Blade Runner: a Postmodern Film
1. The representation of the Postmodern condition
(a) architecture--synthesis of various styles; e.g. the outlook of Los Angels; the building of Tyrell Cooperation
(b) the street view--mixture of various cultures; e.g. the street venders; food and drinks (Japanese Noodles and Coca Cola)
(c) language--the shop sign (a juxtaposition of the Chinese character and the Japanese Spelling); ˇ§heteroglossiaˇ¨--Japanese, Cantonese, and English
(a) the artificial object is more real than the real one; the boundary between the origin and copy is blurred
--e.g. the artificial snake; the replicants( with emotional response as human being; no longer the emotionless mechanical robot)
the scene of the replicantˇ¦s death turns out to be a splendid show: Zhora--breaking through the shop window; Pris--gymnastic performance; the fierce shaking when being shot; Roy--the poetic last words
turns him into a player, performing the death scene on
(4) the disappearance of History
embodies in the Replicant:
(a) the persistent ˇ§present:ˇ¨ repliants only exists for a moment (there is only ˇ§present for them.) and they are ˇ§neutralˇ¨ to time. (They will never aging.)
(b) a forged past as ˇ§historyˇ¨;photography and
memory as the proof of history
--e.g. Rachaelˇ¦s photo; Deckardˇ¦s joking on Rachael about the childhood
2. The issue of Identity; how to claim a person as a ˇ§human?ˇ¨ In what way can the replicant be judged as ˇ§non-human?ˇ¨
(1) Identity needs some proof. (Usually, the work of verification resorts to other people, the society, or the social institution.)
In Blade Runner, the photograph and memory become the key elements to judge whether a ˇ§beingˇ¨ is human or not.
(2) Humanity needs to be tested.
--contrast Lyon to Rachael:
Rachael is more ˇ§advancedˇ¨ or ˇ§more humanˇ¨than Lyon in the way that she is able to ˇ§imagineˇ¨ some situation.
(e.g. the different reactions during the test)
--contrast Rachael to Deckard:
*Is Rachael a Replicant?
Her childhood memory and photos are all forged by Dr. Tyrell; she doesnˇ¦t know she is one. (This is what Dr. Tyrell feels most proud of, which
is a big progress in the technology. )
*Is Deckard a Replicant?
If the inability of knowing oneself is the greatest progress in making a Replicant, is there any possibility that Deckard, the only rival to Nexus 6 Replicant, may actually be another Replicant?
3. Blade Runner as a postmodern film in the postmodern society
Blade Runner, as a Postmodern film, does represent some features in the postmodern condition and deal with related issues. However, being in the postmodern society, somehow Blade Runner also becomes the material of pastiche in some later films like The Fifth Element. (the flying police car, monumental-like the skyscraper, the Asian restaurant owner with broken English)