Lynn Hershman-Leeson's TEKNOLUST
Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
This movie is like a breath of fresh air. The story is original, the acting is uniformly engaging, the dialog is witty, and it looks cheap in all the right places. It’s an in-your-face-reminder that you don’t need a bezillion dollars to create something fresh, entertaining, and original.
The story is a silly farce about a near future where a solitary scientist, played wonderfully by Tilda Swinton, figures out how to clone herself. She creates three gorgeous versions of herself and clothes them in brilliant green, blue, and red. Then she communicates with them through what is obviously a microwave oven doubling as a TV monitor.
One of the clones has ideas of its own and begins going out for nocturnal sessions involving protected sex with unthinking, stupid males who can’t seem to resist Free Sex when dangled in front of them. The clone takes the captured sperm back to her apartment and the victims end up impotent and with a forehead inflammation that takes the form of a bar code. This happens enough times that the Centers for Disease Control is brought in, and the scientist begins to see that her secret stash of beautiful clones (she’s a nerdy type) is probably going to be revealed.
Once upon a time I would have been offended by such sexist claptrap but the way Hershman-Leeson handles it, it’s tongue-in-cheek enough that I found myself giggling frequently at the ridiculous goings on.
As I mentioned, there are things about this movie that plainly reveal the low budget, but these are balanced by some wonderful scenes. I especially enjoyed seeing the three clones together; half the budget must have been spent on their gorgeous costumes, and the choreography of the one little musical number they perform for their creator has to be seen to be believed; it’s charming and hysterical at the same time and shows Swinton in a light that I never expected.
This movie is definitely not for everybody. It sets a host of SF cliches on their ears, it presents men as thoughtless sex obsessed pigs (or just plain dumb), and it sometimes threatens to be serious. But it’s very entertaining if you’re in the right frame of mind and want to see something original and different. Just don’t expect anything very profound. It’s a comedy, after all, and should be viewed in that light.
Review copyright (c) 2005 by Dennis D. McDonald