# Albany Senior High School, Year 11 English - Gattaca

ASHS Year 11 - Gattaca
Description:
A collaborative text book structured and built by staff and students at Albany Senior High School
Subject:
Type:
Creator/Reviewer:
Date:
17/12/2011
Contributors:
See: History
wiki
en

Objectives
 Key focusing questions for this topic: What are the most important events in the film? What are the personalities of the central characters and relationships between them? How does the setting inform a reading of the film? What big ideas does the film explore? How does the style of the film relate to its central ideas?

## Plot

Activity
 Summarise the important events from each section of the film. Use the questions as guides, include anything else you think is important. If a section has already been filled out, refine, change (use the discussion tab) or add to what's already there.

#### Act 1 “A Slave To His Genes"

##### The Mission Director's Death is Discovered

All the people at Gattaca crowded around to see what was going on. Detectives came in and started taking fingerprints to try and find out who murdered The Mission Director. They found a hair molecule which belonged Vincent.

##### Flashback: Vincent and Anton

Vincent Freeman's parents were disappointed because of his poor genes. Vincent was a godchild which means that he is conceived without the use of genetic engineering. Not long after his birth his parents went to a genetic lab to see into Vincents genes and were told because of his poor genes he will only live to thirty years of age and will have to live with a bad heart condition. When his parents received this news they decided on having another child with genetic modification making him highly resistant to diseases and stronger and smarter than the average person. Anton was born, having perfect genes his parents favored him in every aspect of their children's lives. Vincent wants to be blood brothers with Anton cutting his hand with a shell but Anton is afraid and walks off. Vincent was determined to be better than Anton so he challenged him to swimming contests regularly, he kept losing but his determination made him better and better until he was able to out swim his genetically engineered brother and saved him from drowning by holding onto him as he swam back to shore.

##### Vincent Becomes Jerome

Vincent trades in his identity to become a borrowed ladder. He takes on the life of Jerome morrow so that he may pursue his dream of becoming an astronaut.

Vincent leaves his family (life) behind, after discovering that he can achieve many things if he puts his mind and heart into it. He Then Contacted German so that he could become a borrowed ladder, using Jerome Morrows identity. Jerome morrow was a valid who had perfect genes for his astronautical career. This also happens to be the career that Vincent works so hard for. Its good that Vincent now has Jerome's identity because he would never be able to work at Gattaca as an in-valid.

#### Act 2 "Running From Fate"

##### Gattaca Under Invesigation

In this scene the murder investigation is undertaken. During the investigation Anton orders a blood test of the workers. As Vincent/Jerome is an In-Valid he is concerned that they will discover his true identity. During the blood test he idly converses with Lamar and Anton to avoid suspision but stays vilgilant. Suddenly he writhes out in pain and explodes out of his chair. This is an act so he can quickly but carefully switch the blood viles in order to remain undiscovered and continue with his dream to visit Titan.

By Tate and Asher

##### The Trouble With Being Jerome

Jerome is the perfect person, Aka – he has the right genes. With the 'heart of an ox' and other traits proving perfect personification. Jerome was in a tragic accident overseas, therefore losing the ability of his legs. This accident, went completely unnoticed, as it was not in the country. So, Vincent, an invalid, the man with the terrible genes but big dreams, came to Jerome. He undertook many painful, self changing processes, including getting an operation to extend his legs so that he could be an insignificant 2 inches taller. Jerome then leaves Vincent samples from his own crippled body, including urine, blood, hair and even skin flakes! Vincent then disposes of as much of his own body matter to reassure that it will not be left around the office and so forth. All through the film Jerome struggled to live up to the expectations set for him when he was conceived, of being the 'best of the best', this is symbolized when he gets a medal but for second place, this is like saying he didn't prove to be what they designed him to be like. When his name and reputation was passed down to Vincent, everyone expected him to be amazing. This was very hard for him because he didn't have genetically engineered genes and had to compete with everyone with the super humans.

