Week 11 Assignment

The film Blade Runner was definitely one of the more interesting movies of this semester, despite it being a movie of the film noir genre. It most definitely fell under the film noir genre though, which was proven through the many downfalls of each character throughout the movie. The first victim was Rachel, whom, although she ends up living to see the end of the movie, found out that she was a replicant and that all of her beloved memories were implanted into her brain. Another character who held true to the cliché that no good deed goes unpunished was Sebastian. He helped Pris, who seemed to be a hooker but was actually a replicant. This resulted in him watching a man’s skull crushed until he died and then was killed himself by Pris’s other replicant friend Roy. The audience does not have to feel sorry for Sebastian too long as Pris is soon avenged by the blade runner himself, Deckard. No one can catch a break though – soon after Pris’s death Deckard has his fingers broken and is fearfully chased down by Roy. The fight ends when Roy dies as replicants are only allowed four years to live. The idea spoken by Tyrell, the creator of the replicants, which made this life-span justifiable, was that “the candles that burn twice as bright burn half as long”. This can be applied to real life as well although it is a rather depressing way to think.

This movie was very cynical and melodramatic with every scene bringing a new sort of dismay to the characters in it. However, the futuristic setting and complexity of the plot made it very interesting and enjoyable to watch. I definitely think that iRobot was based off of this movie because there were a lot of similarities with the story line and the setting.

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2 thoughts on “Week 11 Assignment

  1. I totally forgot about the “candles that burn twice as bright burn half as long” line, which as you said, really applies to both the film and in some cases, real life. Though it is depressing as you commented, I think that’s the point; most of film noir centers around a depressing, hopeless scenario in which no one really ever wins. This movie diverges from that aspect of film noir, as Deckard and Rachel get to live a life together, though the length of this happy life is left more ambiguous in the director’s cut than in the theatrical release version. I think the director’s cut, though it’s only very minimally different as far as the ending goes, makes the film as a whole that much more of a noir film. The more resolved ending of the theatrical release makes the film depart from the film noir genre because we get that “feel good” ending that is somewhat in opposition with noir ideals.

  2. Ah yes, the burning candles line truly exemplifies the theme of the film, and perhaps many film noirs in general. Of the bleakness of life and how hopeless it really is. Quite depressing, yes, but is characteristic of film noirs. We can quite see this in many scenes of the film. Even in the beginning sequence, where the city already begins to look quite dreary despite the number of lights and activity due to the shadowy lighting. Lighting of which that is numerous in the film, and portrays an immensely heavy and gloomy setting and mood to majority of scenes. Especially in the case where Deckard speaks with Bryant on the situation of the Replicants. A scene which occurs entirely indoors but is made extremely shadowy and made much more gritty and gloomy from Bryant’s smoking.

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