Saturday, 4 December 2010

Blade Runner...

I can't believe it's taken me this long to see Ridley Scott's 'Blade Runner'.  It's just beautiful and the actors in it all perform amazingly.  As it features a lot of gorgeous sets and robots that look exactly like people, but are treated like they're nothing more than machines, I wanted to take some screenshots of it to use for research.  Some images are more for the subtext than the content as I found the story of the robots much more human and emotional than the lead character that was hunting them so I chose some significant moments as well as sets.

There's a recurring theme of Egyptian and Mayan structures within the city structures.  From the Tyrell Corporation building sitting like a temple above everything else to the tiles on the walls in the lead character, Rick Deckard's apartment.  The powerful light sources beaming through the dark, decrepit buildings, carried by the mist, combined with the constant appearance of 'wetness' and rain, really creates a dismal and unsafe image.  The use of mannequins around the robotic characters creates a stark contrast between something that only looks like a person but contains no life and something that contains so much humanity it no only looks human but fears for its mortality like a human does. 
Roy Batty

The robotic characters, called 'replicants', are often seen showing powerful emotions.  Granted, when the audience first meets Roy, he and his fellow replicant partner, Pris, are seen as incredibly immature, they're under four years old and considering the audience is told they're as intelligent as human beings their emotions are clearly still in development.  This is what makes their emotional scenes so powerful.  Rachael becomes upset and cries when she finds out she's not human at all, but a special kind of replicant with implanted memories.  Roy is seen meant to be seen as the villain in the film, or at least more villainous than any other characters, but seeing him grieve over the death of Pris and his sudden and beautiful acceptance that it's his time to die makes him seem far more human than the emotionless and incredibly clumsy Rick.

I really enjoy the idea that something artificial can actually be more human and full of life than a person is and although I won't be creating people in my Maya images, I like the idea of portraying that something inanimate or artificial could be much more than it seems. I also like the use of strong lighting to highlight the dark sets to create that sense of decay and hopelessness.

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