Craig Baldwin is the mad scientist of Bay Area independent cinema. Best known in some circles as the founder and indefatigable programmer of Other Cinema, he emerges every few years from his Mission District basement with a painstakingly (some would say maniacally) crafted experimental narrative. His latest pièce de persistence, Mock Up on Mu, beams the real-life historical figures of Aleister Crowley, L. Ron Hubbard, Marjorie Cameron, and Jack Parsons into an imaginary science-fiction yarn that's simultaneously irreverent and unsettling. Baldwin is an obsessive editor, and his films are breathtakingly dense amalgams of old industrial films, B-movies, forgotten TV commercials, unclassifiable found footage, and film he shot himself. Mock Up on Mu is perfectly attuned to a culture in which self-conscious sampling (by musicians) and "homage" (by filmmakers) is ubiquitous, and citizens filter new art and political events through an enormous mental database of previously accrued images, sound bites, plotlines, and conspiracy theories. Baldwin is an uncommonly prescient and profound filmmaker, not to mention an authentic San Francisco character. He appears at tonights screening for a Q&A with artist Kal Spelletich and author Erik Davis.
July 8-9, 2009