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Week of October 1, 2003

Teknolust. Lynn Hershman-Leeson. Scientist Rosetta Stone (Tilda Swinton, hidden under a massive poodle of a hairdo and big ugly glasses) has created three genetic duplicates of herself (Swinton, times three) whom she keeps shut away in a series of secret rooms in her house. Problem is, they lack the Y chromosome (don't all women?), and their health will deteriorate unless they inject semen into one another's hands on a regular basis. To collect the semen without creating emotional attachment, casual sex is required, but even with condoms this causes a computer virus to jump from clones to humankind. Sound strained? It is, but writer-director Lynn Hershman-Leeson is going for a kind of dream-logic here rather than straight realism. Like it or not, one does at least have to acknowledge that Swinton puts her chameleonlike talents to work here, putting in a tour-de-force fourfold performance in what would be any actress's dream role(s). Screens at 8 p.m. Friday-Sunday, October 3-5, in Webster University's Moore Auditorium, 470 East Lockwood Avenue. Call 314-968-7487. (Luke Y. Thompson)

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They Live. John Carpenter. You know they're all around us, don't you? Controlling the media and sending subliminal messages through newspapers and billboards, and yet somehow not really doing anything, the monsters of They Live are the Reaganite equivalents of pod people of the past; they control humans mostly because they're there. It's basically an Outer Limits episode that's had a run-in with Sergio Leone and Howard Hawks (this is a John Carpenter movie, after all!), but They Live, shot on the cheap as an escape from the studio interference and ratings battles that had plagued many of Carpenter's films in the '80s, comes close to B-movie perfection, loaded with goofy charm in everything from casting (wrestler "Rowdy" Roddy Piper is a pleasantly restrained hero and Meg Foster's eerie cat eyes are worth a few million dollars in special effects any day) to its typically jokey advertising campaign: after the 1988 debate between vice-presidential candidates Quayle and Bentsen yielded the famous "You're no John Kennedy" exchange, print ads for the film showed a debating scene with the copy "I know human beings, human beings are friends of mine, and you're no human being!" Screens at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 7, in the Lewis Room of the Fontbonne University Library. (Robert Hunt)

 
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