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Blade Runner Questioning Human Identities. Outline General Questions Introduction The world of Blade Runner —architecture and space The world of Blade.

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Presentation on theme: "Blade Runner Questioning Human Identities. Outline General Questions Introduction The world of Blade Runner —architecture and space The world of Blade."— Presentation transcript:

1 Blade Runner Questioning Human Identities

2 Outline General Questions Introduction The world of Blade Runner —architecture and space The world of Blade Runner The Replicants vs. Humans  Scientists as “Fathers” & the Lost Mothers Scientists as “Fathers” Lost Mothers  Relative proofs of identity: photographs; the eyesphotographsthe eyes  fighting for survival –and Replicants’ Reflections on human society fighting for survival  Rachael’s learning Rachael’s learning The Others: Gaff and the Animals in the filmGaff the Animals

3 Blade Runner, Minority Report & The Matrix How are these three films similar to or different from one another? What postmodern issues do they each address? How does Blade Runner define human identity and human nature? What’s impressive about this film?

4 The Three Films—”human” solutions to machines’ control Blade RunnerMinority ReportThe Matrix Tyrell –replicants for commerce Precrime –social security Matrix – humans as batteries Esper (Eye  ) VOIGHT- KAMPFF  to determine human and 4- dimensional reality Car control & Eye scanner Computer imaging  to control identity and predict future The Matrix & computer programs Agents and sentinels  Pervasive control Love & Escape— individuals Choice-- individuals Love, Choice & Belief -- Alternative system

5 The Three Films— the Ambiguous Blade RunnerMinority ReportThe Matrix Definition of human identity (photo, emotional response, “empathy” and love)  flattening of subject, waning of affect; Postmodern simulacra How is crime defined? Is the prediction fallible and changeable? minority report as echo, fabricated or another time path?  Multiple reality Is Anderson Neo? How much of our existence a ‘mental projection’ of our existence? (in-)separability of mind and body, subject and object, individual and system  Postmodern simulacra

6 Reality Lyotard The Postmodern Condition: Our task is to search "for new presentations, not in order to enjoy them but to impart a stronger sense of the unpresentable "(p.81), since “ is our business not to supply reality but to invent allusions to the conceivable which cannot be presented.” What is “unpresentable” in our society?  1) capitalist simulacra;  2) ‘reality’ as a matter of perception;  3) memories and history  4) the “human”?

7 The Three Films — the Other Postmodern Issues Blade RunnerMinority ReportThe Matrix 1. Environment & capitalism World – gloomy, raining all the time, huge ads Nature – final escape World – clean and neat; animated ads Nature—only as a lab World – colorful Illusions Nature--absent 2. Slum – and minorities Ethnic minorities & women UndergroundHelpers (e.g. Tank)

8 Introduction: Philip K Dick’s Novel and Ridley Scott

9 Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Published in 1968 –(the period of anti-war movement) 1992 San Francisco  (the film) Los Angeles in 2019 Philip K. Dick claimed that footage of the film was exactly what he had envisioned when he wrote the book. (source)source Deckard in the novel – “bounty hunter”—kills more than two replicants. The question of whether one can mistake human for replicant: Deckard mistakes for replicant his fellow bounty hunter Phil Resch, because “the man suffers from a condition called ‘flattening of affect’ (which means a lack of emotion), something which can occur in people suffering from certain forms of mental illness or brain damage.” (source)source

10 Ridley Scott Alien (1979) Thelma & Louise (1991) Gladiator (2000)  Stunning visuals.  His films often feature strong female characters? (source)source The movie BR omits the religious and mythical elements of Dick's original novel (e.g., empathy boxes and Wilbur Mercer), it falls more strictly within the cyberpunk genre than the novel does. William Gibson would later reveal that upon first viewing the film, he was surprised at how the look of this film matched his vision when he was working on Neuromancer. (source)source

11 The World of Blade Runner Lack of Dynamic Social Fabric a Pastiche of Architectural Styles with signs of -- (fake) signs of power -- signs of decay and decrepitude -- signs of the stereotypical “Oriental”  placelessness; a global city

12 Places in the BR City 1. Center of Power –Tyrell Corp (chap 7), Police Station 2. Residences –of Deckard (chap 11) and Sebastian (40:10) 3. “Everyday Life”--Eating and Sex-Related Entertainment: Streets and shopping areas (chap 4) China town: Chinese dragon in neon lighting  Eye making place The Noodle Bar Little Tokyo: Animoid Row Shopping arcade  Snake Pit nightclub - a place for upper- class persons to slum it, smoke opium, watch exotic dancers Social Functions Degenerated  No family connections or the other social functions.

