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Spectres of the Spectrum (1999)

Director: Craig Baldwin
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Other Cinema
Genre: Independent, Experimental/Avant-Garde
Running Time: 92 min.
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San Francisco-based director Craig Baldwin creates this rough-hewn experimental sci-fi tale. Set in 2007, father and daughter scientific team Yogi and Boo-Boo try to discover why the planet has ended up as a polluted cesspool of toxic, corrupting transmissions where its citizens expend terrific energy pursuing the most base rewards of a vacuous consumer culture. Constructed out of vintage '50s television shows and new 16mm footage, this film is a bizarre, savagely funny romp. Spectres of the Spectrum was screened at the 1999 Vancouver International Film Festival. ~ Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide

Special Features include: commentary from director Craig Baldwin, a clip from SCIENCE IN ACTION and a short "documentary" (of sorts) entitled BEHIND THE SPECTRUM.

GreenCine Exclusive Interview

Andy Spletzer has an "entertaining, exhausting, exuberant and ultimately edifying" conversation with Craig Baldwin about Sonic Outlaws and Spectres of the Spectrum, Other Cinema's screenings, DVDs and zine and the film he's working on right now. Full article >>

GreenCine Member Reviews

Cool media barrage by GGoodsell March 19, 2005 - 4:16 PM PST
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
Militant film editor Craig Baldwin pillages countless science-fiction films from the Fifties and Sixties, old education film strips and other cinematic detritus, tosses it all into a blender whereupon a most heady movie cocktail emerges. The "story" is slight, if at all. A father and daughter plan to foil a multinational conspiracy by flying back in time to catch the family?s mother on a "transcendentally banal" TV science show. In the meantime, countless wacky theories accompanied by outdated, futuristic vistas wash over the viewer. Movie geeks will jump up and down and point at the screen as almost subliminal clips of obscure, schlock movies fly by ... "PROJECT X , 1968, directed by William Castle!" SPECTRES OF THE SPECTRUM is the penultimate party movie for pop culture overdose victims.

Brilliant collage barrage by tboot November 21, 2003 - 5:29 PM PST
12 out of 12 members found this review helpful
Collage master Craig Baldwin, in his own words, "surfs the wave of obsolescence," appropriating footage from old TV shows, banal industrials, Japanese monster movies, school science films and anything else that serves his subversive purpose. From these thousands of snippets, along with footage he filmed himself as a connecting thread, he has constructed a furiously engaging, end-of-the-millennium science fiction satire. Set in a ravaged near-future, it depicts a battle between the New Electromagnetic Order (NEO), an enormous cartel of corporations bent on controlling the entire electromagnetic spectrum for it's own commercial, mind-controlling ends, and an underground cabal of rebels and hackers dedicated to taking back the spectrum. The movie plunges through the entire history of electromagnetic technology, from Benjamin Franklin hacking the ionosphere to the ever-accelerating Internet, giving it all an exhilarating, hilarious, devastating spin. There are more ideas-per-second here than you can possibly process in one sitting, surpassing even Baldwin's earlier masterpieces "Tribulation 99" and "Sonic Outlaws." The miracle of the Baldwin's barrage technique is that it works in so many different ways, as sculpture, as political critique, as history, as mysticism, and much more. In a better world, this is what they'd be showing in junior high school science class.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.18)
50 Votes
add to list New List

something like documentary
personal, experimental, and beautiful films that (i think) smartly challenge the conventions of documentary
addicted to film

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