Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

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Roger Ryan
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Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#301 Post by Roger Ryan » Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:58 pm

The original film was initially set in the year 2020 (another eye allusion with it's reference to having "20/20" vision), but Scott felt that was putting too fine a point on the motif and changed the year to 2019.

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Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#302 Post by Feiereisel » Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:45 pm

Lost Highway wrote:
ethan17 wrote:Beyond who it is, why does the film open with that shot?
In the original it is because the Voight-Kampff machine is the device which by recording eye movement, determines whether someone is human or replicant. In this case the eye is Leon's. Blade Runner indicates in the first shot what the entire film will be about. The film returns to eye imagery several times, be that as artificial spare parts, human eyes gouged out or glowing in the dark.

By also starting with a close up of an eye, the sequel obviously refers back to the start of the original. But in this case it's K's eye and much of the film hinges on whether he is a replicant or a human-replicant hybrid. In the sequel the shot is more homage, the sequel doesn't feature the eye as a visual theme the way the original does.
Incidentally, I always took the eye at the beginning of Blade Runner to be Holden's, as he's looking out the window at the beginning of the film. (Which is not to suggest that its owner is particularly essential to its meaning in the overall scope of the film.) As far as 2049 goes--and I'd need to see the film a third time to really lock this down now that it's been three months since I saw it last--the eye at the beginning cannot be K's; the colors do not match, and K's eyes are not open when he first appears in the film.

I disagree slightly with the text emphasized above--while the golden pupil effect is not carried through and it's fair to say that 2049's eye is not totally symbolic in the sense that the film doesn't culminate with a deeply meaningful soliloquy that ties the seeing to human experience (and by extension humanity), eyes and vision are present enough in 2049, especially if "seeing" is equated to understanding, something that directly applies to the detective/procedural tropes employed in both films and is central to 2049's overall meaning.
Eyes/VisionShow
The opening shot; Sapper's eye which is scanned and removed by K; K noticing Rachael's grave; K noticing the maker's mark during the autopsy; Wallace's blindness (and camera-eyes); the memory sphere, which shows a flash of Rachael's eye; Luv's crying; Luv's combat-drone sunglasses (and associated POV shots); K closely examining the wooden horse he finds in the furnace; the one-eyed replicant army; Deckard's statement about Rachael's eyes; K's experience with the giant Joi hologram allowing him to "see" things clearly.
That list could be expanded, too, but the overall point about the eye not necessarily functioning the same way in 2049 is still well-taken and important to note with regard to the film. The eye-as-first-shot may be less literally significant, but it's still very meaningful because the homage also works as shorthand that gives the viewer a sense of how the new film fits with the original. Villenueve is immediately signalling the viewer that they have reentered the Blade Runner universe and establishing that the new film will incorporate and recast elements of the original--even though it uses those shared elements to its own ends.

(The lack of golden pupils also speaks to this. The glow's absence suggests an unspoken--but absolute, owing to Batty's speech--resolution of the first film's question of whether or not replicants are human.)

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Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#303 Post by Lost Highway » Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:59 pm

Feiereisel wrote:
Lost Highway wrote:
ethan17 wrote:Beyond who it is, why does the film open with that shot?
In the original it is because the Voight-Kampff machine is the device which by recording eye movement, determines whether someone is human or replicant. In this case the eye is Leon's. Blade Runner indicates in the first shot what the entire film will be about. The film returns to eye imagery several times, be that as artificial spare parts, human eyes gouged out or glowing in the dark.

By also starting with a close up of an eye, the sequel obviously refers back to the start of the original. But in this case it's K's eye and much of the film hinges on whether he is a replicant or a human-replicant hybrid. In the sequel the shot is more homage, the sequel doesn't feature the eye as a visual theme the way the original does.
Incidentally, I always took the eye at the beginning of Blade Runner to be Holden's, as he's looking out the window at the beginning of the film. (Which is not to suggest that its owner is particularly essential to its meaning in the overall scope of the film.) As far as 2049 goes--and I'd need to see the film a third time to really lock this down now that it's been three months since I saw it last--the eye at the beginning cannot be K's; the colors do not match, and K's eyes are not open when he first appears in the film.

