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Sci-Fi Noir

The Forge Collective Blog Birds N Bones Jewelry
- Elizabeth Mikutowicz -
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To say I am very excited about the release of the new Blade Runner 2049 is an understatement.
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I've been anxiously awaiting it's release, and in preparation of the latest release, I felt compelled to watch the first one again. This was partially to refresh my aging memory, but also as an indulgence in this classic film that I love so much (I may have been Pris for Halloween 2 years ago). In watching both these films, it got me thinking about this unique genre; a mix of science fiction and film noir. Sci-fi noir, tech-noir or future noir as some call it, is a well-established genre with a cult following.
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Classic film noir came about in the late 40's and 50's. The French term was aptly used to describe these American detective films. The literal translation, "black film" describes the mood of the film as well as the cinematography. Pessimistic personas are displayed along with a strong sense of foreboding. The characters possess a generally dark temperament and booze has a strong presence. The music puts you on edge. We see hard light and strong shadows. Smokey scenes produce dark silhouettes. 
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film noir
film noir
film noir
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From Blade Runner:
rachel smoking blade runner
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The introduction of sci-fi to this genre fits nicely. Fantasy mixes well with the highly stylised and gritty noir. For those of you that aren't sci-fi noir nerds, Blade Runner is basically about robot evolution, that leads to a small robot revolution. These replicants with conscious thoughts no longer want to be slaves in off-world colonies. The Tyrell Corporation that created them have coined them, "more human than human". Blade Runners are those tasked with killing these awol replicants. 
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Blade Runner is classically sci-fi noir. Set in a dense metropolis that is dark and scary, but also so fascinating and visually arresting. There are projections and digital displays that span entire high-rise buildings.
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blade runner city
blade runner city
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The first Blade Runner features art deco architecture which is classic for noir. The newer film features more brutalist architecture, but this contributes to the overall darkness of the film nicely. Both films are set in Los Angeles but they feel very international with street vendors speaking Japanese and many brightly lit business signs also in Japanese and Chinese characters. 
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The entirety of the first film takes place at night. We don't see a single minute of daylight. It's also dark and rainy, producing a steamy wet atmosphere.
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blade runner rain
blade runner atmosphere
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In the newly released film, we do see daylight, but it's still pretty grim. Instead of rain, we have the heavy presence of snow. In both scenarios the weather and environment are oppressive. 
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Deckard and K are the Blade Runners and anti-heros we love. They are dark and rough in their interpersonal relationships. They drink stiff cocktails to take the edge off. Frankly, they're sort of bad but we're still rooting for them. 
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Without giving too much away, I will just say the latest release, despite some initial reviews, did not disappoint; and in some ways, I actually liked it better than the first blade runner. My recommendation, watch the first release then get out there and see BR 2049! I hope to see some Blade Runner inspired costumes for Halloween this year. If you do go that route, I recommend adding the Basilisk Multi Incisor Necklace to your ensemble. Ultimately, it'll be a standout piece with any outfit but there is something that is romantic, edgy, and fantastical about it; something very sci-fi noir about it. 
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Birds N Bones Jewelry Basilisk Incisors Necklace

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