That woo-woo sound during the scary parts in old science fiction films was generated by a Theremin, an odd musical instrument invented by the Russian Leon Theremin. The futuristic device is operated by waving your hands without touching it, and was the inspiration and precursor of all electronic music today. The story of its unlikely creation is wrapped in mystery and drama, including the disappearance of Theremin, who may be been have kidnapped from the US by the Soviet KGB to work on sonic weapons back in the USSR. This documentary reveals the strange characters who orbited this strange instrument. You’ve got Jerry Lewis, stage dancers, a Russian diva, the Beach Boys, and nerds like Robert Moog, who invented the electronic synthesizer. It’s a strange story.
Directed by Steven M. Martin
1993, 82 min
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