Craig Baldwin & Company: The Optical Shoot-Out Weekend
NR Directed by Various.
REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Thu., July 12, 2001
Spectres of the Spectrum (1999) D: Craig Baldwin; with the voices of Sean Kilcoyne, Caroline Koebel, Beth Usick. (NR, 107 min.) This sci-fi quasi-drama from “media archaeologist” Baldwin is set in a near-future where Big Brother and Big Business control your TV ñ and radio and phone and computer ñ 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 ñ 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. ñ Robert Faires (reviewed 3-24-00) @Alamo Drafthouse Downtown, Fri (7/13), 9:30pm; $7 general/$3.50 Co-op members (discounted badge for the two screenings may be purchased in advance by caling 236-8877).Bill Daniel’s 16mm Dumpster Beatnik Workshop is a one-day workshop on “instant, no-cost film (dis)assemblage,” or in other words, the direct mechanical manipulation of appropriated film footage for artistic ends. @Blue Theatre (916 Springdale Rd.), Sat (7/14), 10-4pm; call 236-8877 for advance tickets: $30 general/$15 Co-op members.The San Francisco <-> Austin Optical Shoot-Out is a free-for-all with screenings and installations by filmmakers including Craig Baldwin, Bill Daniel, Lori “Surfer” Varga, Luke Savisky, Lee Daniel, Eric Patrick, Trixy Sweetvittles, David Martinez, and members of the Cinemaker Co-op. @Blue Theatre (916 Springdale Rd.); Sat (7/14), 8pm; $8 general/$4 Co-op members (discounted badge for the two screenings may be purchased in advance by caling 236-8877).