BLADE RUNNER (1982 Original) Cinematography Review & Thoughts vs the New Version (2049)

Something I’ve been wanting to work on for a long time:

A comparison between the original Blade Runner vs the New One (2049).

Some thoughts:

They are two different movies

First things first — if you compare the original version to the new one, they are totally different movies. The first feels like a cyber-punk (film noir, creepy vibes) versus the new one — which is much more about solitude, isolation, meaning of life.

The cinematography

The original Blade Runner certainly feels superior in terms of evoking the ‘film noir’ vibes. However, I have found far more inspiration in the new Blade Runner 2049 for epic cinematography shots.

The philosophy behind the films

“The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long.”

In the first film, the main issue with the replicants is their limited 4-year lifespan. However the interesting irony:

The upside of all their additional added strength, agility, and super-powers is that their life is very short (4 years).

Philosophically this is a fascinating notion. Question:

Would you rather live 4 insanely epic years of life, or 40 mediocre ones?

Philosophy teaches us that an epic life (no matter how short) is always superior to a long and mediocre one. Yet there still seems to be some deep human desire to always expand our lifespan.

‘All those moments will be lost, like tears in rain’.

One of the most beautiful endings in a film, very poetic. To think — if an android (replicant) can recite or find beauty in poetry — isn’t it human? Takeaway point:

Perhaps to be human is to love, appreciate, and have the desire to create poetry.

Thoughts on memories

A theme explored much on the first blade runner is the notion of memories and what it means to be human. However —

What if your memories are implanted, or perhaps ‘incepted’ in your mind … does it matter?

Or —

Can you be human without memories?

Certainly yes. There are people who easily forget– they are human. Perhaps what I think:

Which memories do you care for and which memories define you?

Thus it is more about the *curation* of memories which matter most!

I prefer the new one

I didn’t grow up to the original blade runner (I was born in 1988). I am grateful I was able to have a ‘carte blanche’ approach to seeing both films again.

Basic thoughts:

  1. The first film feels too creepy for me (especially the scene with the puppet master, and the puppets).
  2. I find the color schemes, the societal expansion of the future in the new blade runner as far more fascinating.
  3. The new blade runner was an *EXPANSION* on the first, and I believe 10x more ambitious than the first movie.
  4. The first movie had more of the ‘shock’ factor in imagining a dystopic future world (I find the opening scene, with the fires coming out of 2019 Los Angeles as the most riveting introductions).

However I say —

Just watch both; both are worthy of admiration and analysis.

And see how visually these films can inspire you!



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