In Photos

In photos: ‘Blade Runner 2049’, the movie that has sent critics into raptures

Denis Villeneuve’s sequel to Ridley Scott’s classic ‘Blade Runner’ might finally fetch cinematographer Roger Deakins the Oscar he has been denied.

Advance screenings of Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 have sent critics in the United States of America and the United Kingdom into raptures. A new set of superlatives needs to be invented for the futuristic thriller, which opens on October 6, including in India. From “masterpiece” to “You have never seen anything like this” and everything in between, Villeneuve’s sequel to Ridley Scott’s classic Blade Runner (1982) is already home.

Blade Runner 2049. Image credit: Alcon Entertainment.
Blade Runner 2049. Image credit: Alcon Entertainment.

The original film, based on Philip K Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, is set in Los Angeles in the year 2019. The Tyrell Corporation manufactures androids, known as replicants¸ to be used as slave labour in the Earth’s distant colonies. A group of replicants, headed by Roy (Rutger Hauer), escapes and is hunted down by Deckard (Harrison Ford). Sumptuously designed and imaginatively shot, Blade Runner is set in a futuristic multi-cultural Los Angeles that anticipates contemporary global cities and has provided “our cultural-visual template for the future”, as science fiction writer William Gibson said.

Blade Runner (1982).

The new movie is set three decades since the original. As chaos threatens the order, blade runner K (Ryan Gosling) tracks down Deckard, who has been missing for 30 years. The cast includes Robin Wright as K’s boss, Dave Bautista, Ana De Armas and Jared Leto as the villain, Niander. The cinematography has been singled out for praise, which is hardly surprising, given that the brilliant Roger Deakins is behind the camera.

Blade Runner 2049. Image credit: Alcon Entertainment.
Blade Runner 2049. Image credit: Alcon Entertainment.

Deakins, who has shot nearly every single Coen brothers movie, Villeneuve’s Prisoners (2013) and Sicario (2015), Frank Darabont’s The Shawshank Redemption (1994) and Sam Mendes’s Skyfall (2012), has amazingly never won an Academy award for cinematography despite being nominated 13 times. That might finally change with Blade Runner 2049.

Blade Runner 2049 (2017).

Vast portions of the movie were shot in Budapest in 2016. “Millions of dollars went into re-creating the look and feel of the original film – all without relying on too much green-screen chicanery,” said an article in Wired. Deakins told the magazine, “So many science fiction films all look the same, because the effects are done by rote.”

Blade Runner 2049. Image credit: Alcon Entertainment.
Blade Runner 2049. Image credit: Alcon Entertainment.

The distinctive vehicles from the original movie, called spinners, have been redesigned for what production designer Dennis Gassner calls “a harsher world than in the first film, both environmentally and stylistically”. Leto partially blinded himself by wearing opaque lenses to better play the role of Niander.

Blade Runner 2049. Image credit: Alcon Entertainment.
Blade Runner 2049. Image credit: Alcon Entertainment.

The movie has been in the works for several years. A planned sequel by Scott, titled Metropolis, never took off. Numerous directors were attached to Blade Runner 2049 before Scott, who opted for an executive producer position, picked Villeneuve as his successor. Hampton Fancher, who co-wrote the original film, has also scripted the new movie along with Michael Green.

Blade Runner 2049. Image credit: Alcon Entertainment.
Blade Runner 2049. Image credit: Alcon Entertainment.
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It’s the new year and it’s already time to plan your next holiday

Here are some great destinations for you to consider.

