Theremin - An Electronic Odyssey (1994)
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Movie InfoVery few people would recognize the name of Leon Theremin (1896-1993) if it weren't for the electronic musical instrument he invented around 1918. Fans of the first Star Trek series will recognize its sounds, but it was used in orchestral compositions and movies quite extensively for many decades, and even played a role in the Brian Wilson's composition of the Beach Boys' hit Good Vibrations. However, this documentary shows that the inventor of the forerunner instrument in electronic music is a person whose life had a lot more to offer than that. He was called "the Soviet Edison," and was honored by Lenin before he went to work in the United States, where he developed the first electronic security system in the world for Sing-Sing Prison in upstate New York. He also was a pioneer in interracial relations, braving the strong disapproval of his peers to marry a black ballerina. He was kidnapped from the U.S. in 1938 on the orders of the vengeful and ever-paranoid Stalin, brought back to the U.S.S.R., charged with treason, and was sentenced to a gulag (forced-labor camp). However, when World War II rolled around, he was brought back into the mainstream and was put to work for the KGB, for whom he invented the first electronic "bug" for eavesdropping, for which he earned the Stalin Prize. … More
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Critic Reviews for Theremin - An Electronic Odyssey
Brilliant in moments if also flawed, this is a fascinating chronicle of the man who revolutionized modern music with the world's first electronic instrument; impact on movie scores is one of the docu's best parts.
Dad I not known that this was a documentary, I could have convinced myself that this was a Woody Allen comedy about a genius inventor of screwball machines.
Audience Reviews for Theremin - An Electronic Odyssey
A documentary about the creator of the musical instrument, Leon Theremin. It's a story about a man with a passion for electronics and music, a man with an inventive and radical mind. It should come as no surprise that he had a profound influence on the development of electronic music as we know it.
The theramin took on a life of its' own. It became the stuff of do-it-yourself kits and a thousand movie soundtracks. You know, that sound that usually accompanies the flying saucer along with the score for The Day The Earth Stood Still? The instrument even co-starred with Jerry Lewis in The Delicate Delinquent. A new generation of fans tested the limits of what a theramin could do, to include The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson and a song we're all too familiar with.
A very very cool documentary on the inventor of one of the most imaginative musical instruments ever constructed - the theremin. Known best for being in the background of the Beach Boys' Good Vibrations, the theremin provides an unlikely partner to the composition of both classical and modern works.More
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