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Monday, 12 September 2016

HW 1a - Existing Film Still Analysis (DYM)

Blade Runner - 1982


The still focuses on the main character, Rick Deckard (played by Harrison Ford), holding a futuristic gun in front of a train carriage and looking at something, or someone, off screen. The framing of the still, having Ford to the far left looking into the space on the opposite side, is coupled with him being armed, to create a sense of mystery and anticipation as the audience wonders what is out there and whether or not it will get Ford. This in turn builds tension and works with the fact that the audience is positioned as a bystander in the shot, to create a sense of helplessness in them for the coming chase/fight. The audience knows to expect some form of conflict as this still represents a typical action code which precedes a conventional sci-fi/action set piece of a chase scene using futuristic technology.


With the futuristic gun and blue/green lighting, this still firmly suggests that Blade Runner falls into the sci-fi/action crossover genre. However, on closer inspection, the old, rusted look of the train carriage and the characters lack of futuristic clothing, suggests that this can be broken down into the sub genre of cyberpunk. Cyberpunk combines advanced technology in futuristic Earth settings, with a decline in, or stagnation of, social structure and elements of everyday life. It juxtaposes our idea that advanced technology means a better life, with the reality that people, and the everyday basics, can so easily get overlooked in these scenarios. This results in a weird hybrid world, as seen in Blade Runner, that feels very similar to our own, or one from our history, just with extra technology added in, in seemingly random places.


As discussed in the narrative section, the action code, camera position and framing, ensures that the audience feels helpless for the coming action as they are placed as a bystander, while also creating a sense of anticipation and excitement in them as they wonder what will happen next and whether the main character will be victorious. The cyberpunk sub genre, as mentioned above, could also make the audience feel slightly uncomfortable as the opposites of some advanced technology and basic, almost regressive nature of everything else, completely destroys the conventional notion that life in a futuristic Earth would be wondrous and so much easier than it is now. 

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