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How Lightning Style And Choices Inform Ridley Scott's “Blade Runner”(1982) Narrative, Genre And Theme

1836 words - 8 pages

Film Noir Lighting comparison with Ridley Scott's “Blade Runner”.

Menelaos Pampoukidis

3. Choose a film, TV show, music video or advertisement and discuss how the directing OR editing OR lighting style and choices inform its narrative
form, genre and theme(s). Consider the film or show in its entirety and demonstrate your understanding and awareness of directing OR editing
qualities.

How lightning style and choices inform Ridley Scott's “Blade
Runner”(1982) narrative, genre and theme.
In early 1940s, soon after the second World War, a new film genre started to develop. Almost,
twenty years later Nino Frank, influenced by the France “Black Book”, gave it the name Film Noir.
...view middle of the document...

Ridley Scott's “Blade
Runner”(1982) is a Neo-Noir, Si-Fi Thriller. It take part in the future, close to 2019. Were humans
have achieve to design labor robots, with artificial intelligence, they are called Replicants. After a
rebellion replicants became illegal on earth. So in order to control them there is a special police
force called The Blade Runners, which is responsible for tracing, hunting and disposing them. The
main Hero is Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) and he is a Blade Runner. When a group of replicants
makes it to Los Angeles seeking a way to extend their life span, he will have to find them and stop
them with any means. However, while he is on the job, he starts falling in love with a woman, who
turns out to be a replicant as well.
“There are two basic tendencies at work in postmodern noir, revivalism, which attempts to retain
the mood and atmosphere (stimmung) of classical noir, and hybridisation where elements of noir are
reconfigured in a complex generic min”3. Many elements in Blade Runner can be easily linked to
Noir Film. In order to make an effective analysis they must be separated and looked individually.
One of the most important elements of Noir Film is the lighting. In Blade Runner Lighting
profoundly tries to resurrect the mood and atmosphere classical noir film.
From the early frames of the movie, the references in Noir lighting are obvious. The small, sharp
lights of the huge building are the main source of lighting in the surrounding darkness (image 1-01).
This dim image relates not only with Noir principals, but with it's predecessors, the expressionistic
film. And it is a clear reference to the Fritz Lang's “Metropolis” (1927) (image 2-01). The Noir film
use in great proportion dark imagery of the night time city,4 as an expression of depression, fear and
loathing.
1 Film Noir Andriew Spicer
2 The Dark Side of the Screen 65-66
3 Film Noir Andriew Spicer
4 Film Noir Andriew Spicer

1

Film Noir Lighting comparison with Ridley Scott's “Blade Runner”.

Menelaos Pampoukidis

(image 1-01)

(image 2-01)
An other important characteristic of Noir lighting is the use of fog. Fog can be smoke coming from
a specific source or mist which surounds the city (image 1-02). The fog creates a claustrophobic
atmosphere and refracts the light, making it look alive and fluid, as an unworldly pressers
surrounding the characters. In many instances fog, smoke and mist have an important part in Blade
Runner's lighting and iconography, creating the feeling of constant night even in the day time
scenes. As in many noir scenery “ A pall of smoke hangs over the street, adding to a sence of
claustrophobia already present in the press of pedestrians, cars, carts and store fronts”.5

5 Noir Style 79

2

Film Noir Lighting comparison with Ridley Scott's “Blade Runner”.

Menelaos Pampoukidis

(image 1-02)
A key feature of Noir Lighting is the absence of light. The films deliberate visual styling...

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