Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
USA/Germany/United Kingdom, 2002. Blue Turtle, Epiphany Productions, Hotwire Productions, ZDF Productions. Screenplay by Lynn Hershman-Leeson. Cinematography by Hiro Narita. Produced by Oscar Gubernati, Lynn Hershman-Leeson, John Bradford King, Youssef Vahabzadeh. Music by Klaus Badelt, Mark Tschanz. Production Design by Chris Farmer. Costume Design by Yohji Yamamoto, Marianna Astrom-De Fina. Film Editing by Lisa Fruchtman. Toronto International Film Festival 2002.
Lynn Hershman-Leeson continues the inanity of her previous technology-meets-feminism effort Conceiving Ada. In this one, the unstoppable Tilda Swinton plays not one but four parts. Her main character is a bio-geneticist whose research involves creating artificial life. She’s created three cyborg women, each with her own DNA (therefore all played by Swinton), each of whom have radically different personalities and habits. Because of some apparent need to cross their chromosomes with males, dominant cyborg Ruby (she wears red, get it?) goes out looking for sex and leaves her conquests with a barcode-like rash on their bodies and periodic impotence. While at home, Ruby and her sisters Olive (green!) and Marinne (blue!) make money by running an internet website that provides fantasies to viewers, but the girls have difficulty distinguishing reality from fiction and get their creator into quite a bit of trouble. Swinton is fascinating as always, and the gorgeous photography has an exotic metallic sheen to it that makes it always pleasurable to look at, but the interesting themes of sex in a world that doesn’t need it for reproduction are lost under miles of technobabble dialogue. The story never really makes enough sense, though you feel like it should, and the more symbolic messages are a bit too obvious.