Jerome wasnt a gods child, he has to live up to having the perfect genes but after his tragic accident he lost the use of his legs and now he cant do the easiest of things like walking. This was a big deal for him because he was expected to be the perfect person. Luckily his accident happened over seas and so back at home no one knew that he had lost the use of his legs so Vincent could pull of being Jerome more successfully. Jerome was designed to be the best of the best, his dream was to become the greatest swimmer however always coming second place made him feel like he wasnt forfilling peoples expectations. Jerome did his best to help Vincent live up to his dream because he could no longer do his. He did so much to make this happen including giving up his identity. Vincent also has to live up to jeromes standard for example when he was running on the tredmill he needed to have the recording of jeromes heart beat because he couldnt keep up and to become a valid he had do borrow urine and blood samples so that he could get past security.

##### The Hunt for Vincent Freeman

The investigators found Vincent's hair in Gattaca and now they are trying to search for Vincent. While all of this is happening Irene takes a hair from Vincent's drawer and has him sequenced for romantic compatibility.

##### The Search Widens Beyond Gattaca

They couldn't find the in-valid inside Gattaca so they took the search to the streets, they searched the ball that Vincent and Irene were at, they also had a car stop and Vincent had to quickly take his contacts out so he wouldn't get recognised as him.

After the police could not find the murderer inside the Gattaca building, they started to search the civilians. They are stopped by the police for invstigation in a tunnel. Vincent takes out his contact lenses so that the police wouldn't know that he had poor eyesight. Vincent tries to cross a busy road to watch the sunset, it was frightening.Vincent and Irene dance at a club and they are interupted by the police's investigation. :o Vincent fights his way through the club and takes Arene to a dark alleyway. They kiss in the alleyway and spends the night at Arene's house.

##### Vincent and Irene

Irene and Jerome were dancing at a ball only to be interrupted by detective Hugo, Anton and the police. Irene and Jerome run out a door and down stairs to encounter a police officer in which Jerome knocked out. Jerome then ran pulling Irene behind him trying to explain to her who he is. the officials ran after them and chased them into a tunnel in which Jerome and Irene had there first kiss.

##### The Paper Cup Test

Vincent had been working out to hard and got a drink in a paper cup, when he was going back to his work station Ceaser said to Vincent “let me take that for you” and Ceaser put the paper cup in the rubbish bag that he was carrying. Irene finds a piece of Vincent's hair but it was actually Jerome's hair she had it sequenced to find out if they were a perfect match. Later on when the investigators were looking for evidence they found the paper cup and got it tested. It was an in-valid match, they then searched for Vincent.

#### Act 3 "Master Of His Own Destiny"

##### Irene Meets The Real Vincent

irene questions vincent about who he really is as she has recently discovered he is acually an invalid and not jerome.she confronts vincent about his Identity and he admits he is not jerome.Vincent tells irene everything about who he is and how he got into the identity fraud.Irene thinks she is less of a person because she has a heart condition but vincent tells hers not to be down on herself because he has the same heart condition and hes made it into the space program.

##### The Murderer, Exposed

After the brutal murder of the Mission Director, a detective is sent to investigate possible suspects. During a heated meeting between the case's detective and Jerome. This is when Anton curiously investigates his home after Irene gave Anton a list of the people come and gone from Gattaca. After a night out with Irene, Anton visits Vincent's house Jerome had fallen out of his wheel chair. Unable to get back into his chair, Jerome struggles as he climbs the stairs and into a chair. Jerome and Vncent's secret is almost revealed as Anton is walking down the stairs. Seconds away from revealing Vincent's secret, Anton recieves a phone call confirming the end of the case. The murderer was revealed to be the head of Gattaca, due to business disagreements.

##### Sibling Rivalry

Anton accuses Vincent of being a fraud. Anton challenges Vincent to a swimming race he wants to prove that Vincent can not be a valid like he is. Just like they did in their childhood when Anton refused to be blood brothers. At one point Vincent and Anton stop swimming because they have gone too far out into the ocean. Anton tells Vincent to swim back because of this. Vincent then tells Anton that the reason why he had beaten him last time was because he never thought about the swim back. In the end Anton became unconscious and once again Vincent had to swim him back to shore.

##### Going Away

As Vincent moves through the building to the launch site, he is stopped for an unexpected urine test. Vincent agrees to take the test, but he forgot to bring Jerome's genetic material to hide his identity. The tests result is in-valid, but the doctor, Lamar, who did Vincent's interview at Gattaca, tells him that he has known Vincent's identity all along, saying, "For future reference, right-handed men don't hold it with their left. Just one of those things." Lamar then changes the test result to allow Vincent to go onto the ship. He then tells him that his son admires Vincent and wants to be an astronaut just like him even with a genetic defect that would automatically count him out. The shuttle takes off with Vincent on board, and he opens the card from Jerome to find some hair samples. Back on Earth, Jerome climbs inside his home incinerator, puts on his silver medal and fires up the flames.

