Blade  Runner

Images Cinema Williamstown, MA


Dr. Ezra D. Feldman

Lecturer in Science and Technology Studies, Williams College;


Dr. Shawn Rosenheim

Professor of English, Williams College

Blade Runner— A.I.: More human than human

What does it mean to be a human? How do we know we are human? What is the relationship of humanity to a conscious, corporeal A.I. that surpasses our physical and mental abilities? Is human emotion a valued characteristic for A.I. or a hindrance? What does the created want from the creator, and what moral obligations, if any, do humans have toward A.I. to fulfill those wants?

All four films in our A.I. have some throughlines with each other that will call forward and backward week-to-week, comparing and contrasting evolving genre tropes and thematic variations.

Images Cinema Williamstown, MA

Film Synopsis

A blade runner must pursue and try to terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space and have returned to Earth to find their creator.

In the not-too-distant future, Los Angeles and the surrounding area has become a dystopian wasteland, heavily industrialized and overcrowded. Genetically engineered humanoid beings known as replicants are manufactured by the powerful Tyrell Corporation for use in dangerous off-world colonization. Retired police officer Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), whose job was to track down replicants and assassinate them, is informed that four have come to Earth illegally. Called before his one-time superior (M. Emmett Walsh), Deckard is forced back into active duty to find and destroy the rogue replicants. Ridley Scott’s neo-noir classic initially polarized critics, but has since come to be regarded as one of the greatest sci-fi films of all time.

About the Speaker

Ezra Dan Feldman is a Lecturer in English and Science and Technology Studies at Williams College. He is the author of a book of poems, Habitat of Stones (Tebot Bach), and his research interests include narrative studies, science and technology studies, metafiction, speculative fiction, literalism, and character. He recently sat on a panel titled "Regulating AI: Lessons from Science, Activism, and Poetry," hosted by the Global Issues Forum at Williams. He is a fan of chess and poker and loves to learn new games.

Shawn Rosenheim teaches American literature, film and audio production at Williams College. He is the author of The Cryptographic Imagination: Secret Writing from Edgar Poe to the Internet, and the director of Biosphere 2, a film that he is legally prevented from showing. He advises future filmmakers to steer away from aggravating billionaires.