Significance of Setting in Blade Runner

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"The crafting of the setting in a text is crucial as it provides a framework for the intended meaning of the composer." Explore the significance of setting in Blade Runner.

Through the establishment of setting in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner (directors cut), a medium is provided by which the characters and message behind the text can develop by means of various cinematic techniques and diverse settings. Situated in the year 2019, Blade Runner is within the near future, no more than a generation for viewers in both our context, and the context in which it was released (originally 1892 then the directors cut released in 1992). In Blade Runner, the way in which characters engage with their setting acts as a representation of values and context.

The setting and environment in Blade runner offers no solace for its inhabitants. Crawling words, set upon a black background, broken only occasionally by an isolated sound provides the prologue with the ability to instil a sense of danger or necessary alertness in the viewer. The opening close-up shot of the human eye reveals fire and destruction occurring in the distance, symbolic of the human race watching the destruction of their plant, yet they do nothing to save what they can. As the eye is given no identity it has the capacity to become our own. We are exposed to a temporal space, one in which the futuristic world seems so unfamiliar, yet we recognise and familiarise ourselves with the signs and symbols expressed throughout the film, signifying the intrusive nature of advertising.

The unfamiliarity in addition to the relative unknown is what creates an underlying sense of dramatic tension throughout the film. Ridley has chosen to include lighting in the mid-shot depicting Los Angles. This is the first time we are exposed to the futuristic city. Slow-moving camera panning conveys a sense of drama and foreboding. Our eye is virtually guided towards he violent lighting strikes and fiery explosions, resulting in...
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