Professor Heidi Rich
Introduction to Cinema
January 23, 2015
I Think Therefore I am
What is it that makes humans human? In Ridley Scott’s film, Blade Runner, This very question is asked. The distinction between humans and machines is blurred. Throughout the film, humans continuously disregard one another, only caring about themselves. They view all of the “Replicants” as mere objects, easily tossing them aside, whereas the “Replicants” continuously show more human traits. Ridley Scott’s great use of mise-en-scene only helps to reinforce that.
Ridley Scott’s film Blade Runner was released in 1982. It is set in a futuristic 2019 Los Angeles, where the Tyrell Corporation has created Nexus 6 advanced robots, artificial creatures that are virtually identical to human beings but with superior strength and agility, and at least equal in intelligence to the genetic engineers who created them. These androids are called “Replicants,” and mostly are used as slaves on outlying worlds. As a fail safe Replicants were created with only a four-year lifespan. When the Replicants rose up against their human creators, they were banned from Earth. Police squads named blade runners have been trained to destroy any Replicants they find on Earth. A band of Replicants led by Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) that have escaped slavery have come to earth to meet their makers, seeking a longer lifespan. The main protagonist, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), is forced out of retirement to destroy them but is conflicted with killing them because they have become so human he sees that they aren’t so different from us and at the same time questioning himself as possibly being one.
Ridley Scott’s use of mise-en-scence is what makes Blade Runner brilliant and in many ways years ahead of its time. From the themes, to the visual effects, to the synthesized score it’s all beautifully put together to make you feel like this cyberpunk futuristic world is real. It is a...
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