I disagree slightly with the text emphasized above--while the golden pupil effect is not carried through and it's fair to say that 2049's eye is not totally symbolic in the sense that the film doesn't culminate with a deeply meaningful soliloquy that ties the seeing to human experience (and by extension humanity), eyes and vision are present enough in 2049, especially if "seeing" is equated to understanding, something that directly applies to the detective/procedural tropes employed in both films and is central to 2049's overall meaning.
Eyes/VisionShow
The opening shot; Sapper's eye which is scanned and removed by K; K noticing Rachael's grave; K noticing the maker's mark during the autopsy; Wallace's blindness (and camera-eyes); the memory sphere, which shows a flash of Rachael's eye; Luv's crying; Luv's combat-drone sunglasses (and associated POV shots); K closely examining the wooden horse he finds in the furnace; the one-eyed replicant army; Deckard's statement about Rachael's eyes; K's experience with the giant Joi hologram allowing him to "see" things clearly.
That list could be expanded, too, but the overall point about the eye not necessarily functioning the same way in 2049 is still well-taken and important to note with regard to the film. The eye-as-first-shot may be less literally significant, but it's still very meaningful because the homage also works as shorthand that gives the viewer a sense of how the new film fits with the original. Villenueve is immediately signalling the viewer that they have reentered the Blade Runner universe and establishing that the new film will incorporate and recast elements of the original--even though it uses those shared elements to its own ends.

(The lack of golden pupils also speaks to this. The glow's absence suggests an unspoken--but absolute, owing to Batty's speech--resolution of the first film's question of whether or not replicants are human.)
True, it's ambiguous whose eye it is in Blade Runner, but it made sense to me that it would be Leon's as his eyes are about to give him away. I've looked it up and there are conflicting statements, but Scott says it isn't anybody's in particular and it refers to an Orwellian big brother dystopia. Which doesn't make quite sense to me because this dystopia is very different from 1984 with no Big Brother in sight.

I'm not sure characters looking at objects qualifies as eye symbolism, but you are right about Dekkard's statement about Rachael's eyes, which of course is wrong.

In any case, I have seen Blade Runner at least 20 times, but the sequel only once. I'll watch it again when it comes out on Blu-ray here and see whether it will grow on me.

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Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#304 Post by solaris72 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:46 pm

Doesn't make much sense for the eye in 2019 to be Leon's, as it's clearly the eye of someone flying past the flaming smokestacks, the reflections of which move across it. It could be Dave Holden's, if we take the last shot as a sort of temporal ellipse. And I don't find Scott's thematic explanation terribly satisfying either.

I take the eye (whose identity I don't think is terribly important) to be a sort of poetic proem like we get in prophetic writings and similar sorts of things, declaiming what we are about to take in as a piece of visionary art. Like the opening stanza of Blake's Songs of Experience:
William Blake wrote:Hear the voice of the Bard!
Who present, past, and future, sees;
Whose ears have heard
The Holy Word
That walk'd among the ancient trees,
Or like how the Biblical prophets often begin by outlining the circumstances under which they received their visions.

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Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#305 Post by Feiereisel » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:23 pm

Great point, solaris72!

Also yeah, while enjoy Scott's cantankerousness, he's frequently reductive or, at his very worst, simple-minded; he speaks more eloquently in images than in words. Count me among those who think his recent statements regarding 2049 don't reflect his opinions about the film so much as his frustration that, financially speaking, both it and Alien were received with seeming indifference by audiences.

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Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#306 Post by RIP Film » Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:52 pm

Interesting takes. The "floating" eye also strikes me as some sort of comment on postmodern society, there is no 'truth' only different points of view. I like that in both films it is a very subjective shot without clear indicators of who it is, though it does feel a bit like homage in 2049. Granted if it is Dr. Ana's, it sort of makes sense from the perspective of her experiences, bits and pieces of what she's seen, being sowed into all of those replicants, including K.

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Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#307 Post by Big Ben » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:53 pm

It's also possible it's just a throwback to the first film and it's utterly meaningless past that. A visual nod, nothing more. It's a film that in my mind very much succeeds because it keeps in line with the first film so well while somehow standing on it's own.

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Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#308 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:02 am

Villeneuve picked up his third BAFTA nom for Best Director, but the film isn't being nominated for Best Picture. I'll bet my finest wooden horse this only gets technical nominations come Oscar time.

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Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#309 Post by MongooseCmr » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:25 pm

flyonthewall2983 wrote:Villeneuve picked up his third BAFTA nom for Best Director, but the film isn't being nominated for Best Picture. I'll bet my finest wooden horse this only gets technical nominations come Oscar time.

I say much like Fury Road the support of the technical bodies of the academy could get it a Best Picture nom in one of the “lower” spots.

