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Moog (2005)

Charlie Clouser , Herbert Deutsch , Hans Fjellestad  |  NR |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Charlie Clouser, Herbert Deutsch, Keith Emerson, Woody Jackson, Edd Kalehoff
  • Directors: Hans Fjellestad
  • Producers: Hans Fjellestad, Adriana Trujillo, Gary Hustwit, Keith York, Ryan Page
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Plexifilm
  • DVD Release Date: May 31, 2005
  • Run Time: 72 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00095L94W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #261,875 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Moog" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Deleted Scenes, Interviews and Additional Performances from The Album Leaf, Tino
  • Corp. w/ Charlie Clouser and Money Mark w/ Woody Jackson
  • Director's Video Notes
  • The Complete Schaefer Beer Commercial
  • DVD-ROM FEATURE: Arturia Minimoog V Software Demo (PC, Mac)

Editorial Reviews

A man who genuinely revolutionized late-20th Century music gets his due with Moog, writer-director Hans Fjellestad's absorbing documentary about Robert Moog, inventor of the synthesizer that bears his name. In his seventies when this 2004 film was made, Moog began working with electronic music in the late 1940s, when he designed and built theremins (the source of the wavy sci-fi sound heard on the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations"). But it was the development of the Moog synthesizer, an analog instrument with electronic components, that put him on the map. Unsurprisingly, it was initially dismissed as a soulless novelty, a notion not helped by its use in silly commercial jingles; Moog himself was regarded as nothing less than a dangerous anarchist out to destroy music as we know it. That all changed when he added a keyboard to his machine and musicians of all stripes gradually began using it for more serious ends. Moog credits Walter (now Wendy) Carlos' Switched-On Bach as the first important milestone, and the list of major artists who have used it since then includes the Beatles (on Abbey Road), Stevie Wonder (a vital early proponent who for some reason goes completely unmentioned here), Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and Rick Wakeman of Yes. The latter two perform briefly in the film, as do many others (P-Funk's Bernie Worrell, Sun Ra, Charlie Clouser of Nine Inch Nails), but Moog is the star here. Indeed, it's hard not to believe this genial, self-effacing man when he talks of the "spiritual connection" between his invention and the people who play it. --Sam Graham

Product Description

ROBERT MOOG HAS BEEN INVENTING AND BUILDING ELECTRONIC MUSICAL instruments for nearly half a century. MOOG, the film, takes us inside the mind of this legendary figure as he shares his ideas about creativity, design, interactivity, and spirituality. To this day, Moog continues to shape musical culture with some of the most inspiring instruments ever created.

MOOG features interviews and performances by Stereolab, Keith Emerson, Walter Sear, Gershon Kinsgley, Jean-Jacques Perrey & Luke Vibert, Rick Wakeman, DJ Spooky, Herb Deutsch, Bernie Worrell, Pamelia Kurstin, Tino Corp., Charlie Clouser, Money Mark, Mix Master Mike and others.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this documentary. I've read a few of the other reviews and I guess I am confused as to what some of these viewers expected. This is not an engineering documentary on Moog synthesizers in any regard, What we have here is a very good overview of the Man himself. Bob Moog comes across as a very easy-natured person who was initially very interested in electrical engineering but was luckily diverted into musical audio technology. In this video you can see him interacting with musicians and learning how they use his instruments. He learned not just the electrical side but the artistic side of the musicians he listened to when developing ideas. This was constant. I am currently reading a very good documentary on Moog and this video complements it very well. Since Moogs Passing in August of 2005, this video will shed much light on his character and his life interests. Bob never gave the impression he wanted to be rich from the fruit of his labors, but wanted to stay inquisitive to all aspects of his life.

- Dave Carlin
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We're lucky to have it... July 17, 2006
By T.G.
Nobody would fund this poor guy Hans Fjellestad... Wendy Carlos apparently even threatened legal action (for what he did or might do, I don't know). Apparently nobody else had the foresight to realize that Bob Moog wouldn't live forever. We're lucky to have this document on Bob's life, imperfect that it may be. Mr. Fjellestad was working on an extremely limited budget, so how much can you complain when it's clear nobody else was willing to share his dream, or at least help pay for it. Now it's too late to make anything like it again, at least with Bob himself in it. I for one own a copy, and am grateful for it.
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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Incomplete, but interesting August 28, 2005
I enjoyed the movie very much and am glad I bought it, but at the same time was frustrated that it focused on so few of the people involved and such a small part of the whole story. I understand that the first-time director made this as a labor of love, but it wasn't clearly presented what the concept of the film was...instead, it was an attempt at a history, that ended up more as a personal portrait of the inventor.

The frustrating things that are omitted are critical history about the business errors that Bob made that nearly ruined him, his teaching career, the formation of Big Briar and the subsequent reclaimation of his trademark name for Moog synthesizers. Instead, you get Bob talking about his garden for a long time (which reminded me of "Being There".....people trying to read way too much into what plants he grows!)

