bird’s eye camera angle of some of the city’s respectable sculptures and buildings.
  • An officer pleads Deckard “I need the old blade runner back, I need your magic”.
  • Blue-lighting used during the scene where Deckard and an officer view a selection of criminals. Combination of Film Noir and Surrealism in a sense. Future-Noir?
  • The same music played during the ascending ship scene is used during the introduction of a female character. She enters out-of-nowhere and approaches the Deckard. “It’s too bright in here” – Deckard

First Lesson (After Lunch) 25/3/14

  • During the Blade Runner’s interrogation process with the first female character Rachael, it takes to a shot from the Blade Runner’s shoulder; looking downwards on all the complicated technology used including the extreme close-up visual of her eyes. “She’s a replicant” – Blade Runner
  • The film is set in the future, however some apartments appear absent from any technological advancement and ultimately look out-dated and filthy.
  • Anxious music is played as Deckard looks through his draw of clothing to find something hidden, a secret file. Notions of secrecy and criminality are thus endorsed.
  • Roy and another man, dressed in heavy-layered black clothing harass a chinese scientist (Film Noir).
  • Deckard lives in a very poorly-lit room, described by Rachael to be like a “dungeon” of sorts. Creates a sense of poverty and inequality in the narrative of the film. “The egg hatched and 100 baby spiders came out… they ate her” – Rachael. “Those aren’t your memories, they’re entirely someone else’s”. – Deckard
  • Sad piano music is played as Deckard looks over a collection of old photographs. Photographs act as a symbol for memories.
  • Slow-techno music is played as a woman dressed like a prostitute called Pris supposedly wanders the empty streets of the city that look very unproductive and cheap. Pris engulfs herself in garbage bags to act as a sort of blanket for comfort.
  • The Apartment complex of Sebastian (who takes Pris to his apartment) is very quiet, old-fashioned and once again seems to be downmarket. “They’re my friends, I made them. Do you have any friends?” says Sebastian.
  • Deckard visualises a unicorn running through the misty forrest as he hovers over the keys of his piano.
  • Deckard can communicate to an advanced camera, giving it directions so he can zoom in and out of things present in a room simply by speaking. “Give me a hard copy right there”, “Wait a minute” and so on.

First Lesson (Second Half of Lesson) 25/3/14

  • At a night club, everyone is smoking very innovative cigarettes that are extremely long and thin. They’re also drinking of course.
  • Yellow-lit hallway as all sorts of erotic dancers enter and leave with all kinds of different, unusual costumes.
  • Very crowded urban streets as Deckard hurriedly chases after and looks for Zhora.
  • Deckard shoots Zhora in the shoulder as she tries to run, falling right through the glass window. She gets back up and continues to run before getting shot for the second time, falling through another glass window and dying. A high camera angle over her dead body reveals how much she looks like a mannequin in reality. The police or citizens to not panic as they’re most likely used to a lot of criminal activity.
  • The police own highly-advanced, classy vehicles whereas every other typical citizen is deprived of such luxurious transport.
  • Rachael is dressed in a thick winter coat whilst Deckard does not. Suggests that females are more vulnerable and in need of protection and comfort than males are in this futuristic, industrialised society.
  • Deckard instructs Rachael sexual things to say as he does not allow her to leave his apartment, “I want you”, “Kiss me”, “Put your arms around me”. Groovy trumpet music is played during this entire sequence in an attempt to create some sort of romantic mood.
  • In the following scene, Pris enters Sebastian’s room again. She looks very pale, with blue make-up (a stripe across her eyes) and yellow pupils. She is dressed in a black, gothic-looking suit.
  • Dark, creepy music plays as Roy asks Sebastian in a threatening-like way, “Will you help us?”. Pris says, “We need you Sebastian, you’re our bestest friend”.
  • In a later scene, Sebastian enters a room entirely lit by candles and says to Tyrell, “Hi, I brought a friend” (indicating Roy’s presence).
  • Roy tricks Gaff into thinking that he holds love for Tyrell and his genius, for creating Roy and his kind. As Roy leans in to kiss Tyrell he grabs a hold of Tyrell’s head and pushes his eyes deep into his sockets and then killing him with his bare hands. This is accompanied by very intense, dramatic music that is heightened at the very point at which Tyrell begins to struggle to control Sebastian’s murderous endeavour.

