martes, 10 de octubre de 2017

Blade Runner 2049 – and why eyes are so important in this vision of the future |MercatorNet| October 10, 2017 |MercatorNet|

Blade Runner 2049 – and why eyes are so important in this vision of the future
|MercatorNet| October 10, 2017 |MercatorNet|

Blade Runner 2049 – and why eyes are so important in this vision of the future

In the original, that's where answers were to be found.
Kevin Hunt | Oct 10 2017 | comment 

Blade Runner 2049: a different world. Allstar/Warner Bros
Even a brief glimpse of Blade Runner 2049 takes you straight into Deckard’s world. Denis Villeneuve’s sequel to Ridley Scott’s sci-fi masterpiece gets the colour palette just right, perfectly capturing the tone of the original.
Achieving the look and feel of the original Blade Runner (1982) is essential because appearances, vision and eyes are key to both the experience and the story.
Blade Runner was ahead of the AI curve when it made sci-fi arguments about identity and philosophy a mainstream concern. Is Deckard a replicant? Do androids have souls? What makes us human?
In the original, seeking answers was all about looking at the eyes. The film’s Voight-Kampff “empathy test”, used by the Blade Runners to identify replicants, now has its own special place in popular culture. The striking image of a glorious blue iris reflecting fire and light has become a cinematic icon; and Rutger Hauer’s emotional final lines when his character, Roy Batty, succumbs to death are a sublime moment in film history:
I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.
Time to die.
And now Blade Runner 2049 appears primed to expand the exploration of eyes and identity with mind-bending visuals. In the neon flashes and noirish glimmers, Jared Leto’s character, Niander Wallace, muses on the act of creating replicants like a blind god. His white irises have a sinister and mysterious beauty, but they also belie any sense of limitation caused by his lack of sight – even though he can’t see, he has the “vision” to create or end life.
David Bowie was actually Villeneuve’s first choice for the Niander Wallace role. Seen as an influence upon Blade Runner “in many ways”, the late singer was also well-known for his distinctive mismatched eyes that gave him an otherworldly persona – an affect Leto created in his own way with “custom made contact lenses that turned his eyes totally opaque”.
Eye spy
Cinema has often used eyes as a visual code for character and morality. Traditionally, damaged eyes tend to represent “baddies” and corruption – suggesting an off-kilter world seen in a dark and dangerous way. The vicious scar Donald Pleasence has around his right eye as a highly memorable Ernst Blofeld in You Only Live Twice (1967) helps to make him an enduring Bond villain.
The Oscar winning Chinatown (1974), meanwhile, is full of cracked lenses, broken glasses and other means of distorting vision – ending with the disturbing shot of Faye Dunaway, as Evelyn Mulwray, with her eye socket blown apart by a bullet.
And as Carl Fogarty in A History of Violence (2005), Ed Harris relishes showing his scar tissue to the camera as he recalls his eye being ripped out with barbed wire.
Cinema also has its fair share of “old crones” with cataracts setting curses (Drag Me to Hell); blind priests who have forsaken their faith (Father Spiletto in The Omen), and “mutants” with unusual eyes spying on unwitting victims (The Hills Have Eyes).
Computers and robots add a different twist to this psychopathology. The calm red lens of HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968); Yul Brenner’s blank metallic eyes in Westworld (1973), and the persistent red dot shining out of Arnie’s silver skull in the original Terminator (1984) all project fear through a sense of the uncanny.
If the thought of a non-human consciousness glimpsed through the eye as a “window to the soul” is consistently unnerving, it is because instead of a human connection there is something else there entirely: the terror and wonder of the unknown.
By contrast, heroes are more likely to benefit from enhanced vision. Christopher Reeve’s Superman (1978) famously has X-ray eyes, while Keanu Reeve’s “Neo” in The Matrix (1999)realises his destiny as “The One” only when he can visualise the code world and see how to change its rules from within.
New look
But our changing perception of eyes and how we see them is also visible onscreen. We now have popular blind superheroes like Daredevil, on film (2003) and TV (2015 onwards), and anti-heroes like Elliot in Mr Robot (2015 onwards) who “sees differently” due to a strange combination of dissociative identity disorder and next-level hacker skills. Rami Malek’s starring eyes, somewhere between the unblinking focus of a screen addict and the wide-eyed paranoia of a drug addict, add a mesmeric quality to his performance of Mr Robot’s complex persona.
The ConversationBack in Deckard’s increasingly toxic world, it looks like Niander Wallace is set to become an iconic cinematic villain in a film already seen by some as a masterpiece. His cloudy eyes feel well suited to the shadowy undertones of Blade Runner 2049, while his ability to create artificial intelligence offer a dark vision of the future. However bleak an outlook Blade Runner 2049 might visualise, films that look as good as this make it hard to take your eyes off the screen – and offer a glimpse of our future.
Kevin Hunt, Senior Lecturer in Design, Culture and Context, Nottingham Trent University
This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.