## Characters

Activity
 Fill out the tables for each character. Ensure you examine your film to verify each entry before putting it into the wiki. If a section has already been filled out, refine, change (use the discussion tab) or add to what's already there.

### Primary Characters

#### Vincent Freeman

Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke)
##### Initial Impressions

AS AN ADULT: Vincent seems very mysterious as if he was preparing for something. We are not to sure why he is doing this at this point of the movie. He seems mysterious because he is preparing blood patches for his fingers and straps a urine bag to his leg. He also vacuums his keyboard with a small instrument.

AS A CHILD: Blood Brothers - Vincent was very insecure and disappointed because his parents had no faith in him. This is shown by the expressions on young Vincent's face. He wants to fit into his family and an example of him trying to do that is when he wanted to be blood brothers with Anton.
Intro Anton - That Vincent is scornful towards his brother and dad. He feels that his dad has rejected him for his brother Anton.

##### Character Actions

AS AN ADULT: Meticulous scrubbing and washing, suspicious vacuuming, little expression while talking.

AS A CHILD: Blood Brothers - Vincent gazes out towards the sea and takes a shell from his pocket and cuts his right thumb with it. Gives the shell to Anton (his valid brother) for him to do the same. He looks disappointed as he watches Anton drop the shell and runs into the ocean.
Intro Anton - He rubs off the name on the wall, indicating that he feels that he is not part of the family.

##### Motivations

AS AN ADULT: At this point of the movie we are not sure what his motivations are but we find out later in the film that he is following his goal to be an astronaut and go into space.

AS A CHILD: Blood Brother - Vincent really wants to be close to Anton and be blood brothers with him.
Intro Anton - He is trying to the tell the audience that he thinks that he is not part of the family. The family are in the background happy and smiling while Vincent is left out.

##### Characterization

AS AN ADULT: Always presents himself well, we know this because he is never seen out of a suit and the director praises him for his cleanliness.

AS A CHILD: Looks very nerdy. Glasses, High-riding baggy shorts.

##### How They're Presented

AS AN ADULT: He is in the dark as if he is trying to hide. There is also a shot where it looks like he is behind bars that hide his appearance. There are many close ups to show facial expressions and moves.

AS A CHILD:

##### How They Change

In the first part of the introduction scene, he is mysterious, serious and casual. Then when he is talking to the director he shows less emotion and more tense.

#### Jerome "Eugene" Morrow

Jerome "Eugene" Morrow (Jude Law)
##### Initial Impressions

We first see Jerome underneath a double helix shaped staircase. He is in a wheelchair and is shown in a yellow light. The staircase represents Dna and how his is perfect. This could show that he is beneath his own perfection. The yellow half light shows how he is hiding from society because of his disability and how he thinks he is now less important.

##### Character Actions

Jerome wheels out from the shadows underneath the staircase. The only other action he really does is smoking. Jerome says is "well I certainly don't" when Vincent asks who lives upstairs.

##### Characterisation

He is dressed in a suit, like all other people in Gattaca, and has immaculate hair. He is in wheelchair as he's disabled due to his suicide attempt

##### How They're Presented

When the camera is on Jerome is is looking down on him (from Vincent and Germans point of view) this makes him look insignificant in comparison and shows how society (people like German) look down on him now and think they are better than him because they are not disabled.

##### How They Change

Jerome changes from a harsh, cold, uninviting, depressed, bitter, angry and socially reserved person to a compassionate, nice, caring and resolved person.

#### Irene Cassini

Irene Cassini (Uma Thurman)
##### Initial Impressions

She realizes Vincent's dreams and ambitions because he constantly watches them. It shows us that she obviously likes him because she cares enough to notice him staring at the spaceships taking off at the same times everyday. Our first impression of Irene would initiate that she is a high-class valid, by the way she walks and presents herself. She is a little bit unconfident because of the fact that she has a heart defect. She is reasonably attractive and young.

