- Rated: PG
- Run Time: 1 hours, 22 minutes
- Video: Black & White / Color
- Released: July 24, 2001
- Originally Released: 1995
- Label: MGM (Video & DVD)
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Dolby Digital Stereo - English
- Additional Release Material:
- Trailers: Original Theatrical Trailer
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Premiere - 04/01/1996
"...You can't make stuff like this up..." - Recommended
Rolling Stone - 09/21/1995
"...[A] don't miss documentary….[Theremin's life] is a thriller in itself..."
Sight and Sound - 12/01/1998
"...A series of unforgettably emotive images..."
New York Times - 10/01/1994
"...A fascinating, offbeat documentary that stands as a fine job of detective work as well....A fond, engrossing portrait of an astonishing man..."
Entertainment Weekly - 09/22/1995
"I found myself giggling with pleasure, as if on a helium jag....Marvelously weird..." -- Rating: A
Variety - 02/14/1994
Film Comment - 11/01/1994
"...Director Steven M. Martin makes a good case for the theremin as granddaddy of all electronic music....What a wonderful piece of detective work, and of reinstating a fascinating character to the world stage..."
A documentary about the inventor of one of the first electronic instruments, the eponymous theremin (the sound of which quickly became cliched in science fiction films as the accompaniment to shots of flying saucers). The instrument produced its unusual sounds by using the player's hands to control the signals of an electromagnetic field.
Its Russian-born inventor, Leon Theremin, went from playing his instrument for Lenin to breaking into show business in New York. Kidnapped by the K.G.B. in the late 1930s, Theremin was spirited back to the Soviet Union and forced to work on more espionage-related technology. The film reunites the inventor with his thereminist-protégée, Clara Rockmore, before his death in 1993.
- Theatrical Release: September 8, 1995 (NYC)
- Leon Theremin (born Lev Sergeivich Termen) was born in 1896 and died in Moscow November 3, 1993 at the age of 97.
- Shown at the 1994 New York Film Festival.
- A Kaga Bay Production in association with Channel 4.
- The Los Angeles Film Critics Association voted the film runner-up for its best documentary prize for 1995.
- Winner of the Filmmakers Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival and the Golden Gate Award at the 37th San Francisco Film Festival.
- The following people also appeared in the film: Clara Rockmore (Theremin Virtuoso); Nicolas Slonimsky (Composer/Historian); Paul Shure (Musician); Henry Solomonoff (Theremin Studio Member); Suki Bader and Beryl Campbell (Theremin Dancers); Lydia Kavina (Theremin's Great Niece).
- Additional credits: Andy Green & Kim Aubry (sound mixers) and Gary Becker (rostrum photography).
- Additional associate producers: Kate Carty, Loretta Farb, Brian Kelly, and Amy Smith.
- The following films used a Theremin in their scores and extracts were used in the film:
THE LOST WEEKEND (1945)
THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (1951)
THE DELICATE DELINQUENT (1956)
IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE (1959)