Monday, December 03, 2007

Ridley Scott's Blade Runner and the Teesside skyline

Channel 4's countdown of '100 Greatest Films' was repeated on More 4 last night and at number #8 was Ridley Scott's dystopian sci-fi classic Blade Runner. It was the breathtaking opening shots of the film (above) which drew comment from the pundits, with writer Graham Linehan commenting: "The opening shot, with the Vangelis music ... that cityscape. I just couldn't believe it. It was a beautiful thing. So, so beautiful."

If you happen to live round here, no doubt the stunning panorama of which Linehan speaks will seem strangely familiar. As South Shields-born director Ridley Scott went on to explain:

There's a walk from Redcar into Hartlepool ... I'd cross a bridge at night, and walk above the steel works. So that's probably where the opening of Blade Runner comes from. It always seemed to be rather gloomy and raining, and I'd just think "God, this is beautiful." You can find beauty in everything, and so I think I found the beauty in that darkness.

Scott isn't alone in his thinking. Billingham's own Paul Smith (of Maximo Park fame) once argued: "There is something quite romantic about the landscape of ICI and all the industry." Ridley Scott aside, few have captured that unique beauty better than local photographer Dave Robinson, whose wonderfully diverse photography website should be compulsory viewing both for local scenery aficionados and maybe even Blade Runner fans too...

Newport Bridge

The Transporter Bridge

ICI Wilton


Paddy said...

The Teesside skyline should be a source of relish for everyone who encounters it. I feel like I'm in a film myself whenever I drive alongside the striking shapes and incendiary colours. Give me those over the characterless sprawl that greets you on arrival in most of our cities anyday.

Robin Brown said...

There's a walk from Redcar to Hartlepool? Canny distance! I always thought he meant the view from Hartlepool over to the steelworks, over the bay to Redcar.

Mancunian1001 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mancunian1001 said...

On the way back from seeing The Mighty Stalybridge Celtic playing Blyth Spartans, I had the joy of the view of Teesside from the A19. Unfortunately I didn't have the chance to have a proper look as I was on a coach. From what I saw, I found it truly amazing.

Anonymous said...

A walk from Redcar to Hartlepool?? i was always told it was the steelworks bridge along the sea front towards Seaton. Gone is the bridge along with the steelworks, though I remember looking down at the steelworks when I was a kid on that bridge and seeing all the molten red, orange and yellows against a black background. Nice. Maybe he meant the walk from Seaton to Hartlepool