Unseen Blade Runner footage of the geisha on the Offworld blimp (video)

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2024/03/14/unseen-blade-runner-footage-of-the-geisha-on-the-offworld-blimp-video.html


“turtle meat”


I don’t know if I should watch the video, as that would ruin the unseen-ness of the footage.


Background on the footage:

According to Blade Runner’s special photographic effects supervisor David Dryer, the beautiful Geisha lady that appears on a giant digital advertisement isn’t chomping on candy as most people believe but popping birth control pills.

The idea arose from a chat Dryer had with director Ridley Scott in which he wanted “a bunch of phony oriental commercials where geisha girls are doing unhealthy things. Smoking, taking drugs or whatever. To kind of continue with the oppressive feeling throughout the landscape.”

Dryer thought that omnipresent ads plugging birth control would fit in with perfectly with the problems of overpopulation Blade Runner’s world faces.


As a child, I read that as a pill as well, somehow. At the time I thought of M&M’s and Tic Tacs as “play pills,” but surely adults would be showing off the real thing.


Like a lot of things in Blade Runner, it seems like there’s conflicting narratives. Is Blade Runner’s world overpopulated? At times it seems virtually empty. J F Sebastian has a whole building to himself and there’s no evidence of anyone else in Deckerd’s apartment building. There are times where a lot of population seems to gather in one place, but i get the impression a lot of the city is as empty as the chambers of a nautilus shell.


Yeah, it was implied that most of the population had already left to “begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure in the off-world colonies” but that Sebastian couldn’t because of his medical condition.


I got the impression that it wasn’t necessarily more crowded than our own world but it had been largely stripped of its resources and thus struggled to support the number of people who were still around.

Ecology has collapsed, non-synthetic animal life is nearly extinct and the few glimpses we see of life outside Los Angeles (except for the tacked-on happy ending in the original theatrical cut) look barren and desolate. Plenty of space but nowhere worth living.


In the new movie one of the characters remarks on a small wood carving, commenting that the owner much be rich to own such a luxury item. So the ecology must be seriously messed up if even old, dead bits of wood are considered to be valuable.


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