Psychic Tequila Tarot
1998, 24:00 minutes, colour, English
The film Psychic Tequila Tarot, which is based on an interactive live performance of the same name, in which Isabell Spengler herself embodied the main figure, illustrates the problem of conformity and works the philosophy of human will into a radical parable: feminine wish fulfillment as talent and sickness.
Taking the form of an episodic road movie, the fictive autobiography of the self proclaimed fortuneteller Leila unfolds. Having escaped her all too liberal parental home, Leila tries to fill her inner emptiness by projecting the wishes and problems of other people onto herself.
On a trip through California, she invites complete strangers to a free tequila tarot card reading in her car, using her identification with the Other as stranger to find a way to her self, or equally to flee from her self.
This leads to a symbiotic relationship of mutual exploitation. While for the customers, Leila's excessive spiritual as well as corporal devotion opens up the possibility of having their repressed wishes and impulses reflected, Leila only gains an increasingly compressed identity by fulfilling and personifying these wishes. In flashbacks of stories from her childhood Leila provides a glimpse into the development of her complex ideology.
"As an expressly blank screen character who exists only through the ideal imaginings and wishes projected on her by her customers, Leila extends the concept of conformity ad absurdum. She sells a placebo, the mirroring of the customer back to him or herself. But the customer, flattered by this positive mirroring, is quite ready to become animated. Authenticity or the fulfillment of a prophecy no longer play any role in a self-reproducing Disneyland, in which semiotics is dissolved and the quality of a ritual is measured by the excess adrenaline produced." - Isabell Spengler
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