Blade Runner (1982)

Posted by brian

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Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner magnificently set the stage for aesthetics, culture and historical significance in the film industry. Filmed in 1982, Blade Runner is a movie way ahead of its time and influences many art forms today. Jordan Cronenweth, the cinematographer of the film, was picked to help Scott achieve elements reminiscent of Citizen Kane: high contrast, rays of light, and unusual camera angles. The duo accomplished such a feat in creating a unique, futuristic Los Angeles. Smoke, fog, rain, and backlighting were all used to bring life to the overpopulated, run-down city. Because the story is set in the future, the lighting setup does not incorporate the straight forwardness seen in contemporary films. To create additional light, neon signs, glowing umbrella tubes, and hovering advertising blimps were incorporated into the scenes. Although many lighting techniques were used, the main lighting characteristic is the use of warm soft uplight in the foreground with hard backlight and background smoke. Scott chose to use anamorphic lenses for Blade Runner, which causes a film to have a distorted perspective, causing lines to converge. Much of the close-ups and even medium shots had shallow depth of field, causing extreme foregrounds and backgrounds to lose clarity. The Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in 1993.

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Posted on October 12, 2009 at 4:41pm

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