Blade Runner- Film Noir Technique

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  • Topic: Blade Runner, Replicant, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
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  • Published : October 13, 2010
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Blade Runner- Film Noir Technique
Christine Groom Stuart
Debate rages over the definition of what constitutes a Film Noir. The consensus seems to center on the time period in which noir films were created which is early 1940’s through late 1950’s. It was an era of film making that used low budget sets, light and dark elements of lighting, altered space (sparse), and sharp photographic focus shot at odd angles. Scripts were often based on pulp novels from the 1930’s. The protagonist, generally were of questionable moral character and were in some desperate emotional frame of mind usually due to their own bad choices. Throughout the movie the lead character seems trapped in a web of intrigue and bad luck from which they are unable to extricate themselves. Noir films were created to cause a sense of anxiety or discomfort. They are meant to disturb, to show the darker side of humanity. These films sprang from a shift in the social values of a changing American culture due to World War I and II and prohibition. Their impetus also lay in the constraints placed on the film industry by new censorship laws which began in the 1930’s prohibiting taboo subjects. These factors as well as limited budgets during WW II led to this phenomenon known as Film Noir or Black Film. Blade Runner, produced in 1982, does not fit the accepted period from which, most would agree, Film Noir belongs. The term Neo-Noir is a more accurate description of this film. It uses noir techniques such as a conflicted protagonist, a dark subject matter and detached masses of people filmed at strange angles to create a dramatic future world filled with chaos and coldness. Blade Runner is from the genre of Sci-Fi film which looks at a futuristic world and man’s relationship to that world. The director, Ridley Scott, uses different techniques to obtain his desired goal of a world in decay, dying, (we assume) due to over population and nuclear fall-out. As the lead, Harrison...
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