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Haack the King of Techno
Haack the King of Techno
Actors: Bruce Haack, Esther Nelson, Ted Pandel, Chris Kachulis, Chris Albertson
Director: Philip Anagnos
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
NR     2005     1hr 10min

The story of Bruce Haack is one of the most unusual and inspiring tales to ever enliven the world of popular music. In the 1960s and 1970s Haack set about recording a series of children's albums that bucked the trend for w...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Bruce Haack, Esther Nelson, Ted Pandel, Chris Kachulis, Chris Albertson
Director: Philip Anagnos
Creators: Philip Anagnos, Todd Antonio Somodevilla, Arthur Maturo, Melanie Blythe, Nick Anagnos
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Other Music, Documentary
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 04/12/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 10min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Exellent introduction to an obscure but talented individual!
J. Stoneking | Kansas City | 04/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I had never heard of Bruce Haack before buying this DVD, and purchased it blindly based on the subject matter alone. As a home recording musician myself, I am always open to new and interesting kinds of music, and was completely astonished I had not heard of Bruce Haack before this DVD.

If you have heard of him, this DVD should be a no-brainer. Influential on modern music in so many ways, his contribution is nearly impossible to guage. He pioneered many of the sounds by crafting his intruments from scratch and came up with ideas back in the 50's and the 60's that are still ahead of their time. If you are familar with him, this DVD will let you see the man at work and get to hear from those he worked with.

If you have not heard of him, and even have the remotest interest in making experimental music, or just enjoy finding a lost treasure, you should pick this DVD up as well. At only 70 minutes, the DVD feels all too brief, but what you get from that 70 minutes is far more interesting and valuable than some longer documentaries I have seen recently. The director manages to put together the subject material in an interesting way and the movie never feels dull.

The special features are leaving some to be desired, but does contain a couple radio interviews that otherwise would have been lost. Upon seeing this movie, you want to hear more by this artist, and having a soundtrack included in the special features would have been wonderful, but even as it stands, it is a must own DVD. Even if you don't find experimental music too interesting and prefer top 40 music, see how some of those top 40 artists were influenced. Bruce Haack influenced many musicians while he was alive and has inspired this musician and hopefully will inspire more even after his death."
Nicholas D. Kent | NYC, United States | 06/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"A facinating hour or so long documentary about electronic music composer Bruce Haack.

What's there is well paced and very cool. I guess their big problem was rarity of Haack footage and there is mention within the film of some sort or rights difficulties and people not talking which I'm sure hampered them (unless that was just an issue in the Tribute album, it's not clear). I'd say there's a little too much emphasis on the Bruce Haack tribute album - though I guess it provides a ready source of ready to use soundbytes.

Perhaps somewhat of an unfortunate a title too. It reminds me about those ad campaigns saying things like "Jean Michel Jarre, the father of Techno" or "Wendy Carlos is THE synthesizer" or whatever nonsense. Minor point of course since the material is well paced and solid.

There's only some short mention in the actual film about technology - something I'm sure frustrates hardcore synthesizer buffs. How innovative was his predominantly self-designed technology? How did it operate? You get plentiful teasers that it indeed was very special but no examinations of it all. Though in the extras section there's a very solid audio-only interview about Electronic music and technology along with some wild Mister Rogers TV footage of it in action."
Haack... the film
Freakfilms, Inc. | NY | 11/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Haack: The King Of Techno" directed by Philip Anagnos, is another one for the music documentary buffs...

Electronic music pioneer, Bruce Haack, wrote much of his music for children, but the influence of his unconventional, psychedelic sounds can be heard today in everyone from Beck to Money Mark. Aside from his children's albums, he invented and built his own electronic musical instruments, including the "Dermatron", a musical instrument that was controlled by two people completing an electrical current by making physical contact. He also appeared on various TV and radio shows including Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. As well, in the 80s, he caught the attention of Russell Simmons, who worked with him on a rap project.

If ever there was a moment when I thought the filmmaker and the subject matter couldn't be more perfectly matched, it would be now... Equally unconventional is the film's editing, the animation, and the quirky and psychedelic interview backgrounds, which, for any other subject would have driven me nuts, but for a film about Bruce Haack, was perfect. If you're renting or picking this one up, don't look for a chronology of Bruce's life. Instead, expect a mix of psychedelic animation, family photos, assorted friend and band interviews about Bruce's life and influence, and delightful black and white clips of Haack appearing on old Mister Rogers' Neighborhood episodes. The film is informative, just not in the conventional way.

Oh, and as an added bonus for the Tipsy fans out there (myself included), there's a somewhat rare interview with the guys."
Haack's the man
J. Jessen | california | 05/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I wasn't too familiar with Bruce Haack before I saw this movie. It caught my eye because I love music of all kinds, I grew up in the 70's and I was intrigued by the great cover art.
The film did not disappoint. It's colorful, playful and sometimes a little mysterious which is what Bruce Haack seemed to be all at one time. The film captured how innovative and subtle his music was and really seemed to get to the heart of what this strange person was really about.
Check out this film and check out his music. You're in for a good time."