MAC 170: INTRODUCTION TO FILM STUDIES
ASSIGNMENT ONE – FILM ANALYSIS
FILM CHOSEN: Blade Runner (1982)
EXTRACT: INT – Sebastian’s Building, starting with the shot of Deckard climbing up the wall. Duration: 9 minutes (Chapter 30, Blade Runner: The Final Cut, 2007)
The following essay will be a close analysis of an extract from the 1982 film Blade Runner, which was directed by Ridley Scott. Blade Runner is a science-fiction film based on the book ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep’ which was written by Phillip K. Dick. This essay will also explore how Ridley Scott’s use of mise en scene and editing in Blade Runner can exhibit him as an auteur. An ‘auteur’ is known as the ‘author’ of the film; a director that uses recognisable and similar traits and themes throughout a number of their films. The ‘auteur’ was created through the ‘auteur’ theory, which argues that the director is the most important person behind making a film. It was first established by an establishment of film makers in 1950’s Paris. Some of these film makers were Francois Trauffaut, Jean Luc-Goddard and Jacques Rivette. They were angered by a critical establishment in France that lauded a film’s fidelity to a screenplay or novel and regarded the film director as merely a translator of material from the verbal medium to the cinematic. For this view Trauffaut and company substituted a notion of personal cinema – a cinema in which the director, not the screenwriter, could be seen as the controlling force behind the film. (Allen & Gomery, 1985: 71-72) This quote explains how the auteur theory was established, and how Trauffaut created la politique des auteurs, which is a policy in which the director is the main creative force when making a film. Ridley Scott can be classed as an auteur for his repeated use of strong female characters, which are present both in Blade Runner, Alien (1979) and Thelma & Louise (1991), the future and the unknown, and the ‘created’ human. This essay will...
Bibliography: Allen, R.C. & Gomery, D. (1985) Film History: Theory and Practice, McGraw Hill
Byers, Thomas B. (1990) ‘Commodity Futures’ in Kuhn, A. (ed.) Alien Zone, Cultural Theory and Contemporary Science Fiction Cinema, London: Verso.
Caughie, J. (ed.) (1981) Theories of Authorship, London: Routledge
Nelmes, J. (ed.) (2003) Introduction to Film Studies, London: Routledge
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