Ridley Scot on Bladerunner and Frankenstein
Ridley Scot on Bladerunner and Frankenstein
Interviewer: Ridley Scot, thank you for taking the time to talk to us about your movie Blade Runner. It is quite an interesting film that raises a lot of issues and certainly makes us as an audience think and question out morality and our values. Ridley Scot: Well any great movie or film should indeed raise awareness to present day issues don’t you think? Interviewer: Indeed they should. And is that what you felt you should do with Bladerunner is raise awareness to the issues that you felt are predominant at the time?
In watching Bladerunner I couldn’t help but notice the scope of the issues that you presented to the audience from environmental, personal, and political. The list goes on, so why did you choose to play upon these issues and fears? Ridley Scot: Those are ones that are close to my heart, being raised in a world where I was confronted daily by the fears of others in society in regards to war of nuclear weapons and the effect these would have on the environment and on humanity.
I was constantly imagining all of the various scenarios that could arise due to such weapons of mass destruction being used, But also the wonders and fears of space exploration, the search for other life forms and the search for another planet that we as humans could utilise. Well it left me wondering. Why do we need another planet? Is it because of the fear of this one being destroyed due to war or was it just out of greed? Interviewer: So I’m guessing that the reasoning behind the environment in which you chose to stage Bladerunner.
The post apocalyptic like environment with dim lighting and long dark shadows being cast, It certainly magnifies the fear of destruction. Not to mention those massive buildings sticking up into the sky and the dirty streets Ridley Scot: ah yes the shadows. The directors and I worked long and hard on creating that feeling of darkness and gloom. I wanted it to feel like the end of the world, and to show the destruction of the environment so what better way to do that than with a dirty city with no trees and little sunshine.
Interviewer: In watching that it really becomes evident your fear of the environment being neglected in pursuit of science and greed, much like Mary Shelley, Author of Frankenstein. Many of her issues that she chose to place emphasis on were the battle between nature or science. Do you feel that this may have been partly the reasoning behind your choice in lighting, set and issues raised.. Ridley Scot: In some ways yes. Mary and I do share many of the same ideas and I was inspired by her writing when filming Bladerunner. I guess we both wanted to raise awareness to the issues of our times.
I feel the one that we both shared and placed high emphasis on would be science and humanity. Interviewer: The great battle between the two. Do you think it is possible to find a balance between them? Ridley Scot: Whether it is possible or not I’m still not sure but I wanted to point out the dangers in taking one too far and disregarding the other. In Frankenstein the problem is Victors and Walton’s greed and obsession with science, much the same as in my movie. The pursuit of science and technology led to the destruction of the world and the disregard of humans.
Interviewer: What do you mean by that? Ridley Scot: The creation of the beings, not quite human yet more human than humans themselves. In the pursuit of science the disregard for humanity, emotions and feelings led to the creation of replicants that were hollow to an extent. They were designed for no purpose other than to serve. Interviewer: Human greed Ridley scot: exactly yet in the pursuit to always reach beyond what has already been accomplished they created Rachel, who had emotions and feelings so human Interviewer: That even Deckard couldn’t tell she wasn’t a replicant.
Ridley scot: That was a very important thing to show, how human she was despite being a replicant. What better way to show this than with camera angles? The conventions of film noir that I wanted to utilise here were the close up and zooming of her face in response to questions Deckard asked her and the use of film recording instruments to look into her eyes. We all know eyes are the gateway to the soul. Interviewer: But she is a replicant, they aren’t supposed to be human, contain emotion or have a soul?
Ridley scot: Ah you see but I believe a soul does not actually determine humanity, in the end isn’t Rachel more human than many of the humans themselves? Much like the creature in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, only she cannot use film to show this Interviewer: No but thankfully being raised in the romantic era and writing with influence of Romanticism Mary wrote with such expressive language, and her literary influences being included into the creatures own readings was brilliant in creating the human emotions within the creature himself. Ridley scot: I was inspired by her descriptive writing.
How she could get so much across without pages and pages of dialogue. I felt that if I could do the same with Bladerunner through cinematic techniques then it would be more efficient in getting my messages across to the audience. That’s why in intense scenes, like that of the Death of Zhora there is no dialogue just raw emotions. Interviewer: The raw emotions are evident. The slow motion camera angles as she smashes through the glass is so powerful the pain on her face is evident as she gets shot and it sends shivers down my spine. Ridley Scot: The slow motion in this scene was very important.
If it went to fast then the magnitude of the scene would be lost so we slowed it all down and the dark, sad, melodic music to the scene as well to provoke more feelings out of the audience. We chose to use a lot of glass to reflect the magnitude of various colours. All of this at once adds for a vary disjointed fragile environment Interviewer: again more styles and conventions of film noir Ridley scot: Well those conventions really helped to heighten the emotions within this scene, Interviewer: And the camera cuts between the two of them, watching Deckard’s Determination to kill Zhora and Zhora’s determination to survive.
Ridley Scot: It certainly makes you question doesn’t it? After this pursuit of science and the disregard for humanity, nature, and the change in beliefs and values in the creation of these replicants who are not supposed to show emotions or feeling- Such important aspects of humanity. who in this scene ends up showing the most humanity? Interviewer: I guess we all have to take a moment to think and reassess our values now don’t we. Thankyou Ridley for taking the time to speak with us about your inspirations and intentions behind Bladerunner, It has been a pleasure.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 27 October 2016
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