Cinema: The Pleasures of Texture

BLADE RUNNER Directed by Ridley Scott Screenplay by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples

Is atmosphere smothering the story lines of smart new science-fantasy movies? Is texture overwhelming the text? On the evidence of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner—and his previous thriller, the 1979 Alien—it would seem so. Says David Dryer, who helped supervise the special photographic effects of Blade Runner: "The environment in the film is almost a protagonist." He and other talented craftsmen are lavishing their imaginations on graphic design—on high-tech spaceships and déja vu futurism—and allowing the characters to wander through a...

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