Clothes Make the Man—The Relation Between the Sensual and the Sexual in Blade Runner (1982)
The chapter will look into the status of the artificial humans in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982) by considering the manner in which their inhumanity correlates with their eroticization as well as the visual and tactile qualities of the film itself. It will be argued that much of the film’s appeal lies in its sensual complexity. Like the Replicants it depicts, the movie seems to have a deeper nature than it seems at first sight (or viewing). The film’s attraction in the eyes of the public should not be taken for granted, since it has undergone a dynamic change from the time of its release in theaters to its achievement of the status of a cult classic on home video media. The chapter will suggest the reasons for this phenomenon. Moreover, the chapter will touch upon the eroticization of the Replicants, arguing that who they are is related to what they wear. It will be argued that the artificial humans can be associated with the looks and function of their clothing. By artfully stylizing the presented reality and the characters, using the textures of clothes, plastic, as well as the interplay between light and dark itself, Scott renders the city lifelike, and the Replicants dynamic: rebellious and sensual.