13 Social Space –Power Center Tyrell Co. – manufacturing replicants to serve as slaves in Off-World exploration and colonization.

14 Social Space –Signs of Power Tyrell Co. – Egyptian pyramid-shaped Roman and Greek columns Owl and some statues, Difficult access, etc.

15 Policemen and the Police Station Rep-Detect, a unit specifically created to cater for escaped Replicants. The other policemen, in the background. Not really powerful.

16 The more powerful -- Commercials High-tech + the stereotypical

17 Off-World: another Frontier for American Dream & Expansionism ‘Off-World’ colony: ‘a golden land of opportunity and adventure’, complete with a ‘new climate’ Slavery: “absolutely free... Use your new friend as a personal body servant or a tireless field hand - the custom tailored genetically engineered humanoid replicant designed especially for your needs. So come on America, lets put our team up there...” Those on Earth: ethnic Minorities and the physically weak

18 The Residence: Pastiche of Styles The Ennis-Brown House – in the sytle of Mayan temple (location)  the textile blocklocation

19 JF Sebastian’s: Bradbury Building In the film and its everyday footage source

20 JF Sebastian’s: Pastiche Ornate Pillar vs. garbage  capitalist society’s rapid production of waste

21 The Other Side of Power “Everyday Life” in a Post-Industrial City  Artificially reproduced animals  Over-Population, noise  people of all races in Little Tokyo, Chinatown, etc.  Raining all the time

22 Animoid Row where all sorts of replicant animals can be purchased, and perhaps repaired. This scene is very reminiscent of the Akihabara market in Tokyo (source)source

23 Chinatown –messy and neon lights everywhere Graffiti –non-readable for Western audience Neon light dragon

24 Replicants vs. Human Definitions of Humanity search for the father and mother “proof” of identity fighting for survival –and Replicants’ Reflections on human society Rachael Leon & Roy: Combat model Zhora: Kick murder squad (beauty and the beast) Priz: Basic pleasure model (for military clubs)

25 Scientists as Fathers Both isolated, powerful only with their “toys.” Chew --genetic designer of eyes  Roy: "If only you could see what I've seen with your eyes" J. F. Sebastian –friendly and childlike  Makes friends with toys and robots;  “There’s some of me in you” to Roy;  Suffers from a problem similar to that of the replicants: “Accelerated decrepitude.”

26 Scientists as Fathers Tyrell – cares only about business & experiment; indifferent to their well-being; The Father-Son scene: Tyrell: The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long. And you have burned so very very brightly, Roy. Look at you. You're the prodigal son. You're quite a prize! Roy: I've done questionable things. Tyrell: Also extraordinary things. Revel in your time. Roy: Nothing the god of biomechanics wouldn't let you in heaven for. [Roy kisses Tyrell on the mouth. Tyrell screams as his eyes are gouged out.]

27 Missing Mothers 1. The test of Leon: Describe in single words, only the good things that come in to your mind about: your mother. Leon: My mother? Holden: Yeah. Leon: Let me tell you about my mother. [shot fired] 2. Rachael’s attempt (33:10) You think I'm a replicant, don't you? [pause] Look, it's me with my mother.

28 “Relative” Proofs of Identity Empathy test Snake Scale Photographs Bryan & Tyrell – complete lack of feelings (e.g.)e.g.) Artificial snake How about Deckard? His photos put together with those of Leon’s.

29 Tyrell—creates the past to control Tyrell – unable to change Nexus 6, or unwilling to? The replicants’ lifespan has to be limited because they develop their own emotions. Commerce, is our goal here at Tyrell. More human than human is our motto. Rachael is an experiment, nothing more. We began to recognize in them strange obsessions. After all they are emotional inexperienced with only a few years in which to store up the experiences which you and I take for granted. If we give them the past we create a cushion or pillow for their emotions and consequently we can control them better.

30 Replicants: More human than human 1. Duplicating a duplicate. 2. Ironically, simulacra become the best possible “human” reality.

