KARDIA (Su Rynard). 85 minutes. Opens Friday (October 13) at Canada Square. For times, see page 114. Rating: NN Rating: NNNNN
Like the opening of Dead Ringers, Kardia is set in an icy medical atmosphere that makes a virtue of sterility.
The camera glides through the film's precise set and slides easily between its present-day and 50s settings. The ideas are refined and the performances suitably wintry. But where Cronenberg's cool threatens some outbreak of body horror, Su Rynard 's chill is entirely the point.
Her protagonist, Hope ( Mimi Kuzyk ), works as a pathologist investigating the human heart. As an infant, she was subjected to experimental surgery that pumped a donor's blood through her body. The principal side effect now seems to be a penchant for delivering crashingly self-serious musings into her dictaphone.
Kardia springs from a sincere and thorough investigation into the relationship between women and science, a subject Rynard's films and videos have pursued for 20 years. She's especially interesting on the contradictions that arise when women take up the detached, investigative gaze of the typical male researcher.
But the mystery plot hobbles it. The ideas are intriguing and the film builds to a graceful, moving ending, but the road there could've used more twists and dips.