Ridley Scott’s 1982 film Blade Runner is now widely recognized as an undisputed masterwork of science fiction cinema and one of the most influential films released in the last forty years. Yet on its original release it was both a critical and commercial failure, criticized for its perceived prioritizing of style over content and a narrative that did not deliver the anticipated high octane action that its star casting and large budget normally promise. How did a film that was removed from circulation within a month of its premiere come to mean so much to modern audiences and provide such a rich seam of material for film and media studies? Sean Redmond excavates the many significances of the film – its breakthrough use of special effects as a narrative tool; its revolutionary representation of the future city; its treatment of racial and sexual politics; and its unique status as a text whose meaning was fundamentally altered in its re-released Director’s Cut form, then further revised in a Final Cut in 2007, and what this means in an institutional context.
This volume was previously published as Studying Blade Runner in 2008.
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4 Institutions and Authors
6 Textual Analysis
What Does it Mean to be Human?
Bibliography and Filmography
adverts aesthetic Alien Zone ambiguity Angeles Annette appears arguably argue audience become binary oppositions Blade Runner box-office Bukatman camera causal agent central characters cityscape Classical Hollywood codes and conventions commercial confusion crisis cultural cyborg death Deckard Deckard and Rachael Deeley Director’s Cut dislocated dystopian electronic emerges enigmas fact Fancher film genre film noir film’s Filmways Final Cut future futuristic Genre analysis German Expressionism Harrison Ford human iconographies identity Kuhn light live look lower levels machine mainstream metaphoric Metropolis Mildred Pierce mise-en-scène nature neon nonetheless noodles Off-world colonies one’s original postmodern Pris protagonist quoted in Sammon racial relationship replicant status representation Ridley Scott scene sci-fi science fiction film Scott Bukatman screen seems sense sexual shot social space spatial special effects spectacular spectator Star Wars street suggest Tandem Productions techno-science technophilia television texture theatrically released Tyrell Corporation utopian visual and narrative Zhora