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Frankenstein and Bladerunner

  • Date Submitted: 03/08/2014 10:34 PM
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HSC English (Advanced)
Module A: ‘Texts in Time’
Frankenstein and Blade Runner

BLADE RUNNER (Ridley Scott, Warner Bros., 1982)

Analysis of key scenes and links to Frankenstein

The composers of Blade Runner have forged deliberate connections with Frankenstein, a text that has attained a mythical status in contemporary culture. If the purpose of myth is to explore issues of critical importance to a particular society, then Blade Runner’s re-engagement with the concerns of Frankenstein (which is in turn a reconceptualising of the Greek myth of Prometheus) suggests the values of the earlier text remain relevant. The film does, however, re-present Frankenstein’s core values in order to redefine them in ways more accessible to a modern audience.

Both texts examine and question man’s engagement with the discourse of science. Proceeding from contexts in which science is assumed to bring universal benefit to man, the texts challenge this assumption, representing an ambivalent attitude towards man’s scientific and creative undertakings. The texts expose and reject the divorce of scientific and moral discourses, valuing instead a moral and ethical approach to all aspects of human endeavour; indeed the texts value moral compassion as the defining characteristic of humanity, ironically revealed by the artificially created beings of both texts.

In addition to connections via genre (science fiction), allusion and imagery, both stories develop from the following plot lines:
• An intelligent person assuming a god-like role and using scientific knowledge to create life
• Abandonment and mistreatment of these created beings
• Responder developing, ironically, greater sympathy for the created beings than for the creator

  1. The establishing sequence (DVD Chapter 2)
The film’s narrative begins with a soundscape that is heavily digitised and ominous, overlayed with written text on black screen. The text introduces the central conflict of the film and...

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