A look into the underground world of Bruce Haack, a genius whose past work continues to garner recognition with time. The homespun musician couldn't have done it without the support of his ...
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A look into the underground world of Bruce Haack, a genius whose past work continues to garner recognition with time. The homespun musician couldn't have done it without the support of his family, friends, lovers, and the neighborhood kids he called "starchildren," all of whom paint the big picture of Bruce's life legacy and so-called dimension of imagination. In addition, various musicians of many genres have joined in today showing worldwide support, thus contributing to Bruce's objective, "Sure it's nice to be famous, but I'm more interested in obtaining a telepathic following." As for the music world, history's future king is coming from the past. Written by
Not that bad, but suffers from overall mistakes and lack of direction.
First of all, kudos to the director for making a documentary about Bruce Haack. I doubt anyone else would have due to Haack's obscurity. However, that also puts a lot of obligation on the shoulders of the director, since his work will probably be one of the sole reference works about Haack in the future. Unfortunately I think there's problems in that aspect, but more on that later.
The documentary starts off well by introducing Haack with some basic background information. There's some good insights into Haack's personality as a musician, with some interesting anecdotes and facts. I was under the impression that Haack eventually ended up dropping out of Julliard, so I thought it was odd that there was no mention of this. Furthermore, there was no mention of the fact that he had a degree psychology, which I think is important to his approach to music. From the relatively good start, the movies goes into a somewhat confusing segment which features a group of people who had known Haack when they were kids. I never really came to understand their relationship to Haack, and I think the director used their commentaries to little effect. This is also a problem in the various interviews with modern day DJs and electronic musicians. Few of them seemed to be particularly inspired or influenced by him, and merely seemed to be interested in his music because of his status as an obscure pioneer of the genre. As such, they added very little to the documentary. I'm not putting down the artists for their comments, but merely the way their commentary had been integrated into the documentary as such.
There is little information about Haack's methods of composition as an electronic musician. His use of vocoders, which I personally think is one of Haack's principle distinctions as a pioneer, is not mentioned once. I was also disappointed that no real attempts were made to draw any parallels between Haack's lyrics and his life. Especially since I have always found his lyrical themes and concepts (religion, powerlove, computerization of mankind etc) to be particularly unique. Generally, there should have been made a better distinction between his work as a composer of children's music and his more serious outputs. There are huge differences. Ideally, the director should have gone through and properly described (sort of like how he did with "Haackula," but more thoroughly) some of Haack's most important albums.
So, all in all, this documentary is not that bad, but it definitely has its share of problems. Frankly, the angle of trying to make Haack into the "Godfather of Techno" does not really work. It's a shame, because this is probably the only time someone will do a serious attempt of shedding some light on the otherwise enigmatic and obscure Bruce Haack.
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