Spectres of the Spectrum

"Essential"

Spectres of the Spectrum Review


Questions raised and answered by watching Spectres of the Spectrum that do not go away after a week's time.

1. How did the nice idea of increasing communication, of tapping the ionosphere to search for somewhat spiritual signals, become the behemoth we know today as the telecommunications conglomerates?2. Can an Airstream trailer really be outfitted to navigate space and time?3. Is time really reversible?4. How can 50s educational films be molded into a cohesive and still-brilliant film?5. How can a movie that uses B-footage, video cameras, Airstream trailers, and frequent homages to the science fiction style of Ed Wood be five-star cinema?

The answer to all of these questions is a simple I don't know.

Spectres of the Spectrum is yet another media archeology delivered to us by San Francisco eccentric and experimental filmmaker Craig Baldwin (Sonic Outlaws). Compiled out of stock footage and video camera clips, Spectres of the Spectrum ends up being one of the most mystifying, freaky trips that I have had in a theatre... EVER.

The year is 2007, one giant conglomerate controls the entire telecommunications industry, and the ionosphere is quickly being destroyed by this nasty conglomerate's evil tactics. The people of the world, for the most part have become zombies due to television... a select few intelligent life forms remain. These intelligent life forms create a pirate television network in order to spread information as to how the world became this way, and talk about how the evil plans of the telecommunications supercorporation can be thwarted.

This discussion leads us back into time, as Baldwin effortless intercuts educational films and gives voice-overs that explain how each time a massive advance was made in telecommunications, it was taken over by a corporate or government power. This ultra paranoid rhetoric may seem just rhetoric to the layperson, but to anyone at all acquainted with the telecommunications industry, the tagline of Spectres rings true: "nothing in this film is fiction."

Rarely does one get to see a film that is totally different, completely brilliant, and incredibly timely, and Spectres hits all of these qualifications with ease.

Spectres, like other media archeology films (i.e. the 16mm short film out of Kent State University, What Happens when we Swallow), is ripe for self-parody and effortless humor. As the "fiction" of Spectres begins to take over, we are granted a severe dose of B-movie parody. An example: an Airstream trailer is refitted to travel through a wormhole, and, when going through said wormhole, the strings which hold the model trailer aloft are clearly visible. Also, when Amy Hacker's (real life person, real life name) fictitious body is put into the ground, her granddaughter Boo-Boo (don't ask) ponders over her last words and comes up with the simple question "But what the fuck does that mean?"

Perhaps that question is as good as any to end this review with, for Spectres of the Spectrum is a film that is so beyond words that any compliment I give it will end up with a similar utterance from your lips. The only coherent thing that I can say is this: go see it.



Spectres of the Spectrum

Facts and Figures

Run time: 94 mins

In Theaters: Friday 17th March 2000

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 5 / 5

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Unknown, as Voice of Beth Lislick

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Advertisement
Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Movie Review

Subtitled Salazar's Revenge in the UK, this fifth film in the long-running series never quite...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.