Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Blade Runner 2049, the Bible, and Gnosticism

CINEMA: Forget it, Kinbote, it’s Chinatown: A Blade Runner 2049 reference guide (Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, AV Club).
Call it the ultimate tribute to the original’s religion-obsessed atheist director, Ridley Scott, a hodgepodge of crypto-Judeo-Christian references: the Nicene Creed, The Epistle To The Galatians, contrasting artificial women named Joi (Ana De Armas) and Luv (Sylvia Hoeks), a flight into the desert. And then there’s the successor to Tyrell’s fallen replicant-making empire, the aforementioned Niander Wallace, who took over the business after making a fortune on synthetic food. A very literal life-giver, feeding the huddled human masses trying to weather the global flood, hidden in his fortress headquarters (lit by reflections off pools of water, of course), where he tends and is tended to by his “angels,” the superhuman replicants.

Wallace speaks of battles at the gates of heaven and the wombs of Old Testament prophets’ wives as though narrating portentously. It should be noted that like Milton, who wrote Paradise Lost by dictation, he is blind. But this pseudo-poetic, antagonist world-builder isn’t very redolent of a personal Christian god, is he? He’s more like the demiurge of gnosticism, an old religious philosophy that obsessed Dick, the author of Blade Runner’s source novel, in his later years.
This is from a long review of the film that discusses the influences behind it, including biblical influences, in great detail. Worth reading in full, if you're interested in the film.

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