October 10, 2017

Australians have an odd relationship with their country’s First Peoples.

On the one hand, there are constant reminders that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the traditional custodians of the land. There are regular calls to recognise their special place in the Australian Constitution.

Respect, however, has not brought better health, literacy, income, or life expectancy. All of these indices are appalling. The imprisonment rate is about 10 times higher than that for non-indigenous Australians. You can read about one particularly sobering issue in our lead story today.

Nor do these tragic statistics, which bring tears to the eyes of every self-respecting Australian politician, seem to make them more receptive to Aboriginal views on same-sex marriage, as Xavier Symons points out below.

In 2015, a group of indigenous elders presented the Uluru Bark Petition to Parliament protesting against same-sex marriage. Written in Pitjantjatjara, the language spoken around Uluru, it states:

Our continuing cultures and traditions are 1000s of years old and are recognised as the oldest on Earth ... Our Fathers and Mothers are also honoured and form the foundation of our families, clans and systems, and pass down our teachings, our culture, our traditions, from generation to generation. It is therefore an affront to the Aboriginal People of Australia to suggest another definition of marriage.
True, Aboriginals make up only about 3 percent of the population. But surely Australia’s First Peoples deserve to be listened to carefully. Otherwise speeches oozing obsequious respect are mere lip-service. 

Michael Cook
Have Aboriginal people been consulted about same-sex marriage?
By Xavier Symons
Minority voices are being ignored by Australia's Establishment
Read the full article
A town where sexual abuse is a cancer
By Michael Cook
An outback town in Western Australia has a 'staggering' rate of abuse. Why?
Read the full article
Blade Runner 2049 – and why eyes are so important in this vision of the future
By Kevin Hunt
In the original, that's where answers were to be found.
Read the full article
Porn consumers may have relational anorexia
By Reynaldo Rivera
Young people are more likely to use pornography when family relationships are poor.
Read the full article
Can campus rape culture be cured by consent?
By Carolyn Moynihan
The price of hookups may still be too high for both women and men.
Read the full article
‘The new rule is a victory for common sense’
By Sheila Liaugminas
HHS mandate rolled back, Little Sisters exempted, government overreach revealed
Read the full article
A surprise win for the Nobel Prize in Literature
By Jen Webb
Japanese-British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro is a solid choice.
Read the full article
Pope’s critics ignore Ratzinger’s rules for theological discourse
By Dawn Eden Goldsteinand Robert L. Fastiggi
Have they read the guidelines set out in Donum veritatis?
Read the full article
Sometimes it is harder to forgive oneself than to forgive others
By J. Farrell Peternal
Ethan blames himself for his friend's death.
Read the full article

MERCATORNET | New Media Foundation
Suite 12A, Level 2, 5 George Street | North Strathfield NSW 2137 | AU | +61 2 8005 8605

No hay comentarios: