How Blade Runner 2049’s world building has its roots in 1982

Most of my discussions about Blade Runner 2049 have been about its gender politics and depiction of women. Specifically, whether it’s deliberately troubling or just troubling. Or a bit of both. That’s not what I want to write about here, primarily because I haven’t yet made up my mind. Instead, I’m going to take a look at the storytelling techniques the film uses to establish its future setting. Spoilers will ensue.


If Twitter hate mobs are Ultron, where is the internet’s Vision?

For the last ten years-or-so I’ve been convinced that governments would be responsible for the death of the Internet As We Know It: ever-encroaching censorship and surveillance transforming the promise of the open internet into something darker, more capitalist, more consumerist and, essentially, more 20th century. Here’s me on the Digital Economy Bill, and then on the good ol’ Twitter Joke Trial. That’s a lotta words.

Then so-called GamerGate happened, late last year. An amorphous bunch of apparent activists rose up, ostensibly to decry ethics in games journalism but in reality taking every opportunity to harass female game devs, game journalists and gamers, and anybody who supported them. Rape threats. Death threats. It was the abuse unleashed upon Anita Sarkeesian writ large, with a broad brush. The aggressors wielded the term ‘Social Justice Warrior’ as if it were something to be ashamed of. And all the while they claimed the moral high ground, even while forcing planes to land and issuing genuine terrorist threats to universities. The actions of GamerGate spoke far louder than its words. (more…)

Spiffing Review continues

Almost a year ago I started podcasting with Mr Wayne Bolt. This was my first foray into podcasterisation – while I’ve written and presented lots of video material for FXhome over the years, I’d never ventured into audio-only territory. The first time since I recorded my own pretend radio shows Read more…

Writings, Christmas, Film4, stuff

An assortment to things to write about this evening while I render out 30+ VFX shots for Guinod, a martial arts opera I’ve been helping a friend finish off. It premieres in a couple of weeks at Norwich’s Cinema City, so I’ll be sure to say how it goes. Bulk of my work on it is done, I just have to render all the bits and pieces – a process that is considerably fiddlier than it should be due to a few quirks in the compositing software I’m using. (more…)

Movie catch-up

Seen quite a few movies over the last couple of weeks, whether on a plane, on holiday in Derbyshire or back here over the Bank Holiday weekend. To sum up – Frost/Nixon – Great little thriller, with Ron Howard pulling the Apollo 13 trick and making a story with a Read more…

Gran Torino

Saw Gran Torino today, keeping up my 1-film-a-week routine. Well, other than last week, but we were in Hastings, so I’ll let myself off. The story is basically about Charlton Heston turning into Paul Newman. It was pretty good. At times fantastic, with some very funny moments of Grumpy Clint. Read more…


Finally saw Watchmen this afternoon, and utterly loved it. Crucially, the characters on the screen are exactly as I saw them in my head when reading the book, and that was always going to be the main thing for me. I haven’t made my mind up about the changes to Read more…