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Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#310 Post by Big Ben » Tue Jan 09, 2018 12:28 pm

I can certainly see them throwing Deakins a bone finally certainly. But with the divisive nature of Hans Zimmer I'm not sure about the music.

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Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#311 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:19 pm

Zimmer has a better shot at being nominated for Dunkirk anyway.

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Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#312 Post by McCrutchy » Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:17 pm

I would love for this to snag a Best Picture nomination thanks to the technical fields voting, but somehow, I'm not sure it will, especially with Dunkirk (the film I want to win) a sure bet for a nomination. I think a lot of the Academy will have whittled it down to Blade Runner 2049 and Dunkirk, and then gone with the latter for obvious reasons (Nolan, war movie, blockbuster, etc.), particularly because I think they will only nominate "popular" films if they're successful. However, in hindsight, I think if Wonder Woman had released in March, Blade Runner 2049 could have done better in the Fury Road slot at the end of spring and the very beginning of the summer, and if WB had released it then, I wonder if it wouldn't have made Fury Road money, and as such, been in the nominations.
Last edited by McCrutchy on Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#313 Post by knives » Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:20 pm

Wonder Woman made much more money than Fury Road.

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Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#314 Post by Ribs » Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:44 pm

I *think* McCrutchy meant Blade Runner for that sentence.

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Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#315 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:18 pm

McCrutchy wrote:I would love for this to snag a Best Picture nomination thanks to the technical fields voting, but somehow, I'm not sure it will, especially with Dunkirk (the film I want to win) a sure bet for a nomination. I think a lot of the Academy will have whittled it down to Blade Runner 2049 and Dunkirk, and then gone with the latter for obvious reasons (Nolan, war movie, blockbuster, etc.), particularly because I think they will only nominate "popular" films if they're successful. However, in hindsight, I think if Wonder Woman had released in March, the film could have done better in the Fury Road slot at the end of spring and the very beginning of the summer, and if WB had released it then, I wonder if it wouldn't have made Fury Road money, and as such, been in the nominations.
Blaming Wonder Woman (roundabout though the argument is) for Blade Runner 2049 not getting a Best Picture nomination is a hilarious reach. And Dunkirk isn't going to win Best Picture. Saved you some time!

Gotta say, all the flop sweat among teenage boys over whether this box office bomb sequel is going to get nominated for Oscars is really not doing much for my desire to ever see it.

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Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#316 Post by McCrutchy » Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:20 pm

Ribs wrote:I *think* McCrutchy meant Blade Runner for that sentence.
Yes, I meant Blade Runner 2049. Sorry for any confusion. I have edited the post accordingly.

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Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#317 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:42 am

Cinematography, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Production Design, and Visual Effects. I bet it'll go away empty-handed.

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Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#318 Post by ng4996 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:12 pm

I highly doubt it'll lose Cinematography. Deakins seems to be far and away the favorite, and has been for a while. Wouldn't be surprised if it took Production Design as well.

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Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#319 Post by MichaelB » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:21 pm

And Deakins has famously gone away empty-handed on innumerable occasions. I suspect this hasn’t gone unnoticed among his voting peers.

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Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#320 Post by McCrutchy » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:34 pm

MichaelB wrote:And Deakins has famously gone away empty-handed on innumerable occasions. I suspect this hasn’t gone unnoticed among his voting peers.
To be fair, though, we could have said the exact same thing several times before, and Blade Runner 2049 is a film that didn't really click with many people. If The Shape of Water wasn't nominated, I could see it happening, but I think the streak will unfortunately continue.

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Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#321 Post by ng4996 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:26 pm

Deakins' work tends to be more subtle. A trait often ignored in most awards categories. I don't think most voters could reconcile choosing his work over things like The Revenant, which is full of technical bravado that is easy to reward. However this year Deakins went big and bold, the right choice for the film, and I think voters will have no problem recognizing it his year.

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Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#322 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:35 pm

ng4996 wrote:Deakins' work tends to be more subtle. A trait often ignored in most awards categories.
Image

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Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#323 Post by matrixschmatrix » Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:49 pm

Skyfall wasn't subtle either
Image

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Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#324 Post by Mr Sausage » Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:05 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:
ng4996 wrote:Deakins' work tends to be more subtle. A trait often ignored in most awards categories.
Image
I think you missed the last sentence of his post.

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Re: Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017)

#325 Post by Ribs » Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:09 pm

I don't like this movie and in particular don't care for Deakins' work in it, but it's a lost cause to pretend like this isn't far-and-away the frontrunner. The movie is very in-your-face about it, which is I think the important criteria to secure a win from the Academy at large.

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