My favorite science fiction movie of all time is Blade Runner (1982 – Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Darryl Hannah.) It too was about cyborgs, but I trust all of my dear readers have seen it and love it as I do, so I’ll review something more recent — twenty years hence to be exact.
The stars of Teknolust are Tilda Swinton. Yes, stars. She plays the genetic scientist Rosetta Stone, who uses her own DNA and some software program in her computer to replicate herself three times as Ruby, Olive, and Marinne – SRAs (self-replicating automatons).
Now Rosetta is your classic geek — unstylish naturally curly brown hair, coke bottle glasses, and zero sex-appeal — zilch. The three SRAs however each possess a unique beauty and personality that Rosetta could never achieve for her own self. Because of the ethical implications of what she has created though, she keeps her children/sisters(?) hidden, except for Ruby. It seems these SRAs have a slight flaw. They need regular injections of the Y chromosome in order to survive.
If you’re still with me, the best aspect of this story of three artificial humans living in a sort of microwave oven, is the visual impact of the film. The colors and costumes are stunning. Everything having to do with Ruby, played by Tilda Swinton, is RED, her silky dress, her room, her nails, her lipstick, everything, even the condoms she gives to the men whose semen she is harvesting.
Olive and Marinne, played by Tilda Swinton and Tilda Swinton, round out the trio with their own unique personalities. Marinne is a needy, emotionally vulnerable type, and Olive is her nurturing caring sister. Everything having to do with Marinne is BLUE. And, you guessed it, everything having to do with Olive is GREEN. (Look at the photo above for your first clues.)
So, back to the story: Ruby goes into the real world hunting sperm. But first, since she’s essentially a brand new being, she has no experience interacting with men, so Rosetta programs her while asleep by exposing her subconscious to pick up lines from old B&W Hollywood movies. These get the job done (she scores) although she’s certainly pretty and sexy enough that I don’t see their relevance, unless one counts the way they crack you up when she uses them. The semen is then stored in jars and labeled with the man’s photo taken by Ruby with her polaroid necklace. Later they brew it up and have sort of a High Tea.
Anyway, this goes along for a time until things turn a little dicey. Ruby’s one-night-stands become afflicted with little tiny barcode rashes on their foreheads, which I’m imagining they could probably live with, but they also develop erectile dysfunction, which takes no imagination to understand they don’t want to live with, not only that but their hard drives crash, something none of us can live with.
The epidemic comes to the attention of Edward Hopper, not played by Tilda Swinton but instead played by James Urbaniak, who is a Federal agent of some sort, charged with investigating the outbreak. He seeks out Rosetta Stone as a bio-geneticist resource to aid his investigation, which understandably makes Rosetta even more paranoid. He is also joined by a private dick named Dirty Dick, played by Karen Black.
As time goes by the girls develop an emotional connection with the human condition, Ruby even falls in love with Sandy (Jeremy Davies) an utterly dysfunctional copy store employee, living with his mom, who is a failure at everything. Even his copies come out wrong.
You’ve probably concluded that Teknolust is a chick-flick, and you would be right, but I enjoyed it immensely. I wouldn’t say the story is well developed, and doesn’t always flow smoothly, but its visual impact makes up for any shortcomings. This movie is truly eye candy — stunning eye candy in technicolor, and it has some wonderfully humorous moments. If you’ve never seen a woman unwittingly try to buy a donut with a pocket book full of red condoms… well, you just haven’t lived.
This one is worth watching.