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Spectres of the Spectrum (1999)

Not Rated | | 17 March 2000 (USA)
Set in 2007, a father and daughter try to discover why the planet has ended up as a polluted cesspool of toxic, corrupting transmissions where its citizens expend terrific energy pursuing ... See full summary »


Craig Baldwin


Craig Baldwin

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Set in 2007, a father and daughter try to discover why the planet has ended up as a polluted cesspool of toxic, corrupting transmissions where its citizens expend terrific energy pursuing the most base rewards of a vacuous consumer culture. Written by Anonymous

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17 March 2000 (USA) See more »

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User Reviews

Part conspiracy theory, part b-film sci fi bonanza
13 September 2005 | by Polaris_DiBSee all my reviews

Initially, this film is very hard to take seriously, both for its relatively heavy use of noise-imagery and static which remind me strongly of experimental films (some of which I've made), and secondly because of an odd voice-over claiming doom and gloom in a way that calls back images of terrible sci-fi shows from the fifties and sixties with people running around in plastic suits.

Very soon afterwards, the film takes a turn for the serious, but still holds on to both the headache-causing flashings of distorted images with a couple of characters (ironically, both are epileptic) who often quote those same bad sci-fi features.

However, in order to add a certain element of the profound, the film takes images from our entire history of filmed and televised images and combines them together into a story of the world's slow suffering from the over-abuse of wavelengths by humanity. This abuse is reflected in everything imaginable, from religious ideologies of tapping into the meaning of the Universe, to scientific endeavors to gain free energy from all the Earth, to economic globalization and multimedia conglomeration. All sent with various examples and historical contexts to remind me of the advice, "If you're going to lie, provide as much truth as you can in the midst." Moments in the movie occur that, almost, touch upon a documentary-like air that makes the entire movie very foreboding...

...and yet then the characters come in and construct cheesy time-travel devices and run around the Universe yelling and being annoying and talking about "hidden messages" and "saving the spectrum" and it all kind of falls apart.

All in all, because I'm very interested in avant-garde styles of cinema, it's not a bad try. It's just that it is very overstimulating (I wouldn't be surprised if everyone else in the audience got the same headache I received from it, and it's ironic that there's no way an epileptic could watch this) and eventually disappointing. A good start, but could have used a bit of rewriting to give it a much more serious tone.


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