Review: Teknolust DVD

STUDIO: Microcinema | DIRECTOR: Lynn Hershman-Leeson | CAST: Tilda Swinton, Jeremy Davies, James Urbaniak, Karen Black, Thomas Jay Ryan
RELEASE DATE: 10/26/10 | PRICE: DVD $19.99
SPECS: R | 82 min. | Science-fiction | 1.78:1 widescreen | stereo | English subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

In the 2002 cerebral science-fiction movie Teknolust, scientist Rosetta Stone (Tilda Swinton of Michael Clayton) has a secret: She has used her DNA to animate a trio of sexy clone automatons (all played by Swinton) who are infecting dozens of men with a virus that renders them impotent and crashes their computers. Rosetta attempts to cover up for her “girls,” but her laboratory soon comes under investigation by a snooping federal agent (James Urbaniak of You Don’t Know Jack).

This kind of brainy, futuristic fiction is always a bit of a hard sell, but it does have its adherents and, contrary to popular belief, a good number of them are women. That said, the luridly titled Teknolust is a sure bet for this admittedly small but devoted audience. Writer/director Lynn Hershman-Leeson (Conceiving Ada) offers an intelligent meditation on the differences between men and women’s perceptions of sex, the uses of scientific research and the Internet.

It’s Swinton, though, who’s the real focus of the independent film, as she portrays the color-coordinated clones as different wish projections of the nerdy Rosetta. Teknolust loses much of its imaginative momentum in its final third, but the science-fiction movie’s most rewarding indulgence is a winningly goofy dance number performed by the trio for the good doctor’s amusement.

Heshman-Leeson’s low-key quirkiness will attract fans of such indie directors as Hal Hartley, whose Henry Fool stars Urbaniak and Ryan are featured prominently in the Teknolust.

The DVD comes without special features.


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About Ed

Ed Grant has written about film for a wide range of periodicals, books and websites. He edited the reference book The Motion Picture Guide Annual and, since 1993, has produced and hosted the weekly cable program Media Funhouse, which Time magazine called “the most eclectic and useful movie show on TV.”