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Blade Runner (BFI Modern Classics) Paperback – January 22, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: British Film Institute (September 26, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0851706231
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851706238
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.3 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #393,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'There's a lot of material for such a small size so it's worthy of your consideration.' - GF Willmetts, SF Crowsnest

About the Author

Scott Bukatman is Professor of Media Arts at the University of New Mexico.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Boo Cross on August 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is indeed an excellently written "little" book on Blade Runner. I do feel, however, that the material on the film's inception is too drawn-out and that the rather more "interesting" exposition and analysis of the film remains far too cursory. BR deals with a myriad of themes and tropes, such as the recurring EYE theme. Bukatman mentions many instances where EYES occur and mentions a possible significance, but does explore it (or many other themes) in depth, eg. its relation to SCOPOPHILIA or SPECTATORSHIP, etc. Admittedly, it is small pocket-sized book, and it is worth the money, but if you desire an in-depth analysis of the film, this is not the book to purchase IMHO.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dash Manchette VINE VOICE on November 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
Like many movies reviewed in the British Film Institute series, Blade Runner did not start off strong at the box office. Coming on the heels of Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Blade Runner offered movie goers a much bleaker view than they had complacently grown accustomed to in the few years preceding its release. Instead of cute aliens and a disco-inspired cantina, we got rebellious androids who kill humans and bounty hunters who hunt them down in the street of a Los Angeles that looks like the earth split open and vomitted upward.

Although this dark vision of the near future might not have resonated with viewers at the time, Blade Runner gained its audience over time as people saw through the surface and started asking some deeper questions. This volume by Scott Bukatman addresses some of these issues as well.

This book is broken down into three parts, the first of which is a general overview of the making of the movie. It is the next two sections, however, that are more interesting, although Bukatman has a tendency to digress into typical movie analysis babble that will probably be offputting to most potential readers. Fortunately, this does not undermine the better parts of this book.

The second section discusses the role that cities themselves have played in cinema and how Blade Runner taps into and contributes to that history. For much of science fiction, cities were places of potential utopia in the perfected world of the future. Of course, darker versions existed and Blade Runner itself is a return to a more dystopian vision.

The best is saved for last as the third section discusses replicants (the androids in the movie) and addresses the issue of what really makes humans human.
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By Anna Clair on September 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think that this movie is loaded with symbolism and it takes more than one sitting to catch all of the references. It definitely relays a message about government and religion, as well as human nature. I am certain that there could be an entire college course, just studying this movie. I can't say that the movie is entertaining or pleasant to watch, but it is definitely a classic.
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Format: Paperback
I have only one criticism of this otherwise outstanding exploration of BLADE RUNNER: it is a tad slow in getting to the best bits. While all of it is informative and insightful, the last quarter contains some of the best film criticism I've read in a considerable period of time. I love Paul Sammons's FUTURE NOIR, but it is more about the nitty gritty of making the film, while this is instead on what the movie is about. This book does for BLADE RUNNER what Bukatman's book TERMINAL IDENTITY does for cyberpunk and other novels of the eighties dealing with cyber reality. Bukatman's reflections on BLADE RUNNER are as relevant to Philip K. dick's books as to the film.

I want to add a general comment about the target audience for the book. A number of the reviews are by people who are not among the book's target audience. I'm not sure why people would try to review a book that is outside their field. Paul Sammon's book, as excellent as it is, is for a less specialized, more general audience. Someone who recommends that book, as nice as it is, is missing the point of a scholarly assessment of a film. If you aren't in film studies or not comfortable reading scholarly discussions of cinema, you probably shouldn't be reading this book. And it is hardly a criticism of the book in calling it a film studies book when that is precisely what it is. That is like criticizing an atlas because it if filled with maps instead of photographs.

This is an outstanding film criticism book. If that is what you want, you will absolutely not be disappointed.
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