She is a very caring character as she realizes Vincent's dreams of going into space.

##### Character Actions

She supports Vincent and she demonstrates to us what it's like for a valid to want to be like other valids because she is not good enough. She wants to improve herself, but she can't because she has a heart defect. This tells us that she might be unhappy about her life, because she wants to change who she is.

She watches the space shuttle launch too, just like Vincent. But she doesn't have the determination to do it not like Vincent does.

##### Motivations

Her genes, and family and her job. Her job because she is constantly surrounded by people who are genetically superior to her, this may suggest that she is unconfident with herself because she can't weigh-up with the others.

She is a valid but still has a heart problem so it might make her feel like she isn't good enough to be there.

##### Characteristation

She is very clean, tidy, neat. People dont tend to say much about her, apart from Vincent, who likes her...lots. She doesn't say all together too much, so nobody hates her, but she isn't noticed too much either.

She is happy to not be noticed by everyone e.g. doesn't like all the attention on herself.

##### How They're Presented

She is shown quite lightly, but she also is usually looked upon close up. It shows the audience her sad, or straight, expressionless face.

She is presented quite neat and tidy. Her hair is always pulled back real tight when she is at work.

##### How They Change

Irene changes in the sense that she likes Vincent more, and I think she becomes more familiar and accepting of the fact that she has a heart defect. Vincent shows her how he has achieved all his dreams on a 1% chance. And he has much better, genetically enhanced genes than him.

After the dinner she went on with Vincent their relationship changed because they were getting chased by those people who were suspicious about Vincent's real identity.

#### Anton Freeman

##### Initial Impressions

Anton was first presented to us when he was getting measured for his height. We think that he's a perfect child, because his parents chose his genes.

Anton shows through facial expressions a feeling of superiority over Vincent.

##### Character Actions

Anton's Dad measure's his height and it shows us that he is already taller than Vincent even though he is 2 years younger that him. His dad congratulates him with a hug. This shows the close relationship between him and his father. Vincent is excluded from this much like the way his father and Anton exclude him as a person.

##### Motivations

Vincent's motivation is proof that he is always going to be better then Vincent.

##### Characteristation

He father was proud enough to give him his name because he knew he would do great things and make the family name something to be proud of. when we first meet Anton the scene the lighting is bright and the colours used create a happy family atmosphere.

(Dialogue, acting, costumes, what others say about them etc)

##### How They're Presented

Anton is presented as being part of the family while Vincent is isolated/ exclude.

##### How They Change

Anton dosnt really change he always wants to show hes better then Vincent

(What evidence is there to suggest they change? Their ways of thinking and decisions etc.)

#### Dr. Lamar

Dr. Lamar (Xander Berkeley)
##### Initial Impressions

He is first presented when he was taking a urine sample from Vincent.

##### Character Actions

(What do they do and what does it tell us about them?)

##### Motivations

(What drives him to do what he does? This could be personality and background.)

##### Characteristation

(Dialogue, acting, costumes, what others say about them etc)

##### How They're Presented

(Camera work, lighting, shot composition etc)

##### How They Change

He tries to pretend that he doesn't know that Vincent is invalid.

#### German

German (Tony Shalhoub)
##### Initial Impressions

German is a salesman who is at first a shady and mysterious character.

##### Character Actions

He is a salesman who sells Jerome's identity to Vincent, he talks about Jerome like an object.

##### Motivations

Money Money Money Money $_$

##### Characteristation

He is very serious about his job and his price is not negotiable.

##### How They're Presented

He has very limited lighting on his face giving him a dark aura and a sense of mystery.

##### How They Change

There is no change to this character as he stays the same through out all scenes.

### Secondary Characters

Character Brief physical description Personality Motivations Characteristation Function Image
Programme Director Josef Old, grey hair and wrinkles.

[How does he react under given circumstances?]

[What drives him to do what he does? This could be personality and background.] [What things (specific techniques and otherwise) do the filmmakers do to make this character seem real?] He doesn't look like a movie star because he is old and lots of people can relate to being old. [What do we learn about other characters, wider ideas and/or about context (the background of Gattaca) from this character?] He was the reason one of them died. He shows us that some people at Gattaca will go to drastic measures to get what they want.
Programme Director Josef (Gore Vidal)
Detective Hugo [Old, receding hairline, wrinkly.]

