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space odyssey

space odyssey

If only you could see what I've seen with your eyes

4y ago


For my video essay assignment I finally completed my long overdue video discussion of the motif of eyes in Ridley Scott‘s Blade Runner (1982). I love how visually lush Blade Runner is when it comes to themes, motifs, and larger ethical questions about the human condition. Where Stanley Kubrik’s 2001: A Space Odyssey was a sterile vision of the future punctuated by a monolithic jump in universal consciousness—Blade Runner is a gritty, retro-fitted struggle over creation. The realities of exploited bodies, exploited labor, and the exploited environment takes on new dimensions when the underlying sanctity of humanity is problematized—and it for me is the very themes that made the HBO series The Wire so compelling: how our culture has dehumanized the people within it. The film marks the commerce of the human soul on a whole different level, one wherein humanity itself is purely a product. And for that reason alone there are few more horrific visions of the future than Blade Runner, but all the while it is laced with poetry and a sense of hope, however meager. Signs of the highest achievement in my mind. Anyway, I really wanted to keep this video essay short and somewhat conversational. I noticed a pause a lot when talking, and I had to do a bit of editing to work that done. This commentary was a first pass, and it is really focused on the motif of the eyes. I was even able to expand out top the questions of replicants as labor, exploitation, the environment, etc. Nonetheless, I do enjoy how focused this essay can be, and hopefully it brings out how rich can be with extended visual metaphors that in many ways take over the film through the camera. Once you start thinking about the motif of eyes in Blade Runner it is kind of hard to stop, and for me that syas something powerful, or does it show something powerful?