Bordering the Future? The ‘Male Gaze’ in the Blade Runner Films and Originating Novel

  • Kathleen Staudt

Abstract

Philip K. Dick (1928-1982), author of numerous science fiction narratives from the 1950s-1980s, some of which Hollywood made into films, grappled with the nature of reality, the meaning of humanness, and border crossing between humans and androids (called ‘replicants’ in the films). The socially constructed female and male protagonists in these narratives have yet to be analyzed with a gender gaze that draws on border studies. This paper analyzes two Blade Runner films, compares them to the Philip K. Dick (PKD) narrative, and applies gender, feminist, and border concepts, particularly border crossings from human to sentient beings and androids. In this paper, I argue that the men who wrote and directed the films established and crossed multiple metaphoric borders, but wore gender blinders that thereby reinforced gendered borders as visualized and viewed in the U.S. and global film markets yet never addressed the profoundly radical border crossing notions from PKD.

Published
2019-11-17
Section
Articles