31 Blade Runner “retirement”—cruel and inhuman Deckard: kills two replicants; rescued twice by them.

32 Deckard Cold. “Sushi. That's what my ex-wife called me. Cold fish.” Kills to avoid being a victim. “I'd quit because I'd had a belly full of killing. But then I'd rather be a killer than a victim. And that's exactly what Bryant's threat about little people meant.” Equipped with a gun and machines; otherwise, he would not have been able to make it.

33 Machines  to reconstruct space and identity Voigt-Kampff machine administers an empathy test, a test device similar to a lie detector that measures emotional responses.  Challenged by Rachael. ESPER -- A high-density computer with a very powerful three- dimensional resolution capacity.  Snake scale  Zhora Only evidence of Zhora’s presence

34 Eyes and its Implication The False Mirror, 1935 Seeing is Believing?

35 Eyes Rachel: “He won’t see me.” Surveillance machines The replicants’ blue or brown eyes. Roy: I've seen things... seen things you little people wouldn't believe...

36 Zhora – challenges Deckard Deckard: Well, like to get this job. I mean, did you do, or... or were you asked to do anything that's lewd or unsavory or otherwise, uh, repulsive to your person, huh? Zhora: Ha. Are you for real?

37 The Death of Zhora Exploited and Brutalized like the mannequins

38 The Death of Pris Pris: likes Sebastian. Chap 28 -- A strong bond between her and Roy because both of their lives were running out at the same time. Pretends to be a doll. Like a doll electrically shocked.

39 Roy – appreciate and struggle for survival Cites poetry --“Fiery the angels fell, Deep thunder rolled around their shore, Burning with the fires of Orc” (Blake “America: A Prophecy”) the last chase-and-run: “Not yet” – drives a nail through his hand to keep his spirit up. “Six, seven. Go to hell, go to heaven. [Deckard breaks off a pipe from the wall... hits Roy's forehead like a bat.] Yeah, that's the spirit. [Deckard flees out a boarded window by kicking it.]

40 Roy: Asks for Sympathy Slavery: Quite an experience to live in fear, isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave. Experience and Accepting Death: I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time... like tears in rain. [Pause] Time to die.

41 Roy: Shows Sympathy Appreciates life at the end: “I don't know why he saved my life. Maybe in those last moments he loved life more than he ever had before. Not just his life, anybody's life, my life. All he'd wanted were the same answers the rest of us want. Where did I come from? Where am I going? How long have I got? All I could do was sit there and watch him die.

42 Rachael’s Survival Chap 35 Completely passive; Deckard: Do you love me? Rachael: I love you. Deckard: Then trust me. Rachael: I trust you. Ending: OV—she has a longer lifespan Chap 22 To prove her humanity> [Deckard tries to kiss Rachel, but she heads for the door. Deckard stops her by force... then kisses Rachael.] Deckard: Now you kiss me. Rachael: I can't rely on... Deckard: Say kiss me. Rachael: Kiss me. Deckard: I want you. Rachael: I want you. Deckard: Again. Rachael: I want you. Put your hands on me.

43 Empathy Test Remember when you were six? You and your brother snuck into an empty building through a basement window... you were gonna play doctor. He showed you his, but when it got to be your turn you chickened and ran. Remember that? You ever tell anybody that? Your mother, Tyrell, anybody, huh? You remember the spider that lived in a bush outside your window... orange body, green legs. Watched her build a web all summer. Then one day there was a big egg in it. The egg hatched... Rachael: The egg hatched... Deckard: Yeah... Rachael:... and a hundred baby spiders came out. And they ate her. (potential sign of her resistance)

44 The Others: (1) Gaff begins as an ambitious brown-noser, wanting to get a promotion in the police department. city-speak, guttertalk-- a mishmash of Japanese, Spanish, German

45 The Others: (1) Gaff Shows sympathy for both Deckard and the replicants. Gaff’s the origami paper- foldings –  1) chicken –when D has no choice;  2) stick paper man –in Leon’s room  3)unicorn

46 Unicorn – rare and unique species

47 The Others –Animals as signs of life In this film, although we don’t see real animals (except for a sight of some ostriges), animals are used as icons with positive or negative implications for human characters and replicants. Negative: Leon = tortured like the Turtle in his empathy test. Zhora = artificial Snake and snake scale (associated with her job) Tyrell = artificial Owl (no real wisdom) Sebastian = Mouse (timid) Deckard = Sushi (raw fish--coldness) Positive: Roy = Wolf (his energy), Dove (peace) Rachael = unicorn Pris = Raccoon (playful) (reference: )

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