The Mechanical Bride

Torontoist

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The Mechanical Bride

Guys and dolls. No, really, we mean dolls.

DIRECTED BY ALLISON DE FREN (USA, NIGHTVISION)


SCREENINGS:

Sunday, April 29, 11:30 p.m.
Bloor Hot Docs Cinema (506 Bloor Street West)

Monday, April 30, 9 p.m.
Cumberland 3 (159 Cumberland Street)

Sunday, May 6, 9 p.m.
Bloor Hot Docs Cinema (506 Bloor Street West)


For those new media scholars out there, The Mechanical Bride will ring a bell as one of the keystone texts of Canada’s own Marshall McLuhan. The documentary by the same name shares similar preoccupations with the intersection of life and technology, while taking the title to the literal extreme in examining the sub-(sub?)-culture of artificial companions, more commonly known by their trademarked name, RealDoll, the “Kleenex” of synthetic girlfriends.

Director Allison de Fren describes this “trend” as the most recent stop in a continual fascination with creating the ideal female robotic form, as we’ve seen in films from Metropolis to the recent, vaguely female automaton in Hugo. Where Mechanical Brides becomes truly interesting is its insistence on examining the real world ramifications of having borders between reality and fiction become increasing fuzzy. Whether it is an interview with Davecat, the minor-celeb face of Synthetiks advocacy (married to Sidore Kuroneko, whom you can follow on Twitter); the RealDoll doctor who repairs the silicon figures who have “had their limbs fucked off their torsos”; or professor and phenomenologist Vivian Sobchack, Mechanical Brides paints a picture of a complex world where the line between man, woman, and robot is rapidly eroding.


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