Swedish artist recreates Deckard as watercolor fantasy.
The 1982 Ridley Scott classic sci-fi movie Blade Runner has inspired one man to do the near-impossible: recreate the entire thing, in watercolor. The artist, Swede Anders Ramsell from Östersund, has posted the result online for all the world to see. The video about 13 minutes long, using only the soundtrack and Ramsell’s luminous artwork to convey the movie’s noir mood. Ramsell has confirmed that the work he’s posted so far is merely a prelude to the full-length feature which, given that the teaser used 3285 separate aquarelle paintings, suggests that Ramsell will be busy with this project for a long time to come.
Much of the appeal of Blade Runner is its mood and intricately detailed world, which at first glance wouldn’t seem to suit it for a reinterpretation like this, where subtleties of detail are by necessity washed into the background. That isn’t so; if anything, the translucent beauty of Ramsell’s work heightens the sense of mystery. Sometimes the character shots are little more than faded grey-blue silhouettes, while at other times everything becomes clear in a quick burst of detail. Given that Blade Runner’s spiritual predecessors are the noir films of the 1940s and 1950s, with their reliance on light and shadow to convey mood, aquarelle fits the sequence much more naturally than might be expected.
My favourite moment comes about halfway through the trailer, when Ford’s character Deckard is sent to Tyrell Corporation for the first time. Up to that point the art had been grey-blue, without fine detail; everything becomes shadow, until about 6:25, when a sudden spray of light picks out Ford in his transport, before focusing on an interior shot at Tyrell. But this is the sort of thing that people either love or not, without much in the way of compromise. Personally I’m looking forward to Ramsell’s finished project, even though I suspect it will be a long time in the making.