Film Blade Runner and Will Highlight the Term Paper

  • Length: 9 pages
  • Subject: Film
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #11288001

Excerpt from Term Paper :

film "blade runner" and will highlight the different tests which were performed in it, it will further distinguish between humans and replicants and will emphasize the tests performed and the variability of the tests on the humans as well as on the replicants. The paper will further analyze the theory of mind and bring forth various other discussions.

Blade runner

The concept of reality has always been a strange one, being the invention of the human mind, but it seems as if our creation is beginning to come apart at the seams in these so called 'postmodern' times. In this notional 'postmodern' world, which we presently inhabit, the notion of 'reality', or rather how our minds perceive it, is a particular cause for concern. If one stops to look about for just a moment it is very easy to find forms of 'simulacra', which we consider to be 'real'. The computer, and its over-hyped use - 'surfing the web', television, photography, and 'virtual-reality', which is as far removed from 'reality' as it is possible to be, being obvious examples of this. Perhaps it is right that such a concept should be brought tumbling down. The classic science fiction blade runner is a classic example of the revolutionary changes, which await the future world and the future generations.

Blade runner is a classic science fiction movie, which takes us to the year 2019 in Los Angeles; it takes us into the future and gives us a hint about the future condition of the world and the human beings. The viewers come into contact with replicants, which have been invented by human beings. These replicants are duplicates of humans and look like humans they are specially programmed and designed to help human beings and are thus enslaved by humans. But these replicants are programmed to die after four years and if they don't die it becomes impossible to differentiate them from humans as they can feel and have emotions the same as humans and thus distinction becomes impossible. Thus the movie gives the viewers an insight of the future and the expected problems accompanied with it.

Blade runner

Blade Runner is the finest and one of the most influential Science Fiction films ever made. Based on the excellent book "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep," by Philip K. Dick, Ridley Scott produced Blade Runner as a spectacular view of the dark near future. Although seen as disturbingly miserable when it was first released, as time has moved on, it can now be seen as increasingly prophetic of the way the world is changing.

Blade Runner is one of the great films of the twentieth century. There are many reasons that contribute to this. There is the noticeable enjoyment one can have of simply watching an incredible film with interesting characters in a strikingly created environment. But, there is also much more depth, to this particular film. It addresses some of the eternal questions that humans have asked for centuries, for example:

What does it mean to be human?"

What is reality?"

What is the difference between real memories and artificial memories?"

How does our environment affect us?"

What are the moral issues we face in the creation of artificial people?"

These and many more questions are there in the film for those who wish to examine them. These questions are brought out by the help of script, direction and even visual design, which in Blade Runner sometimes almost become a character in itself.

The striving, mysterious, visually complex film is a revolutionary film noir detective thriller with all its indispensable parts - an estranged hero of dubious ethics, a femme fatale, dark sets and locations in a dystopic Los Angeles of 2019, and a downbeat voice-over narration. The film mixed in some western genre elements as well, and is thematically similar to the story in of a lone marshal facing four western outlaws. The main character in Blade Runner is a weary, former police officer/bounty hunter who is unwillingly send off by the state to search for four android replicants (robotic NEXUS models) that have been created with limited life spans - the genetically-engineered defector have escaped from enslaving conditions on an Off-World outer planet. Driven by fear, they have come to Earth to locate their creator and force him to prolong their short lives.

The film's theme, the difficult expedition for immortality, is supplemented by an ever-present eye motif - there are various VK eye tests, an Eye Works factory, and other symbolic references to eyes as being the window to the soul


Blade runner tackles issues occurring from the differences between man and machine more than any other film. The core variance in Blade Runner is: What happens when machines formed by man become superior to mankind?

In Blade Runner the differences between human and replicant have developed so thin that an imaginary mechanical device, the Voight-Kampff / VK test, which is required to distinguish them. The film portrays a machine that tests for humanity. In the film, Eldon Tyrell notifies us that the piece of equipment measures such things as "capillary dilation of the so-called blush response, fluctuation of the pupil and involuntary dilation of the iris," in reply to a series of psychological questions planned to extract emotional responses. The differences in the reactions between humans and Replicants provide the means by which they can be identified. A new generation of replicants have been invented, The Nexus-6 Replicants, however, they have been designed with a four-year life span because it is feared that after this time they will begin to develop their own emotional responses, thus making them impossible to differentiate from human beings by any means, whether mechanical or emotional. The mass produced of the Nexus-6 Replicants, with no implanted memories, are greater to civilization, and therefore engineered with a much-shortened lifespan. Replicants are constantly returning to Earth, frequently enough to have an entire enforcement agency dedicated to their 'retirement'.

It might be important to point out that this Voight-Kampff or VK test device has its own important implications to the association. The fascist police state of the 21st century as depicted in Blade Runner has developed a device able to measure one's human heritage, or lack of heritage. Therefore, An entire sub-race of people, the Replicants, has been genetically engineered exclusively for use as slaves. Thus the main reason for the development of the replicant race was to enslave them so that they could help human beings perform their work well. They are an underclass with no rights, and no choices, because, they are not humans and are considered to be a commercial product, a commodity, or, to use the terminology of slavery: chattel. And their main work is to help the human force and to be enslaved by them. As Deckard states in both the film and the novel:

Replicants are like any other machine, they're either a benefit or a hazard... If they're a benefit, it's not my problem."

Replicants are treated as beings without souls, non-living; they do not have any soul and are inanimate objects. The concept of inanimate objects was found during the Nazi era that Jews and certain other races were considered soulless, and restricted to particular districts or ghettos. In Philip.K.Dick's vision, a Replicant's very presence on Earth constitutes a crime punishable by death. Ironically, however, it is not the Replicants' supposed inadequacy which causes them to be detested and separated against, but the very opposite, their proven superiority that has made the human powers create them as a race of slaves

When we compare the reactions to the Voight-Kampff test by Leon (an average Replicant) and Rachael (arguably as near human as any Replicant has ever been). Leon, programmed to kill on command, has the emotional capacity of a child. As he is capable of getting upset very easily. In the film, we view the proposed scenario of a tortoise (a turtle), being forced to suffer at his hand generates such a powerful emotional response that he reacts the only way his creators have programmed him to: violence. Much like a young child who throws a tantrum rather than face the reality of an unpleasant situation, Leon murders his tormentor, rather than confront the imagery that the scenario has evoked.

As for, Rachael, on the other hand, she has had human memories artificially implanted. What this implies is that she has become stiffened against the impact of these emotionally charged scenarios.

Deckard: "A wasp crawls on your leg..."

Rachael: "I'd kill it."

Rachael does not even require a moment's uncertainty to react. She is trained to the subsidiary cruelties innate to the human condition. To her those cruelties have become usual, even routine. She can calmly answer questions that would send other Replicants over the edge because she has become nearly as desensitized and world-weary as the rest of the human population.

Deckard is a retired Blade Runner - a hunter of 'Replicants', androids…

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