[How does he react under given circumstances?]

[What drives him to do what he does? This could be personality and background.] [What things (specific techniques and otherwise) do the filmmakers do to make this character seem real?] [What do we learn about other characters, wider ideas and/or about context (the background of Gattaca) from this character?] [Create and scan an image of this character. Add an item or items that are associated with them.]
Caesar Old, white hair, wrinkly skin and a blue jumpsuit.

Nice man. Friendly. Loyal. Loving.

[What drives him to do what he does? This could be personality and background.] [What things (specific techniques and otherwise) do the filmmakers do to make this character seem real?
He is there to show the contrast between distopic and utopic lifestyles.
Caesar (Ernest Borgnine)
Antonio Freeman [What does he look like?]

[How does he react under given circumstances?]

[What drives him to do what he does? This could be personality and background.] [What things (specific techniques and otherwise) do the filmmakers do to make this character seem real?] [What do we learn about other characters, wider ideas and/or about context (the background of Gattaca) from this character?] [Create and scan an image of this character. Add an item or items that are associated with them.]
Marie Freeman [What does she look like?]

[How does she react under given circumstances?]

[What drives her to do what she does? This could be personality and background.] [What things (specific techniques and otherwise) do the filmmakers do to make this character seem real?] [What do we learn about other characters, wider ideas and/or about context (the background of Gattaca) from this character?] [Create and scan an image of this character. Add an item or items that are associated with them.]

### Important Relationships

Activity
 Write interview questions for each of the following pairs of characters below as though you are interviewing them for a documentary. The aim of this documentary is to explore the characters' relationship as accurately as possible. You may want to choose one of the following pairs of characters or choose your own. Write the characters' answers to the questions. Where there are two characters they should both answer but may not agree with each other. Ensure your interview questions and characters refer to specific events in the film. You can video this interview or put a written version on the wiki. Ensure your questions cover: What their relationship was like at the beginning (of the film). How it changed. How their different personalities effected the relationship. How the relationship was at the end (of the film).

#### Vincent and Eugene

[Insert interview here!]

#### Vincent and Irene

[Insert interview here!]

#### Vincent and Anton

[Insert interview here!]

#### Vincent and Caesar

[Insert interview here!]

### Allusions and the Significance of Names

Definition
 Write a definition for allusion here

Many authors choose names for characters and locations that relate to things in the world outside of the text. Phillip K. Dick (author of "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" which formed the basis for the film "Bladerunner") was a science fiction author who had a particular obsession with the meanings of names. Names will often relate to other things which in turn provide material to influence our reading of a text.

Example - Eugene Morrow
Derived from the Greek word ευγενης (eugenes) meaning "well born". It is composed of the elements ευ "good, well" and γενης (genes) "born".
This is appropriate as Eugene was 'well born' with a genetic profile "second to none."
Morrow is an abbreviation of the word 'tomorrow', suggesting the future.
It also evokes the word 'marrow', the flexible tissue found in the interior of bones. This association reminds the viewer again of Eugene's anatomy.
Despite his perfect genes, Eugene is paralysed from his accident and lives in a state of atrophy.

## Setting

Marin County Civic Center, in San Rafael, California, where much of Gattaca was shot. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the renowned architect responsible for many famous buildings such as the Guggenheim Museum.

Definition
 Research setting and write your own, concise definition for it here! Cover all aspects of setting: social/political, physical and temporal/time.

### The Future

Activity
 Write a historical article detailing the technological advances that have lead to the world Gattaca takes place in. Explain the relationship between the valids and in-valids. You may have to infer some of this information from what we learn in the film.

### Locations within the film

Activity
 Construct a tourist brochure for one of the following locations in the film or choose your own location. You are trying to encourage people to visit this location. Include illustrations that accurately depict what this location looks like. Describe what the location is like. Be as accurate as possible even though you may use adjectives that aren't particularly encouraging. You may construct this with electronic tools or scan the finished product. Ensure you adhere to WikiEducator's copyright requirements when designing this resource.

#### Gattaca

[Insert brochure here!]

## Style

### Symbolism

Definition
 Research symbolism and write your own, concise definition for it here!

Activity
 Fill out the following table of symbols in the film. Some of the symbols have been provided for you.

