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Frankenstein & Blade Runner ~ Essay

Frankenstein & Blade Runner ~ Essay

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Published by: julesshorty on Mar 07, 2012
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Frankenstein & Blade Runner ~ Essay In the movement from the context of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley to Blade Runner directed by Ridley Scott, Romanic individuality (the questor) gives way to a postmodern subjectivity (the inquirer) in the early 21st century, as abjection and otherness gives way to empathy and kinship in recognition of fundamentally constructed nature, the artificiality of-modern existence and science. In a modern context, we lose a nostalgic connection to origins, gaining sympathy for the replica and establish that humanity is truly defined no longer by a biological or technological question, but rather a moral and philosophical one. It is changes of emphasis of this kind that alert us to the fact that, while deeply conscious of Frankenstein, Blade Runner evokes the earlier text not with the intention of adapting it but rather of reengaging with the issues it raises in an altered cultural context. What gives each of these texts its power, is the way the creators have anchored their vision in the social and cultural realities of their time.

During the ‘meeting’ scenes in both texts, where creation meets creator, there is a question placed upon the nature of humanity, in what means humanity is defined and the need for parental responsibility and the consequences of its absence within each context. Scott’s low angle camera shot, panning upwards, focuses upon the power and dominance of the pyramid, highly futuristic cityscape and worldspace of the 21st century, along with deep drum percussions of the soundtrack, creates a sense and mood of foreboding - written into the mise-en-scene, for the society it depicts is the questionable effect of two centuries of industry, technology and moral indifference. In spectacular postmodern display, the world of the film actualises the one envisaged figuratively by Victor, setting in place the inhuman spring of perhaps fatally threatening the natural order. Within the novel’s concentricity, Victor forsees the aquirement of knowledge as dangerous in aspiring “…to become greater than his nature will allow…”, but regardless, follows the importance of discovery to “..unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation.”. Scott’s use of symbolic connotations of wisdom and witchcraft, one eye of the replicant owl glows, symbolising the shift in power dominance from creator to creation, upon Tyrell’s death. The dark, tense, shadowy and mysterious film noir atmosphere of this scene is created with the flickering light of candles, which also links to a Christian/religious allusion, representing Tyrell as the ‘priest-like’ creator; “The light that burns half as long, burns twice as bright, and you have burned so very very brightly, Roy.”, usurping God’s Divine prerogative of creation. Especially when claiming Roy as, “…the prodigal son…”, this concept parallels the Promethean myth of Shelley’s text, Victor’s own scientific hubris, lack of parental responsibility and compassion for his creation. In similarity to Frankenstein’s creation, Roy seeks fatal revenge upon his creator, by gouging out his eyes. Scott’s notion of the eye portrays a repeated cinematographic visual motif as the ‘window to the soul’, a symbolic aspect of defining genuine humanity within a postmodernist context. Tyrell is positioned on the left of the camera framing, with Roy on the right, representing the past and future respectively; representing a shift in power superiority towards creation over creator in a modern context.

free online resources from theschoolforexcellence at www.tsfx.com.au

With artificial creation of life. where truth and beauty are derived through nature. What gives each of these texts its power. This concept is best illustrated within Shelley’s use of paradoxy. Shelley alludes her story and characters to parallel the Modern Prometheus myth and the “arch-fiend”. her worldview and her writings. obey. representing a Christian symbolised peace and ultimate transcendence. but has resorted to destruction and evil.com. had a significant parental influence on Shelley herself. he releases a dove which rises above him in a low-angle camera shot. free online resources from theschoolforexcellence at www. Both texts portray importance concerning the ultimate responsibility of the parent (creator) to the child and consequential destruction in lacking parental nurture. just as Shelley when she first mused on the dark possibilities that might arise from the troubling combination of aspiration and arrogance in the scientific hubris and the destructive results of uncontrolled science addressed in the modern text. Conventional lines of authority and responsibility are derailed beyond the boundaries of contextual Romantic ego-identity. expressing a philosophical humanity within a modern contextual acceptance of the replicant soul. is the way the creators have anchored their own vision in the social and cultural realities of their time. the Prometheus myth represents the monster as the fallen angel (Satan).Therefore.tsfx. Blade Runner evokes the earlier Frankenstein by reengaging with a concept of defining humanity in a new and altered cultural context. As Roy dies. but rather a moral and philosophical one. Both texts possess an underlying textual motif. It is changes of emphasis within contextual values and worldviews that. modern consequences of uncontrolled science and scientific hubris is aligned with Victor’s egocentricity and introduction of contrary principles of artifice and replication into a world of authenticity. “You are my creator. once possessing the will to pursue goodness and kindness. where Roy begins as ‘the fallen angel’ but shows a sympathetic and compassionate nature towards Deckard at the end of the film. Both of Shelley’s parents had very strong social sensibilities and had written about the responsibility of the state to the people and the parent to the child and thus. but I am your master. Scott also reflects the Promethean myth with replicant Roy (Luciferian/Romanitic rebel) and his creator Tyrell (central Promethian figure).” From a Christian perspective. Shelley and Scott similarly incorporate literary and religious contextual allusions reflecting the beliefs and worldviews of their times.au . inverting the moral progress of humanity when compared to the creature in Frankenstein. Scott’s technologically futuristic setting and visionary film noir elements figuratively express a long history of gothic aesthetics. where Scott represents the myth within cinematography techniques portraying Greek and Christian symbolic allusions. Humanity is truly defined no longer by a biological or technological question.

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