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Jack Hertz

Speaking in Code

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Speaking in Code is a character-based documentary directed by Amy Grill about people who are lost in the electronic music lifestyle.

Shot in 11 cities and 5 countries, Speaking In Code provides a glimpse into the techno world through the eyes of Modeselektor, the Wighnomy Brothers, Philip Sherburne, Monolake and David Day. The film documents these characters' successes and failures over a three-year period, including the director's struggle to complete the film. Each storyline illustrates how communities cope with different kinds of electronic music obsession.

Speaking in Code is an account of people who are lost in music. Director Amy Grill follows a series of characters (including her techno-obsessed husband) over a number of years as some struggle to make it while others thrive in the world of electronic music.

The film reveals six intertwined character studies and raw vérité views of new music. It's a window into a world filled with warehouse parties, endless gigs, international travel, risks, inventions, triumphs and breakdowns.

The characters are: Modeselektor, a producer duo, jettisoned from playing a tiny room in the US to playing to 20,000 people at the Sónar festival in Barcelona; journalist Philip Sherburne, who leaves America to find a more complete techno lifestyle in Europe; The Wighnomy Brothers, catapulted from their idyllic world in Jena, Germany to face their breaking point on camera; Tobias Thomas of Kompakt, who contemplates the near-end of his career; and Robert Henke (Monolake), an inventor of the Ableton software that many electronic musicians use to create their music, who continues his steady yet quirky approach to a life in music. While back in the US, David Day (Grill's husband) tries tirelessly to turn Boston from a rock-centric town to a techno city. Day's wanton attempts to make electronic music popular put strain on his marriage to the director.

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