‘Blade Runner 2049’ director addresses criticism of the film’s female characters

Director of the movie Denis Villeneuve (second from left) and cast members Ryan Gosling (left), Ana de Armas (second from right) and Harrison Ford (right) attend a photocall for the film ‘Blade Runner 2049’ in Paris September 20, 2017. — Reuters pic
Director of the movie Denis Villeneuve (second from left) and cast members Ryan Gosling (left), Ana de Armas (second from right) and Harrison Ford (right) attend a photocall for the film ‘Blade Runner 2049’ in Paris September 20, 2017. — Reuters pic

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LOS ANGELES, Nov 27 — Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve has responded to the criticism he faced over the portrayal of female characters in the film.

Blade Runner 2049 was released in October this year as a sequel to Ridley Scott’s original movie with Harrison Ford returning as Rick Deckard and Ryan Gosling taking on the role of Agent K.

Critics criticised the representation of its female characters as well as the patriarchal dystopia depicted in the film which also placed importance on female reproduction.  

Villeneuve responded to the criticism by explaining that the bleak dystopia is a reflection of a world that “is not kind on women”.

“I am very sensitive to how I portray women in movies,” Villeneuve said in an interview with Vanity Fair.

“This is my ninth feature film and six of them have women in the lead role. The first Blade Runner was quite rough on the women; something about the film noir aesthetic. But I tried to bring depth to all the characters. For Joi, the holographic character, you see how she evolves. It’s interesting, I think.

“Cinema is a mirror on society. Blade Runner is not about tomorrow; it’s about today. And I’m sorry, but the world is not kind on women.

“There’s a sense in American cinema: You want to portray an ideal world. You want to portray a utopia. That’s good — dreams for a better world, to advocate for something better, yes. But if you look at my movies, they are exploring today’s shadows.

“The first Blade Runner is the biggest dystopian statement of the last half century. I did the follow-up to that, so yes, it’s a dystopian vision of today. Which magnifies all the faults. That’s what I’ll say about that.”

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