The modernist movement Essay

Research Proposal Commentary

‘Blade Runner 1982 – Ridley Scott ‘

Postmodernism, after the modernist motion, is a term now about as ‘ubiquitous, disliked and misunderstood as its parent, the modern ‘ ( Jencks, C, p.14 ) . It is a reaction to modernism, an aesthetic, to seek and depict alterations to conditions and establishments by the drawing of ‘attention to conventions ‘ ( Oxford, 2009 ) .

Throughout this commentary I will explicate how my chosen movie of treatment ‘Blade Runner ‘ 1982, directed by Ridley Scott, is relevant to the postmodern epoch.I have chosen Blade Runner as the object for survey as it is one of my favorite movies ; I feel it engages artistically and complexly with the issue of postmodernism. It is around the subject of individuality I consider the movie best represents non merely its apprehension of postmodernity but besides its connexion with postmodernism, ‘as the construction of feeling of late capitalist economy ‘ ( McGuigan, 1992, p.221 ) .The metropolis of Blade Runner is relevant to the postmodern epoch, as it highlights the representation of post-industrial decay ; it is non the ultra-modern but instead the postmodern metropolis. The metropolis represents an aesthetic of decay, uncovering the procedure of ‘disintegration ‘ – what could be seen as the ‘dark side of engineering ‘ ( Giuliana, B ) . Recycling, eroding and the detonation of boundaries help reenforce this postmodern aesthetic in Blade Runner. ‘Post-industrialism ‘ , ‘spatial dealingss ‘ , ‘urban decay ‘ , ‘pastiche ingestion ‘ and ‘time ingestion ‘ are five recognized postmodern issues I find to be represented within Blade Runner.

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Post-industrialism is clearly embodied in Blade Runners Tyrell Corporation ( the chief concern company within the movie ) . The movie mentions alterations in the dominant manner of production and the administration of concern, which could be called ‘advanced corporate capitalist economy ‘ ( Davis, 1992 ) . 1.Harvey 1989 provinces how ‘flexible accretion ‘ creates the postmodern economic actuality of ‘overwhelming corporate power ‘ : Blade Runner is inundated with advanced engineering, from hover autos, big electronic advertizements on Colonel Blimps to videophones, the drive force behind the post-industrial society making this power.In footings of spacial dealingss, postmodernity is characterised by category polarization, with the wealthy and the hapless going increasingly more socially isolated from each other. This relationship makes itself apparent in the ‘concrete ‘ spacial dealingss of postmodern metropoliss, like Los Angeles ( 2.

Harvey, 1989 ) . This is made evident with the architectural mise-en-scene in Blade Runner, peculiarly with the massive tusk tower of Tyrell, ruling the urban landscape of the hapless, portraying a hierarchal category division.One of the most clearly presented conditions of postmodernity in Blade Runner is clip compaction, the result of increased ingestion and exchange on the experience of clip. Bringing with it an accent of capriciousness and ‘volatility ‘ ( 2.Harvey, 1989 ) , the postmodern society is required to go accustomed to the demands of flexible accretion.

This is relevant with the replicant characters in Blade Runner, who are forced to populate in ‘disconnected temporalty ‘ ( Bruno, G 1990 ) . It is this deficiency of safe ‘temporal continuity ‘ represented within Blade Runner ( Jameson, 1985 ) from neurotic preoccupation of its characters with single yesteryears to ageing diseases that makes the movie postmodern.Another issue represented within Blade Runner, which is considered another postmodern concern, is urban decay. Bruno states the velocity and growing of development brings its ain rapid inescapable decease and decay. Blade Runner portrays a post-industrial decaying hereafter of Los Angeles, opposed to the familiar perceptual experience of ultra-modernity ( shown within sci-fi movies in the 1950 ‘s ) . It emphasises the consequence of de-concentration with the consequence of in-migration known as ‘geographical supplantings and condensations ‘ ( Bruno, 1990 ) . As the upper category persons vacate huge countries of the metropolis, the hapless and immigrants so can utilize these countries. Blade Runners ‘Off World settlements ‘ could be a symbolic extension in the tendency to resign a metropolis in support of the commuter land of home-based work, as a Colonel Blimp advertises “A opportunity to get down once more! ”Equally good as the issue of urban decay being a postmodern issue within Blade Runner, there is besides pastiche ingestion.

This is where the postmodernist civilization and postmodern socio-economics links start to be revealed as ‘difficult and uneven ‘ ( Connor, 1989 ) . In the movie, the usage of medley images and past/present manners is portrayed peculiarly in the mixture of architectural designs within the urban landscape, as Bruno states it is a ‘pastiche metropolis ‘ . An illustration of this medley in Blade Runner is where Rachael played by actress Sean Young is dressed in 1940 ‘s public-service corporation vesture intermixing the infinite age of the 1960 ‘s. An architectural illustration is the manner of the ‘retro ‘ saloon where Deckard ( Harrison Ford ) finds Zhora ( Joanna Cassidy ) .These points I have outlined uncover how Blade Runner is considered to be relevant to the postmodern epoch, utilizing postmodern theoretical mentions. However, they are non the lone mention points between Blade Runner and postmodernism. The Film besides portrays elements of ‘hyperreality ‘ and ‘simulacra ‘ , which I will discourse within the essay.


  • Jencks, C.

    ( 1996 ) . “What is Postmodernism? ” . Published by Academy Press ; 4 edition ( June 13, 1996 )

  • Oxford Dictionary. ( 2009 ) . “Postmodernism” . Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: //www.askoxford.

    com/concise_oed/postmodernism? view=uk [ Accessed 28/10/09 ]

  • McGuigan, J. ( 1992 ) . ‘Anomie of the people ‘ . In Cultural Populism. London: Routledge.

  • Giuliana, B. ( 1987 ) . ‘Ramble City: Postmodernism and Blade Runner ‘ . Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: //www. [ Accessed 28/10/09 ]

  • Davis, M.

    ( 1992 ) . ‘City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles ‘ . London: Vintage.

  1. Harvey, D. ( 1989 ) . ‘Flexible accretion through urbanisation: contemplations on “Post-Modernism” in the American metropolis ‘ .

    In The Urban Experience. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

  2. Harvey, D. ( 1989a ) .

    ‘Time-space compaction and the postmodern status. In The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change ‘ . Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

  3. Bruno, G. ( 1990 ) . ‘Ramble metropolis: postmodernism and Blade Runner ‘ .

    In A. Kuhn ( ed. ) , Alien Zone: Cultural Theory and Contemporary Science Fiction Cinema. London: Verso.

  4. Jameson, F. ( 1985 ) . ‘Postmodernism and consumer society ‘ .

    In H. Foster ( ed. ) , Postmodernist Culture.

    London: Pluto Press.

  5. Connor, S. ( 1989 ) . ‘Postmodernities. In Postmodernist Culture: An Introduction to Theories of the Contemporary ‘ . Oxford: Blackwell.

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