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Blade Runner (Scott) + Brave New World (Huxley) Analysis When Humanity Loses Touch With Nature Speech To Environmental Forum.

1043 words - 4 pages

Hello everyone and welcome to the inaugural forum of the "Walk on the Wild Side" group of environmentalists. Our goal here is to protect the natural environment and the integrity of human nature from the destructive potential of science and technology.My opening address will focus on two creative works composed by artists who share our concerns.Aldous Huxley expressed his concern about the growing power and influence of science in the word after the First World War. His satirical novel, "Brave New World" created a dystopia designed to warn of the possible damage to humanity from mass production, totalitarianism, sexual promiscuity and drug use which were appearing at the time, the 1920's.More recently Ridley Scott used his film "Blade Runner", to highlight the destructive forces present the 1980's. He shared the concerns of the environmental green movement, that the planet and its inhabitants were under threat from pollution, the growing power of multinational companies and experiments in genetic engineering.Both artists used the science fiction genre to create worlds where unrestrained science has degraded human nature and destroyed or devalued the natural world. Both warn us of the dehumanising power of science in a society dominated by a powerful individual. Mustapha Mond, one of the world controllers has complete power over the lives of civilians in England A.F 632, while Dr Tyrell heads the giant corporation which is the ruling power of Los Angeles. Science is used as a weapon for social control.Huxley's use of pseudo-scientific language in the opening scenes helps to give a sense of authenticity to the fictional processes taking place in the Central London Hatchery. Viviparous birth and motherhood are seen as obscenities and have been replaced by Bokanovsky's Process. This method produces "standard men and women in uniform batches" and is the basis of the caste system. Mustapha Mond explains, that to ensure "social stability" "the optimum population is modeled on the iceberg- eight ninths below the waterline, one ninth above". Conditioning and hypnopaedia are used to complete the process of total state control by eliminating individuality and self-determination.In Ridley Scott's futuristic Los Angeles, human life has been degraded by poverty and environmental damage. The residents of the city are shabby and constantly shuffling through the rain washed, darkened streets caused by industrialisation. Techniques of film noir are skillfully used to suggest a dying planet and dangerous city. Interiors are dim and smoky and Deckard, wearing his trench coat, hunts for replicants in his role as a blade runner. Here too, science has created artificial life "more human than human". The human characters appear to have lost touch with human nature and ironically it is the replicant Roy Batty that shows any real compassion in the film.What's interesting today is that both composers have a negative view of the products of this scientific experimentation....

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