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).

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Various Films
New French Shorts
Queer and immigrant stories, satire and romance give new perspectives on French culture

Richard Whittaker, May 15, 2020

2020 Oscar-Nominated Short Films: Animated
This year's Academy-loved cartoons push the boundaries of the medium

Richard Whittaker, Jan. 31, 2020

More by Marjorie Baumgarten
Stardust
Bowie before he became Ziggy in this less-than-glittering docudrama

Nov. 27, 2020

Sound Unseen Review: <i>Stardust</i>
Sound Unseen Review: Stardust
The birth of Bowie the icon retold with more glimmer than glitter

Nov. 16, 2020

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Craig Baldwin & Company: The Optical Shoot-Out Weekend, Various

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle