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Croatian film


Blade Runner and film noir,or the problem of a thinking Thing

Gloominess, pessimism and urban anxiety of the cold-war film noir of the American 1950s were reinvented in a futuristic manner in the postmodernist world of Blade Runner. In the first sequence of the film there is a pupil of a lifeless eye floating above the semi-dark polluted metropolis in which chimneys blaze up fire and smoke. The entire film is actually a conflict between two sides: human beings and copies of human beings. Just as private detectives, brutes that are made according to the hardboiled prose, loose their memories in most noir films or their memories are manipulated by some powerful organizations, the Blade Runner replicants also have problems with their memories so as to be as human as possible — they have built-in memories. Just as brazen private detectives in film noir often succumb to the charms of cold and manipulative women, femme fatale, Rick Deckard also gives up his fierce robots' extermination when he meets Rachael, a femme fatale in the anti-utopian world of the near future. A hybrid of science fiction and film noir seems to be the most appropriate model for our postmodernist age, fast technological developments and globalization. If we read Blade Runner from a film noir perspective, issues that in science fiction remain in the sphere of rational get further intensified — the issues of the difference between human and inhuman, what it is that makes us humans. The main focus of the essay is the study of the »thinking Thing« /das Ding/ in Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982) through the film noir prism, in the light of a Lacanian interpretation as offered by Slavoj Žižek.

Mario Vrbančić

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