Posts tagged with "Blade Runner":

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Blade Runner and Tron futurist designer Syd Mead dies at age 86

Sydney “Syd” Mead, the industrial designer, concept artist, and futurist, has died at the age of 86, according to the Los Angeles Times Born in 1933, Mead began his career in the late 1950s and early 60s at Ford Motor Company before going on to create designs and illustrations for brands like U.S. Steel, Phillips, Sony, and others, including architecture firms. He is perhaps best known, however, for his enduring, iconic designs on sci-fi films like Tron, Star Trek, Alien, and most famously, Blade Runner. His elaborate cars, spaceships, robotic suits, and cities—all hand-drawn and colored—presented futures that were utopian and dystopian at the same time, sleek and gritty, fantastical and real. As he told Curbed in a 2015 interview: “I painted architecture as a visual romance.” Not just popular in commercial design and cinema (he also influenced numerous video game designers), Mead was well-regarded in art, architecture, and fashion circles. His first solo show at documenta 6, the contemporary art exhibition, was held in 1973 and exhibited repeatedly in the following decades. In 2016, Mead collaborated with Opening Ceremony on a futuristic fashion line. Numerous books of his work have been published as well and Mead reportedly continued working up until his retirement this past September. He is survived by his husband and business partner Roger Servick, his sister Peggy, and several nieces and nephews.
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Highlight> Michael C. McMillen: Train of Thought

Michael C. McMillen: Train of Thought Oakland Museum of California 1000 Oak Street, Oakland Through August 16 The Oakland Museum of California’s new exhibit looks at four decades of work by Michael C. McMillen, a California-based mixed-media artist. Curated by Philip Linhares, who is also a long-time collaborator of McMillen’s, the retrospective includes sculptures, tableaus, paintings, drawings, films, and large-scale installations. Found objects have long played an important part in McMillen’s work since childhood, when he began crafting toys for himself out of old radios and other discarded items. The artist’s creations often call to mind the cinematic landscapes of a Hollywood picture, somewhat appropriate given that he once worked making miniatures, like the motel model above, and props for films, including such sci-fi classics as Blade Runner and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. McMillen often uses architectural references and clever visual cues to transport viewers into an altered reality. He wants viewers to “come away from the experience seeing the world in a slightly different way,” McMillen said in an artist’s statement.
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A Brief History of Old Buildings Going Futuro On Film

Talk of William Pereira’s Geisel Library, the well-known symbol of UC San Diego, has been abuzz online because of its Snow Fortress doppelganger in Inception, which has so far totaled close to half a billion dollars in ticket sales.  Built in the late 1960s, this textbook example of Brutalism perfectly encapsulates the hostile, uncommunicative theme of Inception. Critics of the style say Brutalist architecture disregards the history and harmony of its environment. Thus, the Snow Fortress, featured at the film’s climax, is a symbol of disregard for preordained fate. Although the Geisel Library, named after Theodore Seuss Geisel or Dr. Seuss, was conceived over five decades ago, it does not seem out of place in a futuristic world. Similarly, the Bradbury Building in Los Angeles, designed by George H. Wyman, was built in 1893. Yet, this “retro-futuristic-gothic”  building was featured in Blade Runner, The Outer Limits and Mission: Impossible, among others.  Minority Report used the Ronald Reagan building  in Washington, D.C. as its Orwellian police headquarters (Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House also starred as Harrison Ford's residence in Blade Runner). Greene and Greene's Robert R. Blacker House in Pasadena is an iconically American house that served as Dr. Emmett Brown’s house in Back to the Future and a grandfather’s house in Armageddon. It seems regardless of how futuristic a movie is, the buildings of yesteryear and today can still lend their symbolic power to help layer a movie with meaning.