Anxious to use artificial life to improve the world, Rosetta Stone, a bio-geneticist creates a Recipe for Cyborgs and uses her own DNA in order to breed three Self Replicating Automatons, part human, part computer named Ruby, Olive and Marine.
A minor addition to the tiny genre of feminist science fiction films, "Teknolust" is a benign, digital-age Frankenstein story about a mousy genetic research scientist, Rosetta Stone (the stunning Tilda Swinton, struggling to look plain by donning a curly wig and oversized glasses), who uses her own DNA to create three color-coded clones. Written and directed by Lynn Hershman Leeson, who guided Ms. Swinton to a more effective performance in the 1998 "Conceiving Ada," "Teknolust" has a lot on its mind but little on the ball when it comes to transforming thematic notions into dramatic concepts. The most aggressive of the clones, Ruby, becomes infatuated with an irritatingly incompetent copy shop employee (ok, we got it) played by the perpetually twitchy Jeremy Davies. Love, it seems, will help her to become real, like some sort of hormonally charged Pinocchio. There's some potential for entertainment here, but Ms. Leeson's emphatic direction draws much of the fun from the comedy elements. Even Ms. Swinton, usually the most restrained and elegant of performers, can be found mugging outrageously as she strains to put over the less-than-convulsive laugh lines. Dave Kehr
2004-02-20 | Dave Kehr | Read the New York Times Review of Teknolust