Vacation planning can get serious and strategic. Some people swear by the save and splurge approach that allows for one mini getaway and one dream holiday in a year. Others use the solo to family tactic and distribute their budget across solo trips, couple getaways and family holidays. Regardless of what strategy you implement to plan your trip, the holiday list is a handy tool for eager travellers. After having extensively studied the 2018 holiday list, here’s what we recommend:

March: 10 days of literature, art and culture in Toronto

For those you have pledged to read more or have more artistic experiences in 2018, Toronto offers the Biblio-Mat, the world’s first randomising vending machine for old books. You can find the Biblio-Mat, paper artefacts, rare books and more at The Monkey’s Paw, an antiquarian bookseller. If you can tear yourself away from this eclectic bookstore, head over to The Public Library in Toronto for the Merril Collection of over 72000 items of science fiction, fantasy magic realism and graphic novels. With your bag full of books, grab a coffee at Room 2046 – a café cum store cum studio that celebrates all things whimsical and creative. Next, experience art while cycling across the 80km Pan Am Path. Built for walking, running, cycling and wheeling, the Pan Am Path is a recreational pathway that offers a green, scenic and river views along with art projects sprinkled throughout the route. You can opt for a guided tour of the path or wander aimlessly for serendipitous discoveries.

Nothing beats camping to ruminate over all those new ideas collected over the past few days. Make way to Killarney Provincial Park for 2-3 days for some quiet time amongst lakes and hills. You can grab a canoe, go hiking or get back to nature, but don’t forget to bring a tent.

If you use the long-weekend of 2nd March to extend your trip, you get to experience the Toronto Light Festival as a dazzling bonus.

June: 10 days of culinary treats, happy feet and a million laughs in Chicago

Famous for creating the deep-dish pizza and improv comedy, Chicago promises to banish that mid-year lull. Get tickets for The Second City’s Legendary Laughs at The UP-Comedy Club - the company that gave us the legendary Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert and Key & Peele. All that laughter can sure work up an appetite, one that can be satiated with Lou Malnati’s classic deep-dish pizza. For dessert, head over to the Ferrara Original Bakery for mouth-watering treats.

Chicago in June is pleasant and warm enough to explore the outdoors and what better way to soak in the sunshine, than by having a picnic at the Maggie Daley Park. Picnic groves, wall climbing, mini golf, roller blading – the park offers a plethora of activities for individuals as well as families.

If you use the long weekend of 15th June, you can extend your trip to go for Country LakeShake – Chicago’s country music festival featuring Blake Shelton and Dierks Bentley.

August: 7 days in London for Europe’s biggest street festival

Since 1964, the Notting Hill Carnival has been celebrating London’s Caribbean communities with dancing, masquerade and music ranging from reggae to salsa. Watch London burst into colours and sparkle at the Notting Hill Carnival. Home to Sherlock Holmes and Charles Dickens Museum, London is best experienced by wandering through its tiny streets. Chance encounters with bookstores such as Foyles and Housemans, soaking in historic sights while enjoying breakfast at Arthur’s Café or Blackbird Bakery, rummaging the stalls at Broadway market or Camden Market – you can do so much in London while doing nothing at all.

The Museum of Brand, Packaging and Advertising can send you reminiscing about those old ads, while the Clowns Gallery Museum can give you an insight in clown-culture. If you’d rather not roam aimlessly, book a street-art tour run by Alternative London or a Jack the Ripper Tour.

October: 10 days of an out-of-body experience in Vegas

About 16 km south of the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and St. Rose Parkway in Henderson, lies a visual spectacle. Seven Magic Mountains, an art installation by Ugo Rondinone, stands far away from the wild vibe that people expect in Las Vegas and instead offers a sense of wonder. Imagine seven pillars of huge, neon boulders, stacked up against one another stretched towards the sky. There’s a lot more where that came from, in Las Vegas. Captivating colour at the permanent James Turrell exhibit in Louis Vuitton, outdoor adventures at the Bootleg Canyon and vintage shopping at Patina Décor offer experiences that are not usually associated with Vegas. For that quintessential Vegas show, go for Shannon McBeath: Absinthe for some circus-style entertainment. If you put the holiday list to use, you can make it for the risefestival – think thousands of lanterns floating in the sky, right above you.

It’s time to get on with the vacation planning for the new year. So, pin up the holiday list, look up deals on hotels and flights and start booking. Save money by taking advantage of the British Airways Holiday Sale. With up to 25% off on flight, the offer is available to book until 31st January 2018 for travel up to 31st December in economy and premium economy and up to 31st August for business class. For great fares to great destinations, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of British Airways and not by the Scroll editorial team.