Frankenstein was written in 1818 by Mary Shelley, following the Industrial revolution. Shelley’s writing was largely influenced by the Romantic Movement – the influence of nature and the warning against the blind pursuit of knowledge. Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott was filmed in 1982 in a period of rapid scientific development, commercialism, environmental concerns and the growth of globalisation. Despite their contextual differences, this pairing is largely based on an evolutionary relationship of technological and social changes.
The setting of Frankenstein is largely influenced by the Romantic Movement; and while 200 years later this is not reflected in Blade Runner, we see that the world has become what Frankenstein feared would arise if he created a female partner for the monster. “. . . a race of devils would be propagated on the earth who might make the very existence of the species of man a condition precarious and full of terror.” Shelley’s portrayal of the sublime beauty of the Swiss Alps, “ . . . near alpine valleys, sought in the magnificence, the eternity of such scenes . . .” directly contrasts with Ridley’s interpretation of 2019 LA, where extreme long shots afford us a view from above; revealing an endless urban landscape dotted with flames, highlighting the extent of environmental degradation – the legacy of advanced technological knowledge.