Andrew Niccol’s film Gattaca presents us
with a warning about the future. Its “New
Eugenics” have a distinctly early 20th
Century resonance. How does Niccol
convey his warning by using visual
references to the past?
The 1997 film, Gattaca, explores the mechanics of a anti-Utopian future and in particular the life of Vincent Freeman an invalid . The director, Andrew Niccol , constructs a futuristic medium, genetic ‘perfection’, on which to place his criticisms of scientific advancements. Niccol coats these ideas with themes and concepts from the early 20th century. This essay will discuss the features in the film that create its so prominent 20th century feel and explain how Andrew Niccol’s references to the past present a warning for not only genetical engineering, but all future technologies.
Founded in the early 20th century, modernism, is a style of art, architecture and philosophy designed to express the detachment of traditional ideas and the embrace of a new industrialized ideology, where function and efficiency are paramount at the expense of beauty. In the film Gattaca, the majority of the architecture presented to the audience has a Modernistic feel. Such as Vincent’s apartment and the Gattaca space station both ubiquitous throughout the film. Niccol uses modernism to convey two things, firstly to compliment Gattaca’s dull orderly society, but mainly convey Niccol’s ‘warning about the future’. Niccol is relating modernism’s expression of technological advancement to the evolution of society. Niccol believes that with the constant progression of ourselves as a people we will lose what makes us human. Niccol uses this modernistic dogma, conveyed by the infrastructure, to convey his belief and ultimately his warning surrounding the future.