Key to understanding the representation of the body in Blade Runner is the replicants and their relation to the film's protagonist Deckard (played by Harrison Ford). The replicants are genetically engineered machines that simulate a human in every physical way, blade runners are a special police force that locate and `retire' replicants who have escaped their slave labour on the off-world colonies, and have returned to Earth seeking more life (replicants are designed with a four year life-span).
Blade runners detect replicants by administering a Voigt-Kampff test, using a Voigt-Kampff machine. The Voigt-Kampff machine identifies replicants by looking for emotional response in the "capillary dilation of the so called blush response" the "fluctuation of the pupil" and "involuntary dilation of the iris." The close-up of the eye that the Voigt-Kampff apparatus displays enables the blade runner to see emotional ...
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... thin line between good and evil, human and inhuman? But this is the power of the film's message, because the text refuses to endorse one side over the other, it refuses to say who is truly evil and who is truly good. In doing this it states, and this is the central message of the film, that what it means to be human is indefinable.
1984 George Orwell
Blade Runner Ridley Scott
Brave New World Aldous Huxley
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Philip K. Dick
Future Noir Paul Sammon
Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution Francis Fukuyama
Phillip K. Dick - A Day in the Afterlife
Phillip K. Dick: The Dream Connection
Projecting the shadow: The Cyborg Hero in American Film Janice Hocker Rushing and Thomas S. Frentz
Retrofitting Blade Runner Judith Kerman
York Film Notes; Blade Runner Nick Lacey
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