Part of Fall 1992
With his latest two films, San Francisco-based filmmaker Craig Baldwin takes parodic aim at American cold war foreign policy and its aftermath, navigating the international twilight zone of U.S. government spooks, zombies and official demons with the factual depth and sheer whacko logic of a Noam Chomsky who just fell off his toast. Outlandish conspiracy theories abound, descending like locusts on Baldwin’s faux-documentary images, which are wildly pastiched from such found-footage sources as corporate and military propaganda, “B” horror and sci-fi films, television news and travelogues. What emerges in these works is an infernal universe – beyond history, beyond reason – in which disinformation envelops the earth like The Blob, the most pernicious forms of domination and control are rampant and world leaders are quite probably “cybernetic replicants” bred by saucer-people. Hmmmmn…maybe the guy’s onto something here…
RocketKitKongoKit 30 min, 1986
It is 1960, and a popular African leader, Patrice Lumumba, is emerging in the wake of the breakup of the Belgian Congo. Suddenly, the CIA engineers his assassination and a sorry history of foreign control over what is now Zaire ensues. Having thus established some of the realities of Western neo-colonialism in Africa, Baldwin veers straight into the heart of its fantasies, blurring fact and fiction in his trademark appropriation of images from pop culture and agit-prop, spinning a lurid tale of military/industrial conspiracy and coercion which would be ludicrous if it wasn’t all-too-true.
Tribulation 99: Alien Anomalies Under America 48 min, 1991
U.S. policy in Central America is simultaneously abetted and thwarted by an elite cadre of aliens headquartered under Antarctica. Encyclopaedic in its command of every imaginable conspiracy factoid from Castro to cattle mutilations, Tribulation 99 extends the splintering narrative logic of RocketKit to its dizzying, apocalyptic end. “Through bad faith, racism, and the calculated projection of paranoid fantasies, the prevailing U.S. imperial ideology has ‘turned history on its head’ and blamed its neo-colonialized victims for the crisis in the Americas. My satirical rant aims to ridicule this absurd fear mongering”.