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How does the chase scene in

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Blade Runner How does the chase scene in "Blade Runner" use semiotic codes to create sympathy for the character "Roy"? The chase scene is a key part of the film as it influences the viewer's overall opinion of the main character, "Roy". Throughout the film "Roy" is interpreted as the "villain" and "Deckard" seen as the "hero". However this scene creates sympathy for "Roy" and portrays him as a saviour figure. Ridley Scott, the director, does this using a range of technical, cultural and symbolic codes. These are the semiotic codes this essay will explore. Technical codes are the use of technical techniques used to create a certain atmosphere, mood or feeling. For example a Blue Filter is used to set a melancholy feel putting forward the image of "Roy" having "the blues". Cultural codes are themes or techniques used in media that are linked in some way to: religion, culture, events in history or previously published books and films (media). An example would be Ridley Scott's use of neon signs (TDK), behind "Roy" at the end of the chase scene. This suggests links with Tokyo, a main focal point for manufacturing goods. Symbolic codes use words, objects and images to represent a certain emotion or idea. In this case their main purpose is to provoke sympathy. An example would be "Roy's" black Nazi style coat symbolising/portraying him as an evil character. ...read more.


The fact he has to gain strength to pull the nail out and push it into his hand shows he is desperate, again creating sympathy. This leads us directly to the second semiotic code to be explored, the cultural code. The nail that "Roy" puts through his hand has a cultural significance. It represents an image of Crucifixion; provoking ideas of "Christ" and saviour like figures. This makes the audience feel sympathetic towards the Replicant because Christ was an innocent man, leaving the question of whether "Roy" is innocent and does he deserve to die? "Roy" sees the chase scene as a "game"; this is brought across to the viewer by "Roy's" use of dialogue: "Five, six, seven go to hell go to heaven", "I can see you!" and " It's not very sporting to fire at an un-armed opponent." This makes the viewer feel empathy for "Roy" because it's as if he himself is a living game: he has been made and programmed to do as his creator decided. To live under restrictions and have to obey rules, like not coming back to Earth, makes the audience feel sorry for the Replicant. The idea of "Roy" being a slave or product contrasts with the image of his playfulness and child like features. Both slaves and children have the stereotypes of innocence and naivety again creating sympathy for "Roy". ...read more.


This symbolises "Roy" being cleansed of all sins and their falling like the rain and his tears, downwards, i.e. towards hell. This shows "Roy" has become at one with God and therefore his probable salvation. This short monologue: "I've seen things you people would never believe... All of theses moments will be lost in time like tears in the rain. Time to die", makes the viewer feel real sorrow and sympathy for "Roy"; his last words sum up his life. Its as though "Roy" feels he himself is merely a tear in the rain and just one of many Replicants that will be forgotten after they die. The tears meanwhile show he feels yet again as a human does and hence the viewer relates to "Roy" and therefore empathises with him. Finally he dies and a dove flies away out of his hands, representing peace and "Roy's" soul. But does "Roy" have a soul? This is one of the many rhetorical questions the viewer is left to think about. It is not a spoken question, it is an open-ended sign, there is no limit the audiences' interpretation; it is a mere guide to their emotional response. To conclude I think the piece is extremely successful in making the viewer feel sympathy for "Roy" through each semiotic code. The issues raised about "Roy" through these leave the viewer in suspense with unanswered questions like: Was "Roy" programmed to have emotional responses? What are his rights? Maybe he was man made. But aren't we all? Laura Wetherill 11Fjwa 18th September 2001 1 ...read more.

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