Visual Language


Mis en Scene




Helix Staircase

Image result for double helix in gattaca

Modernist Architecture

  • Clean
  • Form = Function
  • Geometric
  • Cynicism
  • Looking away from God (self+science)
  • Utopia – progress moving forward

Second Place “Swimmer”

Double-breasted suits

Make connections

Supporting ideas

Ambition – resides in Jermone and Vincent

Gattaca talks about ambition is a virtue because Vinect achieved his goal whilst maintaining a high amount of moral


How does Andrew Niccol encode his ideas in the visual language of his film, Gattaca?

In the film, Gattaca, the director Andrew Niccol uses visual language for the watcher to unlock a deeper understanding of the movie and its concepts. In the house of Jerome, the staircase that leads to the second floor is in the shape of a helix. To understand the meaning behind the helix we have to know about the movie and what it is about. Gattaca is a movie which is set in the future where human genetic engineering is the new norm. Babies are designed to have the best possible traits without defects. Even the title Gattaca hints towards human DNA, being named after the 4 nucleobases in human DNA. Eugenics is a set of beliefs and practices which aims to improve the human genetic. In Gattaca, society discriminates against those who are not genetically designed and are conceived naturally. Victor was of natural birth, which means the only job that he would ever be able to get at Gattaca is a cleaner. To fulfil his dream od being going to space he takes the identity of Jerome who is genetically perfect, apart from the fact that he is disabled. Victor lives the dream of Jerome. The helix staircase in Jermone’s house hints towards the double helix structure of DNA. The fact that the staircase is in Jerome’s house yet Vincent is the only one who is able to use represents Vincent ‘using’ Jeromes DNA. The staircase is a link to the roots of the film, which are embedded in DNA and Eugenics and allows the viewer to make links within the text.

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