Gattaca Notes

Topics: Andrew Niccol, Science, DNA Pages: 6 (1426 words) Published: August 19, 2013
Gattaca Notes

* 1997 science fiction drama film
* directed by Andrew Niccol
* film presents vision of a society driven by “new eugenics”

* ‘GATTACA’-made up from abbreviations for the DNA nucleotide bases * During opening credits-names of cast & crew are telegraphed by the letters of the four bases-joined afterwards by the other letters of their names * Suggests the films point that people are first seen in terms of their genetic profile * And only secondly as a person


Science fiction:
* Asks “what if”
* Often pushes an important & disturbing idea to its logical conclusion

Film Noir:
* Style from 1940’s –usually involved a criminal investigation * Shot in black & white in shadowy urban locations
* Subdued lighting which masks a criminal world of corruption & dubious morality * This evident in Gattaca- conventional dress of hard-boiled Detective * Trench coat & trilby and uses the language of his trade * Genre also echoed when police pursue Vincent & Irene through back alleys-near night club * References to police as ‘Feds’, ‘Hoovers’, ‘J Edgars’-harks back to gangster-film America of 1940s-50s

* Vincent-Irene story occupies significant number of scenes * Works at an emotional level-has great narrative power
* Vincent getting girl also part of his triumph against the odds * Irene is imperfect and feels unworthy of Vincents 9.3 rating * He accepts her regardless and when she finds out he is an in-valid she also accepts him * Niccol making the point its people’s inner worth which is important


Determinism or free will:
* Explores whether or not a person can overcome ones genetic destiny * To what extent is a persons destiny a matter of choice
* Vincent’s battle with adversity is the major psychological narrative of Gattaca * Film arugues that willpower, determination and courage can produce miracles * Shown through Vincent

The role of science, technology and the social impact:
* Raises concerns about the way the ‘tools’ of science can be dangerous if used without social/ethical constraints * Asks ‘how far do we go?’
* Does the use of genetic selection mean that we lose our humanity * Concerned about the danger of absolute reliance on technology * Suggests that such scientific discoveries are vulnerable to expropriation and misuse by corporate, political & institutional interests * Whose interests may not coincide with those of society at large

Discrimination & Prejudice:
* Focuses on the discrimination based on genetics and all the implications and repercussions of this * It also prompts the viewer to think about discrimination in our own world * We have social stratification-it’s just natural rather than scientifically based * Our society discriminates on the basis of wealth, appearance, race * Film has much to say about exclusion, injustice & need for constant ethical vigilance

Authoritarianism & Individualism:
* Films closure affirms & perpetuates the primacy of the individual * Individual rather than group elevated
* Films narrative reinforces ideology of individualism
* The American Dream: through risk taking, graft and grind, the pursuit of dreams and a measure of good fortune the individual is able to achieve whatever he aspires to
* Character driven plot
* Lengthy flash back scene early in film-details circumstances of Vincent’s birth * Rest of the film linear narrative
* Introduction establishes setting, character and conflict * Follow protagonist’s progress to overcome the obstacles he faces * Staircase effect structure
* Vincent literally ascends the stairs to his dream: a flight to titan

* Recognizably America-not too distant future
* Pace of scientific discovery has been left unchecked by...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Essay on Gattaca
  • Gattaca Essay
  • Gattaca Essay
  • Gattaca
  • Gattaca and Fahrenheit 451 Essay
  • Gattaca Viewing Essay
  • Gattaca Essay
  • Utopia or Dystopia Film Review- Gattaca Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free