Second Lesson 27/3/14

  • As Deckard approaches the apartment complex (the one Sebastian lives in), there is weird suspenseful music played in the background that sounds very techno and abstract.
  • Poorly lit staircase as Deckard holds a gun at the ready and proceeds to scale further upwards. The techno music is still being played in the background during this scene. The lighting alternates as if a lightbulb is hanging, swinging backwards and forth.
  • A light pink room with dolls, Pris impersonating a mannequin and toy robots. There is also a tape being played that has recorded a man with an evil laugh. Pris startles Deckard by pouncing on him however Deckard shoots her in the stomach. In reaction to this, Pris has a brief spasm on the floor facing upwards; screaming like a little girl having a tantrum. Deckard shoots her for the second time and ultimately kills her.
  • “This is for Pris” – Roy, as he breaks one of Deckard’s fingers.
  • A storm commences as Roy sits up against a wall, howling like a wolf; trying to be something that is not a mere clone. The light alternates from casting on Roy and not. Roy begins to act lie a wolf, running around and chasing Deckard without a shirt on. Deckard seeks refuge in a bathroom as he tries to put his fingers back into place, Roy stabs his own hand with a small thin needle.
  • Deckard swings at Roy with a baseball bat, “That’s the spirit!” – Roy.
  • Roy smiles briefly as his head hangs out the side of the room and out onto the street, with the rain being felt on his skin. He’s trying to be human and endorsing the ideology that he can experience the sense of touch and that he is not a simple robot or clone of another human being.
  • Camera POV slowly approaching Deckard, looking downwards on him as he grips on for his life and tries not to fall to his death. Positions viewers to see Deckard in a disempowered state, one where is perceptible to feelings of pain and loss.
  • Extreme camera shot on Roy as he says “…That’s what it is to be a slave”, he saves Deckard however as Deckard slips and almost falls off the building.
  • “All those moments will be lost in time like tears in the rain… time to die” – very poignant statement from Roy, his longing to be accepted as a human being and not a “replicant”.
  • Camera angle looking up into the night sky as an out-of-place dove flies away.
  • Close up on Deckard as he lowers his gun; to take off a blanket covering Rachael. Deckard says “do you love me?”, Rachael replies “I love you”, “do you trust me?” asks Deckard, “I trust you” answers Rachael. This scene is taken from an eye-level angle.
  • Roy cries over the death of Pris, he loved her and valued life more than Deckard did who killed people without question. Roy in a sense, was more human than Deckard.
  • Leon dies trying to get photographs, memories.

 

  • Deckard is a replicant himself as he has a visualisation about a unicorn. The detective left a origami unicorn behind for Deckard, however Deckard never told anyone about this experience he had had. The origami unicorn is silver, symbolising metallic and that Deckard is a replicant himself. Deckard needs to escape, the detective is coming to get him. After all Deckard is extremely fascinated with photographs during the piano scene (notes on it further up).

“It’s not exterminating, it’s retiring”.

Different readings and how they are expressed: 

  • Humanity > Roy’s longing for humanity, and his endeavours to prove that he has feelings and morals. He loves Pris more than Deckard loves Rachael, he did not take advantage of Pris however Deckard did with Rachael. Roy, in reaction to Pris’ murder; still managed for forgive and save Deckard’s life.
  • Environment
  • Architecture and Movement
  • Feminism > The brutal shooting of the female replicant with the snake, The taking advantage of Rachael by Deckard, Pris is looking for comfort in the alleyway.

Last 20 Minutes of the Film (Second Time) 28/3/14

  • The police vehicles are far more advanced technologically as they all hover above the ground. Whereas every other citizen including Deckard who works for the police; have cars that work on the surface or no means of transportation at all.
  • Long camera shot, high angle looking down on Deckard as he enters a place unfamiliar to him (Sebastian’s apartment complex). Suggests how inferior and powerless Deckard is once he is within a place he has never been to before.
  • Extreme close-up of Pris with her eyes wide-open (pink/bright orange colours behind her). Foreshadows abstract things to come…
  • Deckard looks down on Pris’ dead body (Deckard’s POV), as she is no longer among the living she is no longer a threat and is insignificant.
  • Roy kisses Pris who lays dead on the ground, Deckard watches as he does this from a distance and fires a shot at Roy. This suggests that Roy is more sentimental and therefore more human than Deckard as Deckard did not respect Roy’s feelings for Pris.
  • Roy comes back to Pris’ dead body after Deckard has ran away, Roy feels Pris’ bullet wound and weeps in sorrow; getting her blood all over his hands and rubbing it on his face. Roy howls in despondency, mourning for Pris. Roy laughs hysterically as he runs around with limited clothing on.
  • Roy grabs a loose nail and stabs himself through is arm to prove to himself that he feels pain and is not like a robot.
  • Roy watches Deckard as he climbs up the building and says to Deckard, “that hurt, that was irrational of you!”
  • There is a series of fans along the roof (Prop) of the apartment complex, Deckard runs past them as he flees from Roy. As of this moment Deckard has noticed that Roy is strange as he weeped over the loss of Pris, Deckard has begun to realise that he was wrong about the replicants. As the fans are in motion, they symbolise that Deckard’s belief of replicants is in motion as well as he starts to realise that they are not mere clones or like robots at all. Or perhaps they symbolise that Roy has started to realise what it means to be human and that he must save Deckard’s life, Roy gathered a sense of morality. Something that Deckard is not in possession of.

 

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