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  • Writer's pictureBenjamin Fife

Gattaca - Get your inspiration where you can. Run with it. And DON'T look back.

Last night I lay awake with my mind just going. Doesn’t happen very often. Normally, my head hits the pillow and I’m out within five to ten minutes tops. I got some aggravating news about someone I care about and it got me worked up. I tried all my normal things I do when every six months or so this happens to no avail.

But on the upside (kind of) – I randomly browsed some junk on my phone including reading this article from GiantFreakinRobot:

And I then posted it on Facebook. Cause that’s what you do when you’re up at 2 in the morning. Gattaca came out the year I graduated from High School. I took a date to see it. I don’t think I recall who. But I LOVED it instantly. I bought the soundtrack. It is, quite possibly, my very favorite soundtrack of all time (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country is probably #2). That was 26 years ago this year. A year or 2 later, I was having a particularly depressive episode and reflected on Gattaca. That was the first time I found and drew on real inspiration from it.

If you’ve not seen it, I’m only sharing a mild spoilers here. The main character, Vincent, lives in a dystopian society where all accepted members of society have been genetically engineered. His parents opted for the old-fashioned way in the back of a sedan with no genetic manipulation. Without that genetic passport, he’s what’s considered an In-Valid. Not fit for anything other than menial work. At birth his heel is pricked, a blood sample is taken, and the exact nature of his eventual physical demise due to inferior genetics is predicted.

But Vincent refuses to accept it.

What follows is 2 hours of murder mystery in the spirit of North by Northwest meets the Fugitive meets Bladerunner.

Gattaca is beautifully simple and heartrendingly poignant. Vincent’s secret? He never leaves anything for the trip back.

I’ve been struggling the last few months. My wife had major surgery. I had a major slackening of bookings for a couple of months. I jettisoned 3/4ths of the good habits I had spent months ingraining in my routine. Reading the article and chatting with a couple of nearly unknown friends on Facebook reminded me why I love it. I don’t know the last time I listened through the soundtrack. Its certainly been over a decade since I watched the movie. But this morning on my morning dog walk after finishing up listening to an intriguing fantasy book that made me think a bit (Dragons of Introvertia - I’ll review it in the next couple of days), I turned on the soundtrack. And all that inspiration and mojo came flowing back.

I’m about 50 lbs overweight. I enjoy my walk, but I do NOT enjoy exercising. At least that’s what I’ve been telling myself over and over again. Listening to the soundtrack, thinking about the movie, and reflecting on the inspiration it has given me in the past, I found myself NEEDING to RUN! It’s a 3 mile loop I normally go on. I ran at least a third of it today for the first time in MONTHS. I asked myself again, “What would make me be willing to leave nothing for the trip back? Why aren’t I?”

So I didn’t. I ran. I took a cold shower afterward to cool off. It was amazingly invigorating. And now I wrote my freakin’ 500 word minimum for the day that I haven’t done in over a month.

Look out world. I’m back, and I’m giving it all today, not giving a damn about what’s left for tomorrow.

Hopefully, the upcoming series will be as inspirational for me as the movie has been for 26 years. Here's hoping they get Michael Nyman back for the soundtrack.

Whether you love the movie or not, find what inspires you. Let it light a fire under you and see what happens.


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