a) Basic comparison to Blade Runner
A film that Lars Von Trier's Element of Crime (released 1984) had often been compared to was Blade Runner (released 1982), perhaps because of the presence of a detective in a near future environment and the darkness. The editor and cinematographer of Trier's film acknowledge that the film had been partly inspired by Blade Runner, while Trier was quite sure that despite that, it was still quite different.
- Von Trier has described his "Europa" or "Zentropa" as a thriller, even citing Hitchcock in an interview with a Polish journalist. But while Hitchcock was precise, even at his most playfully evasive, Von Trier is vague, portentous. He also confesses his debt to Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" and to Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner," but both of these futuristic visions are more firmly grounded than "Zentropa," with its semi-coherent stream of nightmare images, its blend of Brechtian satire and sexual-political phobias. (https://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-xpm-1992-08-07-0000114017-story.html.)
- Tomas Gislasen: Most computer games and thrillers look just likeTom Elling: It's really kickstarted different things
Tomas Gislasen: But then again, it's inspired by "Blade Runner" and Tarkovsky.
Lars Von Trier: Now, now,...
Tom Elling: No, you're absolutely right...
Lars Von Trier: But it's still quite different from "Blade Runner"
(Element of Crime - Subtitles from the commentry with Lars Von Trier, Tomas Gislasen and Tom Elling: 59 minutes in )
In the film Blade Runner there is a character named Gaff who creates little pieces of origami as an insult to Deckard as if they reflected Deckard's state of mind.
- The Element of Crime has even been called an art house Blade Runner (USA 1982), not just because the detective in Ridley Scott’s classic science-fiction film also turns out to be the kind of replicant he is supposed to hunt down, but because of the corresponding setting – a dilapidated city shrouded in twilight, artificial lighting and rain.(Playing the waves: Lars Von Trier's Game Cinema, Jan Simons, 2003)
Perhaps it's like the idea of Deckard in Blade Runner finding the origami unicorn and believing that Gaff knew about his dream of the unicorn and so that meant Deckard was a replicant all along but was allowed to go free
- Interviewer:Why does Fisher kill little girl if he's a humanist?
Lars Von Trier: That's a good question that not even Osborne can answer. From a dramaturgical point of you it's interesting to let a person arrive in Europe with the best intentions and to end up having him commit the worst imaginable crime and killing little girls, that is the worst imaginable crime (Lars von Trier: Interviews, p39)