3rd September 2018

Formal Writing 1.5

Thursday lunch – 1 hour

intro – (set the scene) The film Gattaca is set in a dystopian type world in the future where there is an obsession placed on creating the perfect human race.  (brief overview of the story and the way of life) Through genetic selection, everyday humans become closer to having what they think is a superior humankind. Andrew Nicol tries to warn us throughout the film that attempting to create this perfection will end up resulting in something far worse. He interestingly conveys this message by comparing the film Gattaca to 1940s Nazi Germany. This point in time is reflected constantly throughout the film via the fashion, hairstyles, cars, architecture and the most importantly the attitude regarding perfecting the human race.  In the 1940s, Germany experienced some devastating events that hugely impacted the world in a very negative way all because of one man’s obsession with constructing a high caliber human race.  The warning that Nicol is conveying, by referencing events that have occurred in the past, is that if this sort of attitude in continued it may result in history repeating itself.

para 1 –  just focus on examples; Nicol creates a world that reflects the past by styling his scenes to have cars, hairstyles and clothes that were all popular in the 1900s. For example, the cars that are seen in the film are 1971 Buick Rivieras, 1963 Studebaker Avantis and 1956 Continental Mark II’s, all of which were obviously created and most loved in the 1900’s. This use of old cars draws a visual parallel between Gattaca and the past.  The hairstyles that commonly appear throughout the film all hold a significant popularity once again in the 1900’s. Irene, the main female character, and many other women in the film were often seen with flawless 1950’s style upswept updos. There hairstyles were tightly pulled back and controlled, clearly reflecting the discipline and order that society was aiming for in both Gattaca and in Nazi Germany which is the point in time Andrew Nicol is focusing on. Majority of the men had the crew cut hair style which was a clean cut, slicked back hairstyle that held a prevalence in the 1950s. It too is considered a haircut for a conservative type of person once again reiterating the obstinate attitudes of Nazi Germany. The clothes that appear in the film are very formal and were in high demand in, once again, the 1900s especially the 1940s. From double breasted suits to tweed vests, all of the costume represents the past and the attitudes encompassing perfection that were present in Nazi Germany.  Nicol draws these parallels between Gattaca and Nazi Germany  to align gattaca society with Nazi Germany’s oppressive government. The emphasis of this idea subconsciously warns the viewers of the dangers of perfection. 

para 2 – Another aspect of Gattaca that relates back to 1900s and Nazi Germany is the  architecture. Both the world of Gattaca and the world in the 1940s reflects components of modernism through it’s architecture. The clean lines and the simplicity, the lack of decoration and the importance placed on functionality. If you look at any building that appears in the film Gattaca you will notice the huge influence of modernism. In conjunction with this, the architecture in Germany in the 1940s also acquires many of these modernist traits. I believe this lack of expression through architecture corrolates with the society people are living in. 

para 3 – {genetic selection} as mentioned both Gattaca and Nazi Germany in the 1940s have very similar attitudes towards fashion, architecture, cars and much more. In the movie Gattaca this uniformity is taken to another level by using genetic selection to create “the perfect human race”. In nazi Germany it was the Aryan race. 

para 4 – [uniformity of society] Now although it seems that genetically selecting a human race is the most obvious way to represent an obsession with perfection Andrew Nicoll uses a more important element of life to convey this idea. He took the attitudes and expectations that were present during the time of Nazi Germany and conveyed them through his film. The hidden but crucial concepts were concealed amongst every little move every person living in the world of Gattaca made. The idea that was reflected across both worlds was that 

The attitudes that cross between both Gattaca and Nazi germany are reflected quite clearly through the clothes, cars, hairstyles and architecture.    have an aspect of simplicity and tidiness to them. It’s almost as if all these things are a uniform component of society and an expectation that all those of a higher class follow.  Creating this uniformity amongst every aspect of peoples lives also creates a lack of individuality amongst people.

there is no gene for the human spirit,  Andrew Nicole is trying to warn the viewers through this film this obsession with creating perfection in the human race is unhealthy. he is using the incidents that occurred in 1940 in Germany as an example of the devastating effect that this unhealthy obsession can create. all aspects of the film from the fashion to the architecture have a lack of diversity in them. why would that be bad? 

Where everybody wears the same clothes, wears the same hairstyles and drives the same cars. This represents the perfection society was wanting to achieve in both the 1920s in Germany and in the future during gattaca. The act of cutting out individuality, diversity and self expression to achieve perfection. This is what Andrew Nicol, through the comparison of trends and attitudes in 1940 Nazi Germany, is warning us against.

conclusion- Ultimately the warning Andrew nicoll is trying to convey is that obsession with perfection will lead to… (simple way of saying it) He uses the parallels between Gattaca and nazi germany in 1940s to compare the devastating effect the trying to perfect a race can have. attempting to perfect human race will result in a society that lacks the true essence of being human.  

Respond now!

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