Films By Craig Baldwin

If you find filmic depictions of history alienating, these highly accomplished, bitterly and parodically funny, and justly praised experimental films may be something of a revelation. Tribulation 99: Alien Anomalies Under America (1991) and O No Coronado! (1992) both make extensive use of campy found footage from a variety of sources to illustrate a kind of all-American delirium that is heard on the sound track: in Tribulation 99 this delirium relates to paranoid fantasies of the fundamentalist right, while in O No Coronado! (which, along with the decomposing archival selections, includes some newly shot documentary and fiction footage with performers Nao Bustamante, Matthew Day, and Gina Pacaldo) it relates to the 16th-century conquistador Coronado’s fruitless search for the seven cities of gold in what is today Arizona and New Mexico. I find these ingenious postmodernist, antiimperialist rants alienating in an unhelpful way, but my position is a minority one. (JR)

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