1881 Post Street (at Fillmore)
San Francisco, California 94115


Notorious Bay Area kino-renegade Craig Baldwin tops his earlier found-footage operas Spectres of the Spectrum and Sonic Outlaws with this much-anticipated work, a rapid-fire pulp serial–cum–political tract piss take on California’s major military, entertainment and religious industries. Hitting upon everything from Satanism to Scientology, the Beats to the jets (propulsion, that is), Baldwin revs up his characteristic stock footage reappropriations with some live-action scenes, adding an over-the-top pulp flair to the proceedings. The film focuses on three seemingly disparate characters to fuel this secret history of California: Jack Parsons, inventor of solid rocket fuel, founder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Aleister Crowley acolyte; Marjorie Cameron, artist, beatnik and occultist; and L. Ron Hubbard, the science fiction writer turned Scientology founder. Rather than straightforward profiles, Baldwin mashes up their histories with archival footage drawn from his vast collection of educational and governmental films, subverting their original narratives (and intent) to his own purposes. His live-action scenes and audio montages blend with these “seized histories,” creating a bizarre form of cinema, a collage narrative where the documentary images of yesteryear lend not truth but poetry, paranoia and fantasy. Arising with demonic force from the 20th century’s accumulated detritus, the film surveys “the repurposing of the popular imagination in postwar California,” according to Baldwin, tracing the “simultaneous rise and convergence of New Age religious cults, the military/aerospace industrial complex and modern-day myths from Disney to certain sci-fi overlords.”

World Premiere.


Official Website: http://fest08.sffs.org/films/film_details.php?id=55

Added by molitov on April 15, 2008

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