Film Noir Features in Blade Runner and The Matrix
“The Matrix” has a main science fiction theme but also includes
features of film noir films. It is directed and written by Andy and
Larry Wachowski. Other than Science Fiction and film noir the film can
also be classed as a Hybrid.
“Blade Runner” is more of a film noir film than “The Matrix”. Although
it does include action and fighting scenes but these have film noir
features in them. Most ideas about the film are connected with film
noir such as the mystery, the low key lighting and symbolic objects.
It was directed by Ridley Scott and written by Phillip K. Dick,
Hampton Fancher and David Webb Peoples.
The main characters in “The Matrix” are Laurence Fishburne as
Morpheus, Keanu Reeves as Thomas A. Anderson or Neo and Carry-Anne
Moss as Trinity. In Blade Runner the main characters were Harrison
Ford as Rick Deckard, Rutger Hauer as Roy Batty and Sean Young as
Film noir comes from the French term, ‘A Black Film’ or a ‘Dark Film’.
It was noticed in America during the forties and fifties by a French
film critic who saw how quite a lot of films made had dark looks and
themes. These appeared to be mainly in American Crime and Detective
films released during World War 2.
Typical features of film noir include feelings of fatalistic
pessimism, incidents of treachery, and a sense of a corrupt and
violent society threatening the hero and other hero – like characters.
Other features are darkness, secretive and mysterious people and
mystery. A reason for the low lighting in film noir films is that in
Hollywood studios, after the war they could not afford expensive
lighting equipment so they made the films with dark themes. Another
feature of film noir films is that they include femme fatale
characters which are normally strong and use their appearance as a
weapon. “The Matrix” and “Blade Runner” both include strong female
characters. In “Blade Runner” the strong female characters are Rachael
and Zhora and in “The Matrix” it is Trinity. Audiences demand strong
characters because it is like a role – reversal, in most films men are
the hero and leading characters, which makes it unusual for women to
be strong and powerful. The world war influenced film makers to make
films which had strong female characters to encourage women and make
them feel appreciated for all of the jobs that they were doing during
the war whilst men were on the battlefields.
In “Blade Runner” the main character, Deckard, is an ex-policeman and
ex-blade runner. He is found and reassigned as a blade runner to find
some rogue replicants who have gone ‘On the run’. In “The Matrix” the
main character Thomas A. Anderson is found by a group of people who
have found out that he is ‘the one’ who will stop “The Matrix”, he is
bought in to ‘The real...