Week 11 Blog Post

The film “Blade Runner” fits the perfect description of film noir with a little bit of a sci-fi twist. Some of the most distinguishing factors of film noir is cynicism and dark lighting which this film definitely has. The makeup and costumes play a very crucial role in expressing these dark features of film noir. Although the replicates have blonde hair they are pale and evil looking, some with dark black paint around their eyes to add to their scary demeanor. The replicates were very evil looking and even when they smiled it was a lot more creepy and demonic then jolly and cheerful. Another prevalent quality of film noir is the roll of alcohol. As we all know alcohol can go hand in hand with cynicism and in this film it plays a vital roll in expressing the mood of Decker. Anytime he is in distress he turns to alcohol because of the lonely nature of his life. After the scene where he kills the stripper we see him buying alcohol from a street vendor and proceeding to drink himself to sleep.
Another important characteristic of film noir is that the protagonist often seems in a desperate situation a lot like in this film. In his distress he turns to the aid of a robot to help his loneliness. Even though they end up falling in love they are both an emotional mess. Decker is very near death at multiple times in this film and he always somehow survives. The lighting is another vital attribute of film noir is the lighting of the scenes. The scenes always have a dim natural lighting with an unknowns source to add to the dreariness of the overall film mood. Overall the film was very entertaining and it was very interesting how the director predicted a futuristic world that we are only five years away from. What is also interesting is that the prediction of the future is so pessimistic. A world was predicted where we overuse technology to a point where it becomes self destructive. It also is a world that is destroyed by pollution and the streets are grim and over populated with homeless people and assumed drug addicts. This is what makes the film noir. It is a very pessimistic way to look at the future as a time that is worse than the present.

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3 thoughts on “Week 11 Blog Post

  1. I thought the lighting was one of the most obvious features of film noir seen in Blade Runner as well. The darkness overshadowed any source of brightness, which definitely added to the dreariness. It played off the idea that the world was doomed, there was no hope for a brighter tomorrow. That is, of course, only true of the final cut, since the director’s cut had that happy closing that “everyone” wants to see in the movie theater. The darkness not only made the scenes gloomy, but it created a fear as to what could be in the dark, such as a robot popping out to kill Deckard in a deserted house filled with talking toys.

    The loneliest person I thought of was J.F. Sebastian, who took in a complete stranger on the streets and whose only friends were his creations. I like that you talked about Deckard resorting to the robot in his loneliness, because I did not even think of that during the movie. A lot of film noir deals with these lonely individuals whose sole purpose seem to be their career.

  2. The characterization of Deckard is spot on film noir, as far as his physical presentation and mental state. I like how you brought up his use of alcohol, which is pretty excessive and common for film noir protagonists, who are usually troubled by their own past while dealing with the situation at hand.

    Also, I believe a character foil for Deckard can actually be found in J.F. Sebastion. His only interaction is with the “toys” he engineers, and with the Replicants he gives shelter to. Anybody watching would call him lonely, and a little bit insane considering that there are people everywhere to interact with yet he chooses to live in solitude with his creations.
    Deckard, though, seems normal. We see him in the public sphere, interacting with humans and even killing Replicants, but in the end he falls for one of them. Is he then any better than Sebastion? He chooses intimacy with a machine instead of with a real woman, and I believe this says alot about his own mental state.

  3. I too noticed the emphasis on alcohol through out the film. However, I also noticed there were many scenes that also showed many of characters smoking as well. The one that stands out for me was when Rachael is smoking while taking the test. Both very common in film noir, they help to further the genre’s idea that its characters are only living in the now and not worried about the future.
    In terms of the film’s use of natural lighting, the characters in the film seem to have had the same lighting portrayed them; there were special distinctions between the protagonists and antagonists. In common film noir fashion, the lighting makes the audience confused on who the real “good guys” or “bad guys” can be. Thus, it is hard for the audience to put their trust on a given character, including Deckard. In any case, it is in the attention to the small details such as smoking, alcohol and lighting that give the film its true film noir style.

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