Science Fiction Film & Television

Frankenstein’s offspring: practicing science and parenthood in Natali’s Splice

Science Fiction Film & Television (2015), 8, (3), 343–369.

Abstract

This essay reflects on the mythopoetic rewriting of the Frankenstein myth in Vincenzo Natali’s film Splice (2009). In adapting the story to a twenty-first century context, the film shifts the original story of science gone wrong into the contemporary form of biohorror, of science gone right but with unforeseen and transgressive results. The film thus concentrates on the discussion of the moral dimension and societal consequences of creating a human– animal hybrid by means of a central allegory of science as parenthood. The post-human creation becomes the basis for discussions of scientific accountability and responsibility, the illusions of control over scientific progress and the ethical considerations involved in contemporary technoscience, especially genetic engineering. Moreover, scientific involvement with consumer capitalism is revealed to complicate the already shifting ethical bases of science, as the biopolitical understanding of life as commodity exerts dominance.

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Schmeink, Lars