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, inte... more »ractivity, 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.« less
An extremely boring documentary about Robert Moog. Interesting subject matter, poorly done documentary - the information contained within could have easily been made into a 15 minute short.
Incomplete, but interesting
Eric Persing | Burbank, CA USA | 08/29/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"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. I was fortunate to know Bob a little bit from the industry and the film does a great job of capturing his spirit. It's now a particularly important film with Bob's passing, as it presents his mind and heart in a very special way that could have only been done while Bob was alive. So the decision to focus the limited resources the filmakers had on Bob's thought process turned out to be a very smart one indeed.
Well worth checking out, but just understand that it's not a very thorough history of Moog Music or of the synthesizer or of the artists that made it what it is today."
Great Overview and Insite into Moogs Private world.
David Carlin | Philadelphia, PA USA | 07/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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"
We're lucky to have it...
T.G. | Newcastle, WA USA | 07/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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."
A perfect present snapshot of Moog: the man, and the musicia
Peter A. Kirn | New York, NY USA | 07/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"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."
Fascinating Documentary on Synthesizer Guru Bob Moog
Fiona | Los Angeles | 06/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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."