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The Visual and Artistic Beauty of Blade Runner 2049

The world of Blade Runner 2049 is a bleak desolate dystopia where the ecosystems of the world have collapsed. No traditional agriculture or anything green is left and instead all nutrition is grown in mechanical pods that are mechanical and wholly unnatural.

Yet if you look closer in to this world you see a beautiful symphony are crisp and clear colors that are brooding yet vibrant.

Horrifically dense grey cities are dotted and illuminated by beautifully rich and dynamic colors surrounded by vast areas of orange dessert and perfectly bleak synthetic farms.

Even with all this beauty interspersed and layered with complete desolation, what I found most striking about the cinematography of Blade Runner 2049 (which won an Oscar) is the very deliberate and sparing use of rich and deep blue palates.

This color palate is used very discriminately in the film, only in a few key scenes are bathed in this soothing yet dynamic blue. This makes the blue’s presence very important in the instances it shows up.

And then it hits me; the deep and foreboding blue tones that I love so much in Blade Runner 2049 are used to harken to the original Blade Runner, which used this blue palate extensively throughout the film, much more than in 2049.

This shared visual palate and theme connects the films in ways that are much deeper than in other sequels; the two Blade Runners are united not only in story, world, and characters but also through art and visual storytelling. This type of connection and art forward movie making elevates the two Blade Runners to some of the best and most artistically valid movies of our time.

This blue palate not only unites the movie in deep and intrinsic ways it also unites Deckard and K, the Blade Runners themselves. They both go through the same stages of knowing who they are fully, to questioning the very nature of their existence and identity, to ultimately turning on those they originally identified with.

The blue is their reckoning and represents the eternal struggle to find oneself true self and the identity that may or may not define who we are.

So to honor the intricate beauty and unity of Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2o49 I created a custom craft cocktail that encapsulates both the visual style and unique palate of these films.

Soaked in Blue: A Blade Runner Cocktail

You will need:

  • 3 ounces Dry London Gin (Beefeater worked great for me)
  • 1 ounce Blue Curaçao
  • 1 ounce fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 dash Orange Bitters
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters

Add all ingredients to an ice-filled stainless steel shaker, and stir extremely well. Strain in to a cocktail glass and garnish with a simple lemon twist.

Just like the movies it is based off of, Soaked in Blue: A Blade Runner Cocktail is a visually striking yet deep and complex original cocktail. The dry London Gin gives the Soaked in Blue a perfect base that represents the Blade Runner universe to a T: dry on the front end and complex and deep at its core. The Blue Curaçao adds hints of bitterness due to the Laraha, a bitter Orange variety that the liquor gets its soul from.

All told, Soaked in Blue: A Blade Runner Cocktail can be a bit dry and hard to access for some, just like the movies but as with Blade Runner, it is well worth it in the end. If you need to add a dash of fresh simple syrup to sweeten it up a bit, making it more accessible.

Time to belly up to the bar, make your self a Soaked in Blue and turn on Blade Runner 2049; it is a visual masterpiece that elevates the entire art of movie making.

Nick True
About the Author

A science teacher with a love of pop-culture and fine alcohol.

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