Evan Puschak, or "The Nerdwriter" on YouTube, recently posted a probing and highly articulate video essay on Ridley Scott’s "Blade Runner." In it, he manages to address, quite fluidly, many of the most significant themes and accomplishments of a film that, for many people, is an aesthetic ground zero, a point of measurement for all other science fiction films to follow. I’m tremulous on science fiction films, and not entirely confident in Scott’s films (the greatness of Alien, Thelma and Louise, and Prometheus aside), but Blade Runner‘s many virtues aren’t lost on me, and it’s a thrill to watch them elucidated here: the stormy, overcast, dark-lit mood, which has practically been unequalled since the film’s release; Harrison Ford’s impressive performance, which Puschak highlights by focusing on a little-noticed exchange Deckard has with a liquor store clerk, and making us watch the pathos in his expression; and the intensity of the clash between old and new, as in one scene where a replicant leads Deckard down a dark alleyway, just missing a group of bicyclists. Bicyclists? Here? In 2019 Los Angeles? There are no shortage of homages to this well-covered film, but this piece is certainly one which brings home Scott’s skill at its best.
Watch: A Video Essay on Ridley Scott’s Lyrical Vision of Modernity in BLADE RUNNER