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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Mock Up on Mu

2008
1h 54m
Comedy/Sci-fi
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Cast

Stoney Burke (Lockheed Martin)Jeri Lynn Cohen (Marjorie Cameron)David CoxEd HolmesDamon Packard (L. Ron Hubbard)Michelle Silva (Agent C - Marjorie Cameron)Kalman Spelletich (Jack Parsons)

Director

Craig Baldwin

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Synopsis

Notorious Bay Area kino-renegade Craig Baldwin tops his earlier found-footage operas SPECTRES OF THE SPECTRUM and SONIC OUTLAWS with the rapid-fire pulp serial-cum-political-tract piss-take on California's major industrial complexes: military, entertainment and religious. 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 of his own, 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 offering 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 new 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 twentieth century's accumulated detritus of symbols, 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." - Jason Sanders

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