Avant garde filmmaker Craig Baldwin has been making collage films for about 30 years now. His latest, Mock Up on Mu, is a head trip and a half. It has its local premiere tonight at 7 at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Here's our review.
Mock Up on Mu (US, 2008) The “not untrue story” about the lives and times of jet-propulsion lab man Jack Parsons, sci-fi writer and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, beatnik artist and New Age spiritualist Marjorie Cameron, and the world’s largest military contractor Lockheed Martin, culture-jammer Craig Baldwin’s outlandish sci-fi story is told through a series of collages that are simply mind-numbing. Through the use of both original and found footage, the film attempts to show how all its players are related (in reality, Hubbard ran off with Parsons’ paramour, Cameron). While conspiracy theories abound (including one that maintains Parsons faked his death), the real thrill of his film comes from the way the images are spliced together. At one moment, Baldwin’s pulled footage of “fabulous” old Las Vegas, and at the next, he’s set a scene in a groovy postmodern lounge. It might not be entirely comprehensible, but Baldwin’s vision is surely singular. *** (Jeff Niesel)