Blade Runner: Context – Quick Questions

Here is a quick breakdown of the contextual issues  and styles reflected in Blade Runner. Rather than give you straight out answers, I’ve constructed a series of leading questions (with links to where you can read up on the answer). You can use this as the basis for your notes on Blade Runner’s context.

Of particular importance (should definitely discuss it in your essay) are environmental issues, capitalism and film noir. The others are just extra contextual issues that you can add in (for bonus points, if you will).

General

  1. In what time was Blade Runner composed? Answer.

Environmental Issues

Definition:

  1. Environmental concerns became a prominent public issue in the 1970s – 1980s. Read more.

Characterised by:

  1. What was there a growing awareness of?
  2. How was nature perceived?

Links to Blade Runner:

  1. What features in the BR setting reflect these concerns?
  2. How does Scott’s film techniques emphasise the environmental degradation?

“Capitalism”

Definition:

  1. What is capitalism? Answer.

Characterised by:

  1. What types of people and organisation rule in a capitalist society?
  2. How is wealth distributed across a capitalist society? Is is even or skewed?
  3. What is the most important value in capitalism?

Links to Blade Runner:

  1. Is the society in BR a capitalist one? How do you know?
  2. What is Scott’s opinion of capitalism?
  3. Find 2 quotes of Tyrell, which reflect capitalist attitudes.
  4. How is consumerism symbolised in BR?

Keywords:

wealth, money, materialism, consumerism, commercialism, corporations, businesses, multinational, globalisation, power, elitism, inequality, economy

“Reaganism”

Definition:

  1. What is Reaganism? Answer and Answer.
  2. How does it relate to capitalism?

Characterised by:

  1. In Reaganism, did private businesses or the government possess more power?
  2. What happened to government services under Reagan’s policies?

Links to Blade Runner:

  1. What is Scott’s opinion of Reaganism?
  2. How is the “private wealth” and “public squalor” created by Reaganism reflected in the film?

Keywords:

public, private, businesses, corporations, government, control, regulation

“Asianisation”

Definition:

  1. What is asianisation? Answer.

Characterised by:

  1. Why do Western countries fear asianisation?
  2. What are populations like in Asian countries?
  3. What languages would be spoken in “asianised” societies?

Links to Blade Runner:

  1. Which scene illustrates the “asianisation” of the Blade Runner society?

Keywords:

industralisation, invasion

“Film Noir”

Definition:

  1. What is film noir? Answer.

Characterised by:

  1. What types of characters are film noir?
  2. What settings are typically film noir?
  3. What are some film noir themes?

Links to Blade Runner:

  1. Which BR characters are stereotypically film noir?
  2. What elements of the BR setting are film noir?
  3. Why has Scott used film noir characters and elements?

Keywords:

industralisation, invasion

Cyber Punk

Definition:

  1. What is cyber punk? Answer.

Characterised by:

  1. What types of characters are cyber punk?
  2. What settings are typically cyber punk?
  3. What are some cyber punk themes?

Links to Blade Runner:

  1. In what ways does BR reflect the cyber punk genre?

Keywords:

artificial intelligence, megacorporations, dystopia

1 comment for “Blade Runner: Context – Quick Questions

  1. Olivia
    July 21, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Hi! Thanks so much for providing these resources. I am currently in Year 12, and I have really enjoyed using your guide to studying this module. I’ve actually found this information on context fascinating, and I am sure that your direction has significantly benefited my performance in English!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *