DOUBLE FEATURE: A Life in Waves & Snakes

A Life in Waves (above) Snakes (below)

Aug 16

A Life in Waves (Brett Whitcomb, US, 2017, 74 min) // Snakes (Art Names, US, 1974, 35mm, 83 min)

This extremely rare 35mm screening of Snakes (courtesy of the American Genre Film Archive) screens immediately after A Life in Waves, a documentary on Suzanne Ciani, the electronic-music pioneer behind the Snakes score.

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Wednesday, Aug 16 at 07:30PM


Explore the life of electronic-music pioneer Suzanne Ciani, a woman in a traditionally male-dominated art form who transformed the genre with her modular compositions, developed a multimillion-dollar advertising venture, and became an icon of New Age music. “Traditional instruments always have a limit to what sounds they can make, but electronic instruments have an unlimited palette,” says Suzanne Ciani. From her beginnings as a classically trained pianist, through her groundbreaking successes, to her recent re-connection with her beloved Buchla synthesizer, the film is a journey into Suzanne's mind, offering a feminine glimpse into the often complicated world of electronic music.

"[A Life In Waves] evocatively reveals Ciani’s artistic and personal triumphs and struggles. 'I wanted technology to be sensual,' Ciani says, and she’s manifested that ideal sublimely for 50 years." - Dave Segal, The Stranger

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In Snakes, a seemingly harmless old kook named Snakey (Les Tremayne) operates a reptile farm on the outskirts of a small town. Snakey is a simple man with simple pleasures: snake-wranglin', Wednesday night John Philip Sousa parties, and constructing elaborate death traps and games for anyone who gets in the way of either of those. As usual in movies of this type, Snakey is pushed over the edge by a series of outrages and kills off half the town with his snakes.

Unusual for movies on ANY type, we're treated to a calamitous parade of cars pushed over cliffs, incestuous snake haters and deranged marching band leitmotifs that make us question some of our basic assumptions about reptiles, cinema, and reality. Snakes aka Fangs aka Holy Wednesday is an impossibly enthralling mish-mash of sleazy sex, bizarre murder and unexpected emotional resonance that all feels piped in from another dimension. Experience one man's singular quest to preserve the sanctity of his Wednesday evening of culture.

"If you asked me what this movie was about, I’d say it’s about a man and his snakes. It’s also about loneliness. It’s also about not being able to change when the world is changing around you. It’s also about capturing people and making them strip down to their underwear. But really it’s about John Philip Sousa." – Annie Choi, Bleeding Skull

"The Wonderful World of Disney Presents: Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, sponsored by Zoobooks." – Matt Lynch, Scarecrow Video

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