Ridley Scott’s Neo-Noir Sci-Fi Blade Runner

Ridley Scott, a director of mainly science fiction films combines the genre of film-noir with his tool box of sci-fi “awesomeness”. When I think of film-noir, I think of the 40’s and 50’s classics such as Double Indemnity which is one of my favorite Billy Wilder films. The beauty of Blade Runner is how it transformed the genre of Old School Noir into Neo-Noir. The uses of light only emphasize mystery and uncertainty like most Film-Noir movies. The colored lighting is something I have never seen before because typically Film-Noir movies tend to be in black and white not just because of the time it was made but due to the way shadows can be played with and manipulated. Despite implementing many revolutionary aspects to the genre of Noir, it also held true to many tendencies that film noir incorporates. 

Film-Noir has its roots in the German Expressionism movement and the sets of Blade Runner proved that the roots are still firmly in place. The use of props also made this film feel like a homage to the Film-Noir genre using trench coats, fedoras, and cigarettes. There was one shot that stuck with me that I thought was absolutely beautiful, and that was a dissolve from a puff of cigarette smoke. Ridley Scott stayed true to Film Noir by the interplay of sets, props and low key lighting. 

Blade Runner was also a very influential early science fiction film also. After the initial release of Star Wars in the 1970’s the interplay between an older genre of Noir and a  rapidly evolving genre of science fiction satisfied and even wowed movie goers. The elements of science fiction can be seen all around from the face LED Billboards on buildings to the hovering police crafts to the advanced guns that the characters were armed with as well as the story.  

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2 thoughts on “Ridley Scott’s Neo-Noir Sci-Fi Blade Runner

  1. The effects that Blade Runner has on countless later films is impressive. I like how you said that in such a rapidly advancing sci-fi genre moving swiftly down a certain path, this film totally set things in a different and more interesting direction, transforming both the noir and sci-fi genres.

  2. I agree that Blade Runner did a very interesting job of adding the futuristic twist to a classic film noir feeling. The cigarette smoke and dark lighting in mostly every scene that I can recall really gave it that old film noir categorization, but most of those films were not in this time period and a main characteristic was definitely not being based in the future. However, I think Ridley Scott really did a great job of combining the two and making something really awesome. Perhaps bringing it back to the older time periods added a sort of nostalgic and dark feeling that the movie definitely has. Film noir is probably the only way that this new world could be portrayed to accurately make the viewer get the full affect of what was happening in “2019.” It certainly made me feel like when I walked out the door it was going to be dark and I would never see the sun again.

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