The DNA double helix
Symbol Denotative / literal meaning (what is it?) Connotative / symbolic meaning (what does it represent?) Image
Double Helix DNA spiral containing genetic information. Character's potential. The limits of their abilities. Fate. [Draw an image of this symbol in action]
Glass [More than one word here.] [Draw an image of this symbol in action]
Blood [More than one word here.] [Draw an image of this symbol in action]
Swimming [More than one word here.] [Draw an image of this symbol in action]
[Find another symbol!] [More than one word here.] [Draw an image of this symbol in action]

### Film Language

Definition
 Research film language and write your own, concise definition for it here!

#### Close Reading Process

Illustration of a camera demonstrating a tilt shot
1. Identify the film technique(s) the director has used in the shot.
2. Describe the specific effect of the technique.
3. Describe the wider effects (links to themes, character development etc) of the technique.

#### Close Reading Example

Technique: High Angle Shot of Eugene in his wheelchair

Specific Effect: Eugene appears subordinate, weak and powerless.

Wider Effect: Links to the themes of failure, imperfection and self worth. Eugene appears beaten by his disability, unable to overcome the obstacles he's faced since his failure at swimming.

Activity
 Close reading. Find a scene/shot with a specific technique or where director Peter Weir does something with film language that creates a particular effect. Name the technique or describe what he is doing with the language. Describe the specific effect it creates. Describe the wider effect (how it is linked to theme(s) and/or character development.)

Class close reading of Jerome's introduction: http://voicethread.com/share/1154770/

Class close reading of the three swimming sequences: http://voicethread.com/share/1194524/

## Themes / Big Ideas

### Perfection (and Imperfection)

#### Summary

How is the theme portrayed in the film? How are some of the events that take place in the film linked with this theme?

The theme perfection is portrayed in Gattaca when Irene takes one of Jeromes hairs to a to a sequence centre, after doing this she finds out that Jerome has perfect genes. Another scene that portrays perfection is when Anton beats Vincent in the swimming race, this shows perfection because Anton is genetically engineered, Also he feels very confident because he always beats his invalid brother.

Perfection is shown countless times in the film, characters constantly talk about what they believe is perfection and about traits others have that are supposedly perfect.

#### Important Characters

How are certain aspects of the characters' personalities are linked with the theme? How are some of characters experiences relevant to the theme?

An important character for the theme perfection is Jerome. Jerome is important for the theme because he is a valid who was created to be the perfect astronaut/swimmer, although he is what is supposed to be perfect he does not have determination or pride this makes him imperfect.

#### Setting(s)

How do particular settings in the film relate to this theme? (Social/political, physical and time settings)

### Discrimination

#### Summary

How is the theme portrayed in the film? How are some of the events that take place in the film linked with this theme? the whole movie is set on discrimination because of the valids and non-valids.

#### Important Characters

How are certain aspects of the characters' personalities are linked with the theme? How are some of characters experiences relevant to the theme?

#### Setting(s)

How do particular settings in the film relate to this theme? (Social/political, physical and time settings)

### Determination

#### Summary

It shows throughout the film that Vincent is determined to get into Gattaca and fly into space.

#### Setting(s)

How do particular settings in the film relate to this theme? (Social/political, physical and time settings)

### Family

#### Summary

How is the theme portrayed in the film? How are some of the events that take place in the film linked with this theme?

#### Important Characters

How are certain aspects of the characters' personalities are linked with the theme? How are some of characters experiences relevant to the theme?

#### Setting(s)

How do particular settings in the film relate to this theme? (Social/political, physical and time settings)

### Failure

#### Summary

How is the theme portrayed in the film? How are some of the events that take place in the film linked with this theme?

#### Important Characters

How are certain aspects of the characters' personalities are linked with the theme? How are some of characters experiences relevant to the theme?

#### Setting(s)

How do particular settings in the film relate to this theme? (Social/political, physical and time settings)

### Self Worth

#### Summary

How is the theme portrayed in the film? How are some of the events that take place in the film linked with this theme?

#### Important Characters

How are certain aspects of the characters' personalities are linked with the theme? How are some of characters experiences relevant to the theme?

#### Setting(s)

How do particular settings in the film relate to this theme? (Social/political, physical and time settings)