Blade Runner as a Classic Film Noir and a Science Fiction Film

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Blade Runner as a Classic Film Noir and a Science Fiction Film

Blade Runner, a well known 80’s science-fiction film, begins in 2019, set in the industrial city of L.A., the scene lit only by the many neon lights and molten guisers. We draw in from a panoramic long shot to Deckard, ‘ex-cop, ex-killer, ex-blade-runner’, who is at the heart of this film.

Blade Runner is, definitively, a science fiction film, but the traits of Film Noir are the bread and butter, bringing it the dark, desperate atmosphere that is the very beauty of the film. Ridley Scott plants shrapnels of Film Noir throughout, from the subtle (cigars), to the downright blatant (the washed-up cop of main man).

The genre
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For example, the majority of Film Noir is set in Los Angeles, the glitzy, glamour capital of America. But Film Noir wasn’t about glitz and glamour, it was about the desperate, bitchy, brutality on the other side of beautiful. The back streets of human nature. And reigning the hour of darkness, beset upon Hollywood, was The Femme Fatale.

Women had been elevated to a new height of independence during the war, and The Femme Fatale was Hollywood’s beautifully malicious take on the new, powerful female. Using her sexuality as her first weapon, and her heel as the next, she held all the cards in Film Noir, and never gave any away. Shoulder Pads, red lips, and a sharp cornered handbag, the Femme Fatale was Eve in polyester, ruthlessly hunting down loveless detectives, and tempting them to do stupid things with fruit, or far more frequently, knives and handguns. Several actresses carved a career from, well, being a bitch. Rita Hayworth for one, as the blonde manipulator in The Lady From Shangai, and Mary Astor, the only woman for Sam Spade. The Femme Fatale was the Queen of Film Noir, and she squeezed her throne for all it was worth.

She appears in Blade Runner, cigarettes et al, though far less prominently than in traditional Film Noir. Rachael-the-Replicant doesn’t appear to be the

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