Spectres & Tribulation
Spectres of the Spectrum is a feature-length 16mm film utilizing old ‘kinescopes’ (filmed records of early TV broadcasts before the advent of videotape, mostly from the late Fifties’ educational show called ‘Science in Action’)...
Posted by Pale Rider
... to create an eerie, haunted “media-archaeology” zone for a sci-fi time-travel tale, wherein live-action actors search for a hidden electromagnetic secret to save the planet from a futuristic war-machine, inspired by HAARP the High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (Though fictionalized for Baldwin’s film, HAARP is, in fact, a very real phenomenon. On the surface, it is a data-gathering tool to explore the Aurora Borealis in detail. But in fact, HAARP doubles as one of the most sophisticated components of the Star Wars weapons arsenal, a particle beam device that can be accurately targeted on specific sites in the ionosphere.
Set in the year 2007 in the blighted desert outpost of Las Vegas, a young telepathic woman (”BooBoo”) scavenges for survival on an old bombing range with her father (”Yogi”) who is holed up in a cinder-block pirate-TV station, broadcasting rambling diatribes on the impending global electromagnetic ‘Pulse’. A solar eclipse gives BooBoo a cosmic opportunity to save the world, through a superluminal voyage back into time to retrieve a secret message left on the airwaves by her scientist grandmother.With their Airstream trailer converted into a spaceship, the amazed BooBoo is able to catch up with outwardly propagating Fifties’ educational-TV broadcasts, affording an accelerated review of mid-century science and science-fiction cinema; and narrating a loose and collage-happy history of heroes and martyrs of the electromagnetic revolution. Commentary on Mesmer, Morse, Bell, Tesla, Farnsworth, and others comes from Yogi and his ‘TV Tesla’ correspondents, in a playfully speculative effort to trace the growth of corporate hegemony over the electromagnetic spectrum. Through an increasingly abstract montage of live-action, archival film, broadcast video, and ‘exploded’ interviews, the fantasy narrative warps into disjointed, abstracted, audio-visual phrases, suggesting the breakdown of personal ego/memory, historical representation, and, yes, of spacetime itself.
This science-fiction allegory about ‘electromagnetic autonomy’ in opposition to the hegemony of the culture-management industry, tracing a history of media technology from its early days to a 21st century “New Electromagnetic Order” that threatens to take total control of our lives.
Spectres of the Spectrum
by Craig Baldwin
(16mm color and b/w sound film approx. 93 mins.)
- DivX AVI- 500.2 mb
Unrelentingly lurid and equally hilarious, Tribulation 99: Alien Anomalies Under America might be an X-ray of a rabid slacker’s seething brain. This 48-minute document of underground agitprop… is both a skewed history of United States intervention in Latin America and a satire of conspiracy thinking–as well as an impressive demonstration of the sort of connect-the-dots logic that makes such political or world views possible.With a sci-fi plot suggesting that current unrest can be blamed on space aliens who live under U.S. atomic test sites, the film illustrates its lurid comic drama with images culled from everyting from newsreels to Mexican horror flicks. This nutty little item suggests that conspiracy trhinking is a Frankenstein monster which inevitably destroys its creator (First you have the conspiracy theory, and then the conspiracy theory has you). The film may induce in some an aggravated form of ‘medialepsy’, brought on by TV journalism’s flashing images — or is it the cadences in Mary Hart’s voice.Director Baldwin intends “to actually hypnotize the audience and set up this psychotronic state, I wanted to have a film that not only talked about mass hypnosis but did hypnotize you” (Premiere). Your eyelids get heavy, you quack like a duck, you remember nothing of what you have done. (So what else is new?)
- DivX Avi