The 1982 film blade runner for instance directed by

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The 1982 film Blade Runner , for instance, directed by Ridley Scott, is, on the surface, the futuris- tic story of a police officer named Deckard, played by Harrison Ford, whose job is to hunt down “replicants.” They are amazingly lifelike robots that cannot be distinguished from humans with the naked eye; elaborate equipment must be used to identify them. They are used on “off-world” colonies (on other planets) and are illegal on Earth. Officers like Decker hunt them and “retire”
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Romantic Comedy, Musicals, and Documentaries Chapter 4 them, a euphemism for destroying them. He is called in to find members of a particularly danger- ous group of replicants running loose in Los Angeles. The film includes a lot of action and adventure, and in many ways is essentially a film noir detec- tive film set in the future, but to the careful observer clear themes emerge. Chief among these is the idea of identity, and what it means. Who is real? Who is not? Is Decker himself a replicant? Scott revisits this question throughout the course of the film, which also looks at the role technol- ogy plays in our lives. Of course, one not need recognize these themes to enjoy the movie (which divided critics when it was released but has since become recognized as a classic not just of the genre but of all film), but Scott provides them for those seeking a fuller experience. This is true of many science-fiction films, including The War of the Worlds , 2001: A Space Odyssey , and Alien , among many, many others. 4.4 Romantic Comedy, Musicals, and Documentaries A discussion of popular film genres would not be complete without examining romantic com- edies, musicals, and documentaries. While there is perhaps less crossover between these genres, all have played an important role in the history of film. Romantic Comedy Perhaps the least flexible of all the genres, the romantic comedy is somewhat limited by the scope of what it attempts to accomplish—bringing two people together. There are many ways for this to happen, and many comedic obsta- cles to be placed before them, but the goal remains the same. The rest is just window dressing. At its most basic, the romantic comedy plot involves a romance that leads to comic situations, although lately the term has come to mean almost exclusively a film in which a hapless female protago- nist finds love despite all manner of kooky odds against it. These frequently have ini- tial popularity with audiences but fade rather quickly and are marketed almost exclusively toward female audiences. Often these films are best described as “cute.” Modern audiences may think of the latest Sandra Bullock or Jennifer Aniston film as typical of the romcom , as the genre is often abbreviated, but there are other examples to sample for study. The romantic comedy has spawned subgenres, such as the sex comedy (with its own subgenre, the teen sex comedy) and the screwball comedy, popular in the 1930s and 1940s, in which madcap hijinks happen to couples falling in love.
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  • Fall '10
  • RichardBair
  • Film genres, films

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