What makes film noir film noir? It’s not just a black & white private eye movie; the Nick and Nora movies aren’t noir, but No Country for Old Men
What makes film noir film noir? It’s not just a black & white private eye movie; the Nick and Nora movies aren’t noir, but No Country for Old Men kind of is. Noir isn’t a genre as much as a tone of voice. Find a movie about the seedy underbelly of something, with ethical ambiguity, erotic tension, unanswered questions, and an interesting visual interplay of light and darkness — you’re probably watching a noir movie. But Blade Runner has another little stylistic derringer tucked away in its boot: as so many classic noir films were based on the novels of writers like Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, Blade Runner is based on a novel by science fiction titan Philip K. Dick.
Dick loved to write about the boundaries of humanity and how those boundaries are crossed or dissolved; with Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (the source material for the movie), he wasn’t satisfied just talking about androids. He wanted to explore the mind of an android, how it would feel, what it would want — and whether humans would really know the difference. That ambiguity is perfectly suited to film noir, especially situated in a detective story, and coupled with Ridley Scott’s unforgettable science-fiction world-building (as well as the performances of Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, and the rest of the cast), it makes Blade Runner an undisputed classic. Immediately after the film, Tampa Theatre’s own James DeFord will lead a short discussion of Blade Runner and an audience Q&A. The session is included with film admission.