Los Angeles - November 2019
A boundless industrial landscape holds the scene. From the foreground to the far horizon, thousands of refineries usurp the view. This awful environment is enveloped in a dense and polluted haze. Strange futuristic vehicles hurry through the dull sky. One of them turns to a huge two towered building: it's a colossal pyramidal structure, the Tyrell Corporation - a powerful genetic engineering company. Inside, in a smoky room, a detached and efficient man - investigator Holden - is going to interrogate Leon Kowalski, a low rank employee of Tyrell Corporation. Holden makes use of a strange machinery, the Voigt-Kampff, to measure the emotional response through the Involuntary dilation of the iris. Two large fans whir above their heads. Rows of salvaged junk are stacked neatly against the walls. We don't know why this test is taking place, nor we know who is this man we see... What we may understand is that Holden's questions are strange and unfriendly. Leon is getting more and more nervous. Holden asks him a question: "Describe in single words. Only the good things that come into your mind. About your mother". Leon looks shocked and surprised. He shoots Holden with the gun he is holding beneath the table. The shot throws Holden against the wall. Leon shoots again, and this time the impact is so strong that Holden breaks through the wall.
Thus begins Blade Runner, a highly technological movie, which succeeds in mixing together the detective thrillers of the 40s with Science Fiction from the 21st century. Blade Runner is a free adaptation from Philip K. Dick's novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?". We must underline that the irresistible fascination of this movie was (and still is) due to its amazing and startling scenography. Blade Runner shows one of the most visually elaborated environment ever created for a movie. Every photogram is filled up with details. But it's not an enjoyable environment to see: decadent, corrupted, mutant, bleak, where an exhausted humanity is smashed by a technological zeitgeist. The streets are filled up with hundreds of guys dressed up in a bizarre fashion, punks, Hare Krishna, policemen... Everyone is stressed by advertising neon lights, by the ads from huge airships which charmly promise a new life in the off-world colonies. It's exactly this multitude of details which make Blade Runner so attractive. Blade Runner it's a sort of "hypersofisticated film design". Its complex and amazing visuals had been (and still is) the standard for the other Science Fiction productions.
After the strange and obscure beginning scene, we meet Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), the leading character, former cop, cynical and tired. He is a former Blade Runner, a special L.A.P.D. unit, whose target is to find and retire replicants, beings virtually indistinguishable from humans, built in genetic laboratories, with a short and fixed living. Deckard shows the features of the classical detective: wears a trench, drinks too much. He finds himself involved in an apparently normal case, which later becomes a dangerous and mysterious situation. He is ordered by his former chief, Captain Bryant, to seek and destroy a group of four criminal replicants. "They jumped a shuttle Off-world and Killed the crew and passengers". "We know they're around". The skin jobs: Zhora - exotic dancer, Leon - we already know him, Pris - basic pleasure model, and their leader Roy Batty - combat model, optimum self-efficiency. All of them are Nexus 6 replicants, the most recent and sophisticated products of Tyrell Corporation. Their weak point: time - replicants are built to last a few years life span, only four. With this knowledge base, Deckard meets Eldon Tyrell, president and chief engineer of Tyrell Corporation. Tyrell asks Deckard to test a human being with the Voigt-Kampff machine. "I want a negative, before I provide the positive". Rachael is there, Dr. Tyrell's secretary, she is chosen for the test. The examination reveals that Rachael is indeed a replicant, but she doesn't know. She thinks to be a human. Tyrell reveals she has been provided with artificial memories. "If we gift them with a past... we create a cushion or pillow for their emotions.. and we can Control them better".
From now on, Blade Runner follows the scheme of the canonical mystery. Deckard's path crosses other character's roads: Taffey Lewis, the Snake Pit Bar owner; J.F. Sebastian, the childish genius of genetic engineering. Afterwards Deckard falls in love with Rachael and discovers some bewildering clues. Eventually he succeeds in tracking down the androids, he faces and defeats them. Though, Blade Runner criticizes and overturns every mental basis. For example, Deckard's character is depicted with obscure and ambiguous traits. From the beginning he is described as a macho, rude mannered, insensitive. But he is also incapable: continuously in trouble, beaten up and cheated. He only kills two replicants, and what's more is that they are two women, shooting one of them in her back! It's the overthrown of the cinematographic hero. Here lies the true spirit of the movie. Beneath the titanic pictures of Blade Runner, many careful observers will find the clues and proofs that this film is a believable work of art. Underneath the popular approach to the movie, with fashionable special effects, you will find moral, philosophical and social worries. The three main simply but yet bitter questions that Blade Runner raises are: "Who I am?", "Why am I here?", "What does it mean to be a human?" That's all!
Furthermore, the film shows some more materialistic merits. The highly dense and stylized scenography, influenced many other movies. They were all characterized by Ridley Scott's typical traits: spreading light beams, big and slow fans, smoky and choking interiors... Blade Runner has also become a standing point for a new cultural movement, the Cyberpunk, by foretelling the future that overcrowded streets, full of rubbish and loosers are already among us. Thus, if its initial fame is due to the incredible visual density, to the evocative Vangelis's soundtrack, and to the presence of a movie star, Ridley Scott's vision of a multiethnical world, overcrowded and polluted, is highly worrying and provoking. You can't say that the film is only a great special effect. Blade Runner, is a serious and mature work, ten years ahead of its times. At the end, Blade Runner is much more than the sum of its single visible parts. It's complex and makes you think.
But yet it is a visionary work, lasting in time, unique. It's the first 30 million dollars film, but with an artistic and traditional meaning. After eighteen years since its first publication, Blade Runner is still analyzed and discussed. But who made this film? Why did Vangelis's soundtrack take so much time to come out? Is really Deckard a replicant? Why is it still so popular nowadays? To answer these questions, I've decided to create and build this web site. I hope you'll enjoy it!