The Cinematic Life of the Gene is a cultural study of ﬁlm that brings
the dynamics of visibility, embodiment, and artiﬁciality center stage.
It explores the changing relationship between biological and cultural
forms at the current conjuncture of science, feminism, and the cinema.
Taking both ﬁlms and theoretical texts as its focus, the book seeks to
contribute to the current interdisciplinary debate about the geneticiza-
tion of the body, which stretches from cultural studies of science and
technology across feminist ﬁlm criticism to queer theories of desire,
embodiment, and kinship.
Each of the three sections of the book contains one short theoretical
speculation, followed by two longer ﬁlm readings. These sections are
organized around very diﬀerent genres, united by a common concern
with the reconﬁguration of the surface-depth relation in the produc-
tion of a sense of geneticized embodiment. The readings that follow
focus primarily on six ﬁlms released since 1995, in the decade in which
Dolly the sheep was the ﬁrst mammal to be cloned from an adult cell.
All of the ﬁlms explore the problem of making visible the sameness of
the identical biological copy. The ﬁlm readings move from Hollywood