D.J. Haza presents the next entry in his series of films to watch before you die…
Blade Runner, 1982.
Directed by Ridley Scott.
Starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Daryl Hannah and Edward James Olmos.
Blade Runner is a Hollywood classic from Ridley Scott and loosely based upon Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? This stylish science fiction film is very much in the vain of film noire and the story works on multiple levels with a great depth influenced by religion, Greek storytelling and human morality.
In the year 2019 a dark and dirty dystopian Los Angeles towers high into the sky as huge chimneys blow fire and spacecrafts float through the sky. The all-powerful Tyrell Corporation builds genetically engineered robots that are indistinguishable by look from humans. However, these ‘replicants’ can be determined from humans through a series of psychological tests. The replicants are banned on Earth and are only used for dangerous manual work on Earth’s off-world colonies. Any replicants known to return to Earth are hunted down and retired by Blade Runners.
The story follows Rick Deckard (Ford), a burnt out and tired Blade Runner who reluctantly agrees to take on one last assignment to find a group of three dangerous replicants that have returned to Los Angeles. Deckard first visits the Tyrell HQ to test that the Voight-Kampff test, used to distinguish replicants from humans based on their empathetic responses to a series of questions, works on their latest models. He questions an experimental replicant named Rachael (Young) who thinks she is human.
As Deckard follows the clues to find the three replicants he is visited by Rachael, who has began to figure out that she isn’t human after all. As he conducts his investigations he and various other characters discuss deep and meaningful philosophies on life and humanity as Deckard himself begins to question his own outlook on life.
Blade Runner is a beautifully shot film that uses iconic and striking visual influences in order to add subtext to the film’s main story. The film oozes with deep meaningful discussions and hidden visual messages. There are literally pages and pages of interpretation, theories and possible influences on the internet as Blade Runner had a massive philosophical impact on audiences.
Blade Runner was not a massive box office hit due to it’s release coinciding with ET, Star Trek 2 and The Thing all being released at the same time, but it has gone on to be regarded as one of the best and most influential science fiction films of all time and always scores highly in any best film tables.
Blade Runner is a film you must see before you die because of the opening scene. As the spacecraft drops down into a futuristic Los Angeles with towering buildings, no greenery and a score of flaming chimneys it s a striking image that was envisioned when Ridley Scott drove over the Humber Bridge into Hull one evening. Influences can come from all manner of places!