March 19, 2007

What Do Cans Have to do With Literature?

The smart thing to do would have been to read Freud's (ugh, Freud) "The Uncanny" before going to see Blade Runner. Then I could have sat there like an informed student and picked out how it related to the movie in order to write a well constructed paper on the symbolism. Instead, Val and I heckled the screen. Oh well. Live and learn.

However, I was able to pull a good amount from the article and relate it to the movie, weirdly enough. The idea of the uncanny isn't limited to psychology or literature, but can expand to all media forms, like the movie.

"It is true that the writer creates a kind of uncertainty in us in the beginning by not letting us know, no doubt purposely, whether he is taking us into the real world or into a purely fantastic one of his own creation" Freud 382).

Although this refers to a really distrurbing story about the Sandman, this idea holds true for any literature, or even a movie. By twisting things around, the author (or screenwriter) allows us to step back and see that things are different- they are uncanny. We are then able to put ourselves into this make believe world now that we understand its purpose and function. The story is meant to engage the reader and make him or her wonder about the outcome- to worry and have uncertaintly about the plot and, on a larger scale, about life. This uncertaintly then becomes Freud's "uncanny"- our not knowing.

As I already mentioned in my crically-acclaimed blog entry on Blade Runner, I also found the uncanny present in the setting of the movie. Once again we are drawn from our beliefs and expectations and placed in another world that is unexpected and fully uncertain. The place is uncanny and the director and screenwriter want to keeps the viewer here, suspended between what they hope will be true about the future and what the future "is" (or what they are seeing it to be). Not only does it make for good movie watching (in theory), but also a tool for explaining all our weird, creepy feelings.

Freud, ''The Uncanny'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

Posted by VanessaKolberg at March 19, 2007 3:52 PM | TrackBack

I am happy that I read "The Uncanny" before watching "Blade Runner" because the uncanniness of the film was very obvious. I loved when Pris was posing as a doll just before ambushing Harrison Ford (who sleepwalked through the film.)

Posted by: Dave Moio at March 22, 2007 7:35 AM

Reading The Uncanny before watching Blade Runner was very beneficial because of the references to the phallus symbol in its relationship to eyes, along with many other feature on the human face and body. I really understood the statement to which the loss of both the eyes and the loss of the male member is very comparable to each other, because of how importance the function is to one another. I really liked your thoughts on The Uncanny itself (the concept), and your relationship between the place and the experience both being uncanny in the movie. Are you sure you didn't want to present? You and Erin should team up, because BOTH of you really know your stuff.

Posted by: Jason Pugh at March 22, 2007 9:54 AM
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