To what extent of the future is seen as negative in Gattaca and one related text?
Both contemporary films Gattaca and Avatar portray an overwhelmingly dystopian view of society in the future. Whilst Gattaca presents a future where society will be classed completely by the characteristics of their DNA, Avatar communicates a future world where humans will be driven completely by greed and self endeavour. Niccol and Cameron both express advancements in medical and genetic technology, as well as spacecraft and aircraft. The music, colour palette and lighting, symbolism and camera angles used are all highly engaging, whilst expressing the director's dystopic views towards future societies.
Music has been entwined throughout both texts, to create empathy and emphasise significant events. String instruments are at the base of the sound track in Gattaca and have been used to portray a melancholy tone, highlighting the hopelessly dystopic nature of society. As the camera flicks between Jerome locking himself in the incinerator and Vincent beginning his journey into outer space, a loud and high-pitched chorus of strings is played. Just as Niccol makes use of music to convey a sense of emotion, Cameron also suggests an emotional attachment to the audience in Avatar through the use of music. When Jake sees his Avatar for the first time, the music changes to a high-pitched tone, suggesting the start of a strong connection existing between them. Another instance is the first time 'Home Tree' is shown in the film. A loud chorus of music bellows, emphasising that it is a place of great significance.
Both directors have made use of colour palette and lighting to express their views towards future dystopian societies. Dark and greying colours, as well as noir lighting has been used throughout Gattaca, to portray how the world of Gattaca is as sterile as a scientific laboratory. Niccol also establishes the idea that in striving to be perfect, society has rid itself of all humanity. One example is when Irene shares her vision of beauty with Vincent; a sunrise complete with golden hues. This shining and glittering depiction contrasts starkly to the future world they inhabit. Another scene which contrasts to the dystopian world is when Vincent shares his dream of some day going into outer space. The scene is based within a golden light, showing how hope does exist for those of us who seek it in times of rejection and discrimination. The lighting displayed in Avatar is vastly different to that of planet earth. The colour palette shows the audience the value that the Na'vi place on their homeland; creating empathy when it is destroyed. The unique flora and fauna which is of such value to the Na'vi, is also a depiction of what may be present on future planets. One example of bio-luminescent flora that was of such great importance to the Na'vi, is the 'Tree of Spirits.' In contrast to the bright and vibrant environment on Pandora, the Sky People are portrayed in a dark and drab lighting, highlighting an over-bearing dystopian society. Colour palette, as well as lighting are both effective in their purpose of engaging the audience, whilst expressing the directors views of the future.
There are a number of recurring motifs present in both Gatacca and Avatar, which suggest that it is possible to overcome the boundaries which may be set for us in the future. The swimming race between Vincent and Anton is a recurring symbol, highlighting how eventually human spirit and drive will ultimately rule over physical perfection. When Vincent recalls his victory, 'There was something very different flowing through my veins,' he also makes reference to the flowing of water. Niccols has also used symbolism within the names of many of the characters, emphasising the significance of DNA in their lives in determining what social class they belonged to. For example, 'Anton,' the favoured brother means, 'worthy of praise,' whilst