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The Confrontation of Familiar and Alien in Blade Runner Directed by Ridley Scott

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Blade Runner, which is directed by Ridley Scott and is based on Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, is a Sci-fi Noir film about a policeman named Rick Deckard (played by Harrison Ford) in 2019 Los Angeles who was contracted to retire four genetically engineered replicants. The four fugitives, Pris (played by Daryl Hannah), Zhora (played by Joanna Cassidy), Leon (played by Brion James), where led by Roy Batty (played by Rutger Hauer) and have escaped from an off-world colony in order to find their creator and oblige him into expanding their pre-determined four year life span. A part of the success that this feature has received can be attributed to the film’s ability to operate on many different levels.
In this essay I will discuss the way in which the generic marker ‘The visual surface of Science Fiction presents us with a confrontation between those images to which we respond as “alien” and those we know to be familiar’ can be applied to Blade Runner and to what end.
Following the release of Blade Runner in 1982, film critics gave high remarks to the beautiful visual images of the city. Director Ridley Scott crafted the future vision of Los Angeles starting with a couple of buildings which were left in their original place. From that starting point, he built a towering, restricted Los Angeles set in 2019. Los Angeles presents itself in the opening sequence as a widespread industrial landscape with stacks of chemical plants, refineries throwing flames halfway to the sky and huge mega-structures that dominate the city centre. Hidden behind the city’s mega-structures, a technological world lights up the city through glittering neons and huge advertising screens and upon closer inspection, is an overwhelming...


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...olitical repression might bring in the future. Although most dystopias express fears of technology and depersonalisation, Blade Runner attempts to describe the mediation point between technology and human values. Deckard says "Replicants are like any other machine. They can be a benefit or a hazard.”
As a conclusion, it must be said that the generic marker ‘The visual surface of Science Fiction presents us with a confrontation between those images to which we respond as “alien” and those we know to be familiar’ can be applied to Blade Runner when judging the movie from an aesthetic point of view as well as from an ideological point of view. As it was mentioned earlier in the essay, the film is constructed from images which society nowadays find as alien (such as images of the city, interiors and social interactions) and also from more familiar images











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