Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
Joel interviews the MIFF team to find out what's in this year's program announcement! Click to listen to our special SWITCHCast ep now.x
review, A Life In Waves, A, Life, In, Waves, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Suzanne Ciani, Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, Peter Baumann, Sarah Davachi, Dorit Chrysler, Don Buchla, Brett Whitcomb, Biography, Documentary

A LIFE IN WAVES

★★★★

AN ESSENTIAL LOOK AT AN ELECTRONIC MUSIC INNOVATOR

MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Jake Watt
11th August 2017

Helmed by director Brett Whitcomb (‘County Fair, Texas’), writer Bradford Thomason and executive producer Ali Clark, ‘A Life in Waves’ centres on the life of pianist and composer Suzanne Ciani, whose innovations in the 1970s and 80s had a major impact in pioneering and popularising electronic music.

Ciani discovered electronic music in the late 60s and quickly became immersed in the male-dominated worlds of sound synthesis and computer music. Differentiating herself from contemporaries like Brian Eno, Giorigio Moroder and Klaus Schulze, Ciani created sensual, feminine sounds that pulsed and flowed, with textures more akin to ocean waves than to the dark atmosphere common in early electronic music.

'A LIFE IN WAVES' TRAILER

The film takes a look at Ciani’s illustrious career, including her struggle to find an audience for her early modular compositions and unforeseen acceptance in the advertising world. With her instrument of choice, the Buchla modular synthesizer, Ciani revolutionised the ad industry, creating ear-catching effects for brands like General Electric, Atari, Skittles, Dial, and others. Perhaps her most famous piece, the Coca-Cola Pop n' Pour sound effect, was featured in hundreds of Coca-Cola commercials throughout the 70s and 80s.

Ciani also provided the sound effects for Meco’s disco version of the ‘Star Wars’ soundtrack in 1977 and scored the Lily Tomlin movie ‘The Incredible Shrinking Woman’, becoming the first solo female composer of a major Hollywood film. She began recording albums in the 1980s with a mix of electronic and traditional instruments. In the 90s, Ciani transitioned from synthesisers back to the piano and formed her own record label, Seventh Wave. Over the course of her 30+ year career, she's released 15 solo albums.

She recalls golden moments from her past, including the time she slept on her friend Phillip Glass’s floor in New York, her several Grammy nominations and concerts across the globe.

Using archival footage and Ciani’s own catalogue of music, the film sees the sound effects specialist reflect on her relationship with modular synth pioneer Don Buchla, "the consummate designer of electronic instruments”. She also recalls golden moments from her past, including the time she slept on her friend Phillip Glass’s floor in New York, her several Grammy nominations and concerts across the globe ... as well as darker moments, like a bout with breast cancer. Cianni reflects on these events with an ever-romantic, often philosophical tone, connecting the waves in her music to the ups and downs in her life.

Whitcomb was the director of the 2012 documentary ‘GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling’, which focused on the 1980s syndicated show (the inspiration for the fictionalized Netflix series ‘GLOW’). ‘A Life in Waves’ continues Whitcomb’s admirable quest to shine a light on the untold stories of inspirational women who blazed a trail. This is an essential documentary for fans of electronic music.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: TBA
RUN TIME: 1h 14m
CAST: Suzanne Ciani
Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe
Peter Baumann
Sarah Davachi
Dorit Chrysler
Don Buchla
DIRECTOR: Brett Whitcomb
WRITER: Bradford Thomason
www.alifeinwaves.com
alifeinwaves
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Looking for more Melbourne International Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights. 
Cosmic Sin - A film that delivers on the promise of its title
TRENDINGCOSMIC SINA film that delivers on the promise of its title
Pocahontas - 25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
TRENDINGPOCAHONTAS25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
Who the hell is Bloodshot? - A primer on Vin Diesel's superhero
TRENDINGWHO THE HELL IS BLOODSHOT?A primer on Vin Diesel's superhero
Revisiting 'Dark City' 20 years later - The most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
TRENDINGREVISITING 'DARK CITY' 20 YEARS LATERThe most underrated and influential sci-fi film ever?
Gallipoli - A powerful and important film remembered
TRENDINGGALLIPOLIA powerful and important film remembered
The World at War - The landmark documentary series restored in high definition
TRENDINGTHE WORLD AT WARThe landmark documentary series restored in high definition
Malila: The Farewell Flower - Contemplating love and loss
TRENDINGMALILA: THE FAREWELL FLOWERContemplating love and loss
Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two - New villains, same problems
TRENDINGBATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN, PART TWONew villains, same problems
Buckley's Chance - Not worth a chance
TRENDINGBUCKLEY'S CHANCENot worth a chance
Calm with Horses - A savage and sensitive Irish crime drama
TRENDINGCALM WITH HORSESA savage and sensitive Irish crime drama
Shiva Baby - A comedy of discomfort
TRENDINGSHIVA BABYA comedy of discomfort
The Glass Room - Stunning yet soulless
TRENDINGTHE GLASS ROOMStunning yet soulless
Some Kind of Heaven - A bizarre lens into a Floridian retirement village
TRENDINGSOME KIND OF HEAVENA bizarre lens into a Floridian retirement village
25 Free-to-Watch Short Horror Films - The scariest shorts we uncovered online
TRENDING25 FREE-TO-WATCH SHORT HORROR FILMSThe scariest shorts we uncovered online
The Swallows of Kabul - Unflinching and gorgeously animated
TRENDINGTHE SWALLOWS OF KABULUnflinching and gorgeously animated
Cerulean Blue - Promising debut for a new voice in Australian cinema
TRENDINGCERULEAN BLUEPromising debut for a new voice in Australian cinema
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
TRENDINGTHE VIOLIN PLAYERSex and strings
2:22 - Mind-bending metaphysical mumbo-jumbo
TRENDING2:22Mind-bending metaphysical mumbo-jumbo
Birds of Prey - I'm here to report a terrible crime: DC has saved cinema
TRENDINGBIRDS OF PREYI'm here to report a terrible crime: DC has saved cinema
La Dolce Vita - Not as sweet as you'd think 60 years on
TRENDINGLA DOLCE VITANot as sweet as you'd think 60 years on
© 2011 - 2021 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us!