This week has been a long time coming… Those who’ve known me for awhile are well aware of my obsession with the 1982 film Blade Runner. Ridley Scott’s vision of the future was a cinematic breakthrough, and many agree that no film since has matched its layered, detailed depiction of a breathtaking, cluttered dystopia. This week at Mirror80, we’ll delve into the world of this sci-fi masterpiece, exploring its look, including both costume and set design (and ways to incorporate its style into fashion and interior design). Get ready to revel in the cyberpunk, tech noir wonder that is Blade Runner!
The film’s plot involves genetically engineered robots that are virtually identical to humans. These “replicants” begin to develop their own emotional responses, consequently finding their “off-world” existence of slave labor less than satisfying. When several replicants travel to Earth in search of an antidote to their built-in four-year life span, police operative Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is summoned to terminate them. But that’s just the beginning! Here are a few images for inspiration…
While other actresses were in the running for the role of Rachael, a replicant implanted with false memories, we can’t imagine anyone as stunning or quirky as Sean Young for the part:
Rachael’s look was heavily influenced by 1940s fashion, which made perfect sense for a film with roots in ’40s film noir. Speaking of influence, can you spot the Frank Lloyd Wright-modeled panels behind Harrison Ford in the still below? More on those panels later in the week.:
Some say the heart of this film is Rutger Hauer (below, right), whose depiction of replicant leader Roy Batty brought a level of emotion to the genetically engineered beings that outshone the story’s human characters. While initial reviews of Blade Runner used this fact as a point of criticism, the replicants’ three-dimensional personalities and strong desire to live made their plight all the more heartbreaking. It’s clear that Ridley Scott new exactly what he was doing when it came to the character development, pacing and visuals of the story…
…which is why I feel compelled to mention that we’ve lightened the bottom three stills for this blog post in order to make character details more visible to readers. Each frame of this film is a work of art–I’ve seriously never had such an easy time getting screen shots for blog posts. And one can’t alter a work of art without at least acknowledging why!
Join us all week as we continue to explore the world that is Blade Runner’s Los Angeles of 2019, a beautiful nightmare filled with unforgettable fashion and complex interiors.