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Spectres of the Spectrum

Spectres of the Spectrum

Directed by Craig Baldwin. Starring Sean Kilcoyne, Caroline Koebel, Beth Lisick. (1999, NR, 107 min.)

REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Thu., July 12, 2001

This sci-fi quasi-drama from “media archaeologist” Baldwin is set in a near-future where Big Brother and Big Business control your TV – and radio and phone and computer – and only a ragtag band of waveband pirates, the New Electromagnetic Order, stand between them and total domination of our brainwaves. The hazy plot has cigar-chomping guerrilla transmitter Yogi and his telepathic daughter Boo Boo seeking the secret that will free the spectrum for all humankind. The film is a conspiracy theorist’s history of electronic media, presented via video clips ranging from Fifties TV to Nineties cable newscasts. It plays like some lost Lone Gunmen episode of The X-Files scripted by Firesign Theatre – quirky, quip-filled, and heavy on the suspicion. But what really distinguishes it is Baldwin’s dazzling command of video artifacts, artfully chosen and masterfully edited into a continually compelling collage. If anyone’s in control of the image, it’s Baldwin.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Spectres of the Spectrum, Craig Baldwin, Sean Kilcoyne, Caroline Koebel, Beth Lisick

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