July 7th, 2012


L.A. NOIRE, BLADE RUNNER, and the Bradbury Building

I've been playing the PC game L.A. NOIRE, which is sort of like the movie L.A. CONFIDENTIAL. You're a cop in 1940s Los Angeles. As tends to happen when I play these kind of sandbox video games, I find myself exploring the nooks and crannies of the virtual world more than just playing the actual game. For example, I wandered around MacArthur Park wondering if somebody left a cake out in the rain.

And then I encountered the Bradbury Building (wikipedia).

Now, I've watched the movie BLADE RUNNER about a zillion times since it came out in 1982, but I never realized it was just a 5-story building. Somehow in BLADE RUNNER, with the cavernous atrium interior in the dark, it "feels" like a much taller building; I would have guessed it was more like 10 stories tall. I'm not the first to observe the building is a lot more impressive-looking on the inside than the outside. Odd trivia: the exterior of the building doubled for the New York School For The Performing Arts on the TV series FAME.

Of course, in BLADE RUNNER's dystopian future in the far off year of 2019 (just 7 years away now, rather than 37 when it came out in 1982), urban expansion and urban decay have created a layered cityscape that's still the benchmark for science fiction movie worldbuilding. But the Bradbury is a real place, and I wondered if I could plot out where the events in BLADE RUNNER took place.
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