Essay about An Ecofeminist Perspective of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner

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An Ecofeminist Perspective of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner

The science fiction film, Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott, first released in 1982 and loosely based on Philip K. Dick's novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?,1 has continued to fascinate film viewers, theorists and critics for more than fifteen years. Writings include Judith B. Kerman's Retrofitting Blade Runner, a collection of academic essays;2 Paul M. Sammon's book on the making of the various versions of the film;3 and an extensive network of publications are available via the World-Wide Web.4 A student colleague has just seen the film for the eighteenth time.

The "Director's Cut", released in 1992, is a more satisfying version of the film than earlier
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Blade Runner's vision of ecological catastrophe is set in the not too distant future; the year is 2019, the place Los Angeles, where Tyrell Corporation conducts the devilish technology of eugenics. Genes in Blade Runner have become corporate property, managed as capital, providing labour resources and market commodities. High above the spectre of this decaying city Tyrell leads operations from his Olympus. Below, gaseous outpourings flare and cloud the sky. Huge bill-board advertisements patchily illuminate the darkness - as do the eye-lights of black, bat-like police hover vehicles. PURGE is the signal that flashes within a vehicle to Gaff, a detective who keeps an eye on Rick Deckard, member of a special police-squad. Corporate manpower has brought about a policed society, foul air and a corrupt world.

There are many cultural and ecological issues that the film raises with its "silent spring" of a post-nuclear, polluted, overpopulated world coming to its end; where replicants, according to the slogan of their "maker", Doctor Eldon Tyrell, are made "more human than human"; and where animals are mostly extinct or expensive simulated versions of highly valued originals.

The density of Ridley Scott's visual and textual layers in Blade Runner provides scope for me to explore themes common

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