As others have mentioned, the featured artists are a very odd mix, not representative of the musical pioneers that made the Moog synth a landmark instrument. It's cool to have Bernie Worrell, but where the heck are the mentions of influential artists like Stevie Wonder, Jan Hammer, Chick Corea, Klaus Shultz, Jean Michel jarre, Giorgio Moroder, etc, etc, etc. It's very odd to have extended performances of groups that aren't even using ANY Moog synths! And some of the Moogfest groups are OK, but not the influential groups that defined the vocabulary of the instrument.

It's too bad the filmaker didn't have a larger budget. Moog is such an important topic, that it's a shame that it wasn't more comprehensive. Perhaps Wendy Carlos and others will participate in a more complete picture of the history of this important instrument.

On the level of the film as a personal portrait, it largely succeeds.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I, too, initially wondered about the lack of history or context in this documentary. But as Dr. Moog wanders Tokyo and New York, you begin to realize that this is about something beyond his instruments or history: it's about the philosophy of sound and music-making, about the joy Dr. Moog and the people who have played his instruments have shared. That soul, as you trace it through present players from Stereolab to Keith Emerson, really comes across. Bits play like an ad for a Minimoog Voyager, yes, but I can think of no better snapshot of modern electronic music making. The focus around one instrument and present time is necessary to keep it from sprawling over everything. Watch it together with the Theremin documentary, which clearly influenced this film.

The director specifically refers to the Wendy Carlos incident. She refused to participate, and even threatened legal action. It's unfortunate, but I think for whatever reason she's refusing to participate in almost any history -- that's her decision, and I don't think it's specific to Mr. Fjellestad.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By Fiona
This documentary (released in late 2004 in theaters) is an amazing tribute to the man who brought us the synthesizer. This film has had some mixed reviews but all the negative reviews missed the point badly. This film is about Bob Moog (as opposed to his creations) and the world of music would be completely different had he not come up with his invention. The film mines Bob head for all its worth and we learn about the connections between musician and his or her instrument. A must see for all fans of documentary films and music buffs.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So who is Bob Moog? June 2, 2005
As a fan of electronic music--specifically synthesizers--I have always loved the Moog synthesizer and it's analog sound. I never really knew too much about Bob Moog, the inventor of the synthesizer until I read the book "Analog Days" which was a detailed book on the impact of the Moog synthesizer. This Moog documentary follows not the history of electronic music, but Bob Moog's experiences and feelings thoughout his theremin/synthesizer designings. You get to hear from classic artists like Rick Wakeman and Bernie Worrell. Live footage from the NYC Moogfest is also including in the film.

The documentary was filmed on Super 18 film to give it that "analog" look so when when recent footage is combined with vintage footage, it gives it a connection. The documentary is about 70 minutes long and the special features are about 47 minutes long. You get to see some deleted scenes and some fantastic Moogfest performances.

Overall, the documentary is really good. If you are into electronic music and synthesizers, you will find it a very interesting film. So, I highly recommend this documentary.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars why not just get a musical saw?
I loved the sound of the therman since the 60's with Lothar and the hand people.
If you like the Therman just buy a musical saw, sounds very much the same
Published 14 months ago by Albert Potash
2.0 out of 5 stars Only if you're interrested in some music tech history.
This documentry can be a bit boring, but it is fascinating to hear first hand about the developement of the electronic synthesizer from its creator and associates.
Published 18 months ago by Mikey D.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting film if you like electronic music
An interesting film about one of the inventors of the modern, mass-market, subtractive synthesizer. Robert Moog. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Ed Lin
5.0 out of 5 stars Satisfactory documentary
Well worth the time spent on watching it.
You can see how this man was able to change the face of all music genre from electronic to hip-hip to prog rock by thinking outside... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Mike Virgil
2.0 out of 5 stars Thin on context, rambling, Tedious.
The best part of the film is the animated intro and title sequence done in an early 70's style. If only the film could've carried on some of that creativity and interest. Read more
Published 19 months ago by James2Aux
3.0 out of 5 stars Moog the movie
Not long before his passing, Moog synthesizer co-inventor Robert Moog appeared in a documentary.

This is worthwhile to most anyone interested in electronic music. Read more
Published on February 12, 2012 by Jack Vaughan
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything old is new again
Knowing almost nothing about analog synthesis, I got my hands on Moog's "Little Phatty" Synth ("LP" for short) just recently. Read more
Published on August 10, 2009 by Mike W. from NJ
5.0 out of 5 stars love!!!!!!!!!!!
If you like synths you'll love this DVD guaranteed. A must see are the Shaffer light commercials.
Published on February 13, 2009 by A. Helfrich
5.0 out of 5 stars "Moog" a brilliant Film for anyone interested in moog,
"Moog" a brilliant Film for anyone interested in moog,theremins, synthesizers or the history of eletronic music!!!!! Read more
Published on May 2, 2008 by Collette Mccaslin
5.0 out of 5 stars Analog Synthesizer Fever
I finished watching it 5 minutes ago and the first time I did was come here to amazon to see how much a minimoog costs, too bad I will have to wait a couple of years before I can... Read more
Published on December 2, 2006
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