CRITICAL Darling 

Your life, interpreted by Tilda Swinton and Thomas Jay Ryan — and all you had to do is become a suspected bio-terrorist! No, it’s not some The Game-like birthday present you can order from the Sundance Channel, it’s the concept of Lynn Hershman-Leeson’s latest film, Strange Culture.

The film follows the story of Steve Kurtz, an artist and professor who became the center of an FBI investigation after his wife (of 27 years) died of a heart attack and the authorities who arrived at his home discovered biological materials there (for use by the Critical Art Ensemble for educational, GMO-inspired art exhibitions).

So, here’s the twist: Kurtz can’t discuss on camera information regarding his trial, so Hershman-Leeson re-teamed with her Teknolust star, Swinton, and, um, Henry Fool, to dramatize the circumstances. The real Kurtz does appear on screen in Culture, and he and Ryan acknowledge one another, as in American Splendor, only leaning more toward the doc end of the spectrum.

Incidentally, Strange Culture’s DVD case has been sitting on my television next to Superbad (“From the guys who brought you Knocked Up …”), and I keep thinking to myself, How great would it be if the Culture box read: “From the bitches who brought you Teknolust? XO.


More by Ashley Lindstrom

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