Pre-Screening Buzz on Clandestine

visit link »

A few hours before the American premiere of Clandestine, a reviewer for Metroactive, Richard von Busack, posted a little blurb about the film:

Clandestine by Gideon Kennedy and Marcus Rosentrater is a fascinating Jay Rosenblatt-style trip down memory lane with help from the Prelinger and other archives. The mystery of sinister “number talkers” is used to contrast the secrets of the narrator’s father: he was another one of those 1950s men much better at dealing with a ham radio than with people in the room. Still: “My father was not, as they say, a member of the second oldest profession”—that is, a spy.

The directors have a big idea here: the way a covert life matches the mystery of the strange numerical codes bounced off the ionosphere by short-wave radios; in short, the father is a code that can’t be broken. There’s a trend in autobiographical indie film, in which it’s explained that a parent’s divorce is obviously the most terrible thing that ever happened in the filmmaker’s life. I don’t at all want to dismiss Clandestine as such, yet I can’t buy its equation that betraying a marriage is the same thing as betraying a country.

If you aren’t familiar with Jay Rosenblatt’s work, this is a compliment.