Synthetic Pleasures

  • 1996
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Documentary, Science Fiction

Coyly dubbed a "a sci-fi documentary," this formless look at cyberculture, transgendering, virtual reality and various other trendy topics has less on its mind than it thinks. Certain themes -- defying nature, rethinking the relationship between mind and body -- rise through the disorganized mess, but director Iara Lee, a Brazilian filmmaker of Korean descent,...read more

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Coyly dubbed a "a sci-fi documentary," this formless look at cyberculture, transgendering, virtual reality and various other trendy topics has less on its mind than it thinks. Certain themes -- defying nature, rethinking the relationship between mind and body -- rise

through the disorganized mess, but director Iara Lee, a Brazilian filmmaker of Korean descent, really doesn't seem to have a clue what she wants to say about them. She compensates by interviewing anyone who doesn't run away, including dreadlocked VR pioneer Jaron Lanier, Timothy Leary,

cyberprankster r.u. sirius, Future Sex magazine founder Lisa Palac and various pretentious academics, writers and club kids who don't know the difference between attitudes and ideas. Beneath the underwhelming computer glitz and woolly-minded theorizing, it's a sort of Mondo Futuro,

minus the audience-pleasing freak show stuff, though the sequence featuring Orlan, the French performance artist whose medium is plastic surgery, comes close. Be a nerd: Skip the movie and visit the web site, which is by virtue of its breadth and depth a far more interesting experience.

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  • Released: 1996
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Coyly dubbed a "a sci-fi documentary," this formless look at cyberculture, transgendering, virtual reality and various other trendy topics has less on its mind than it thinks. Certain themes -- defying nature, rethinking the relationship between mind and b… (more)

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