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With: Sean Kilkoyne, Caroline Koebel, Beth Lisick
Written by: Craig Baldwin
Directed by: Craig Baldwin
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 91
Date: 09/16/1999

Spectres of the Spectrum (1999)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Future Shock

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

One of the Bay Area's most fascinating and oddball filmmakers is notreally a household name, and probably won't be anytime soon. CraigBaldwin (Sonic Outlaws, Tribulation 99) makes very strange films outof "found footage," science fiction plots, and radical ideas aboutpolitics, commerce, and social interaction. His newest work, Spectresof the Spectrum, opens at the Roxie Monday, December 6, and it's wortha look.

Spectres of the Spectrum takes place in 2007 and follows a man named Yogi and his daughter Boo Boo. Yogi is locked away in a bunker, sending out secret broadcasts on the airwaves. Boo Boo has psychic powers and is searching for a code that her grandmother left embedded in an old 1950's science TV show. She must travel back in time to save the world from being erased. It's complicated, but really not too unlike this year's megahit The Matrix. Along the way, we learn about the inventors of the information age, from Philo T. Farnsworth (the inventor of television) to the new internet generation.

Thousands of images and ideas are hurled at us over the course of the movie's 84 minutes, such as pop culture images of Superman and Frankenstein. But Baldwin mostly wants us to expand our horizons and get us thinking about the nature of all this information that we hunger for. What do we ultimately do with it? Can we use it to survive? Can we survive without it? Spectres of the Spectrum is a daring work for asking such questions and presenting interesting ideas. But at the same time, it's silly good fun, like watching an old Ed Wood science fiction extravaganza. This is an amazing movie that makes us re-define our idea of what a movie really is.

DVD Details: Facets' new DVD comes with a director's commentary, bios, a making-of featurette, "Behind the Spectrum," and a vintage TV clip of "Science in Action."

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