The First Hollywood Cyberpunk Film: Blade Runner's Divergence from Hollywood's Genre-Conventions

Halmen Péter (2018) The First Hollywood Cyberpunk Film: Blade Runner's Divergence from Hollywood's Genre-Conventions. MA/MSc, Szegedi Tudományegyetem.

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This paper analyzes the historical development of Hollywood cinema‟s science-fiction genre: the case of Blade Runner (1982; 1992) and its influence. The thesis posits that the film has set a new trend by combining “transhumanism” (“post-human” tropes) with the film noir‟s subject. By this, Blade Runner has become, what is known as retrospectively, a “cyberpunk film.” In terms of stylistic changes and of the ideological subtext of the narrative, it has come close to cyberpunk titles such as Johnny Mnemonic (1995), Ghost in the Shell (1995), The Matrix (1999) multimedia franchises. Film historical comparisons will measure the film‟s straying from former Hollywood (sci-fi) formulas by two approaches. The first measure is to see whether or not science fiction‟s ideology of technology has changed compared to earlier sci-fi films, such as classical sci-fi (optimistic) and New Hollywood sci-fi (pessimistic). Cyberpunk fiction is known to take an ambivalent stance on technology by contrasting its ability to augment, expand the human purview (supported in the religious symbolism associated with the empowerment of and hacking in “cyberspace” – i.e. “electronic transcendence”) with portraying societies and political climates of rampant capitalism. Since Blade Runner is known to be a mixture of sci-fi and film noir, as a second measure character dramaturgy will be taken into account. Film noir‟s subject and worldview presents moral ambiguity that blurs the lines between the Manichean good/evil dichotomies. These ideological-dramaturgical changes have visibly created a strand of sci-fi films that are overall more ambiguous, more nuanced compared to previous strands.

Hungarian title

Az első Hollywood-i cyberpunk film: Blade Runner eltérése a Hollywood-i zsáner-konvencióktól


Szegedi Tudományegyetem


Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences


Amerikanisztika Tanszék




Angol-Amerikai Intézet


nincs megadva


SupervisorSupervisor scientific name labelEmailEHA

Item Type: Thesis (MA/MSc)
Date: 2018
Depositing User: BTK szerkesztő
Date Deposited: 2019. Apr. 25. 07:12
Last Modified: 2019. Apr. 26. 11:46

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