One of the finest movies of the '90s, as unforgettable as it is improbable. And it is improbable - in fact it sounds more like a gag than a putative masterpiece: Morris takes a lion tamer, a robot inventor, a topiarist and an expert on the mole rat, cutting between these self-confessed obsessives (and clips from old B serials) with a juggler's flamboyant skill. The carnivalesque score and Robert Richardson's characteristically eye-popping cinematography make it all the more disorienting. Entertaining as it is, you have to wonder how Morris can possibly draw it all together. When he does, it's on the most profound philosophical level, as the film engages with questions of what it is that distinguishes human consciousness from animal and artificial (and vegetable) varieties. Dazzling.
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