Teknolust

Teknolust

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Sims anyone? Rosetta Stone (Tilda Swinton by way of Rhea Perlman) has cloned three kimono-clad versions of herself: naughty Ruby (Swinton by way of Madonna’s Drowned World Tour), shy Olive (Swinton by way of Sissy Spacek’s Carrie) and repressed Marinne (Swinton by way of, well, Swinton). Rosetta’s microwave oven is the window into the clones’ color-coordinated worlds, her computer the simulation center through which the nerdy scientist monitors their vitals (integral here are their spermatozoa counts). Antsy for some human contact, Ruby starts sleeping around in the real world. Though she’s all about contraception (curiously, Rosetta makes tea bags out of Ruby’s used condoms), her 30 some-odd flings contract a mysterious disease with odd symptoms (hard-drive crashes, impotence and a barcode-on-the-forehead). What with the San Francisco setting, screaming AIDS metaphor, synchronized clone voguing and references to Björk, Teknolust is no runaway gay fantasia. As directed by San Fran native Lynn Hershman Leeson, Teknolust ponders all sorts of postmodern, feminist issues. In bridging the gap (or “hopping” it—look for that bunny rabbit painting) between the film’s living world and its artificial one, Hershman calls attention to cyber-genetic advancements and American writer William Gibson’s theory of consensual illusions. Though less pretentious than her Conceiving Ada, Teknolust is also every bit as confused. Hershman’s all-neon-like cyber-philosophy is not only muddled but it also sounds as if it was penned by Björk herself (Ruby tells Rosetta via the cyber-geek’s microwave: “Feel my luminous halo. Think of me as part of your cyborgian spine.”). Still, the film’s weirdness needs to be experienced in order to be believed. If anything, see it for Karen Black, who camps up a storm as a fringe feminist conspiracy theorist named Dirty Dick.

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DVD
Distributor
Skouras Films
Runtime
85 min
Rating
R
Year
2002
Director
Lynn Hershman Leeson
Screenwriter
Lynn Hershman Leeson
Cast
Tilda Swinton, Jeremy Davies, James Urbaniak, Karen Black, Al Nazemian, Josh Kornbluth, Thomas Jay Ryan