One of 2020’s earliest pleasant surprises arrived back in February, when Teslaearned our praise out at Sundance Film Festival. More than five months later, the Ethan Hawke-led Nikola Tesla biopic, directed by Michael Almereyda and out in August via IFC Films, has surprised us yet again: Tapping into Boston synthwave by soundtracking its riveting new trailer with Trlogy’s 2018 single “Electric Flame.”
It’s clear in the two-and-a-half-minute trailer that this is a film that bounces around in different eras and periods of time, so Trlogy’s bubbling synths don’t feel misplaced when it begins to cascade through the clip around the 1:22 mark. By its end, the tempo picks up and the trailer throbs as the instrumental elements of “Electric Flame” drop a pulsating beat amongst the press clips, bright pinks and reds, and rapid-fire montage visuals.
As Tesla’s own electricity begins to heat up, so does Trlogy’s.
It totally works.
Listen to the full version of “Electric Flame” via Spotify.
As for Tesla, the film, here’s a synopsis:
“Brilliant, visionary Nikola Tesla (Ethan Hawke) fights an uphill battle to bring his revolutionary electrical system to fruition, then faces thornier challenges with his new system for worldwide wireless energy. The film tracks Tesla’s uneasy interactions with his fellow inventor Thomas Edison (Kyle MacLachlan) and his patron George Westinghouse (Jim Gaffigan). Another thread traces Tesla’s sidewinding courtship of financial titan J.P. Morgan (Donnie Keshawarz), whose daughter Anne (Eve Hewson) takes a more than casual interest in the inventor. Anne analyzes and presents the story as it unfolds, offering a distinctly modern voice to this scientific period drama which, like its subject, defies convention.“
Tesla opens in theaters and on video-on-demand on August 21.