Feb 16

Blade Runner: 2019 or 1920?

I had previously seen Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner a while ago so this was particularly exciting for me.  Rather than watching and paying attention to both the movie and the noir design elements I was able to strictly focus on the cinematography and made this assignment much more enjoyable.  I have to say I am at an age now where I can appreciate the visuals more than I did then.  One of the first aspects I thought was really interesting (and naturally didn’t notice before) was how the environment, meaning the structures, flying cars and general atmosphere was very futuristic and straight edge.


At first glance it reminded me almost of a computer chip and then later in the movie the mood changed to resemble almost a future Gotham City.


I also noticed many of the buildings look like modern pyramids. Both inside and out. In some scenes it even looked like there were hieroglyphics on the walls.  I wasn’t sure if this was their way of implying some elements are timeless or they were simply using it for esthetic purposes.  In addition to the atmosphere the buildings always seemed empty and abandoned even though there were people everywhere roaming the streets, it never seemed like any of them lived inside. This added to the dystopian feel of the movie, by showing mostly dark streets with the only light coming from neon signs and sparse street lights.


This “mood lighting” mixed with the typical noir characters (the detective, femme fatal, damsel in distress and muscle thug) gave the movie a slightly confusing feel on time. Technology is futuristic but the behavior and mannerisms of the characters are old fashion and traditional.  Even though it’s suppose to take place in the future it seems as if civilization has deteriorated so much culturally speaking it actually went back in time ironically.

1 comment

  1. Daniel McLeod

    I love it! Blade Runner is one of my favorite movies of all time! And it really fits well with noir as well!

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