Scott Walker: 30 Century Man (12A)
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Time Out says
Tue Apr 24 2007This definitive portrait of rock’s most fascinating and elusive outsider has pretty much everything you could possibly want from a music doc. For a start it has a story to tell, charting the progress of flop teen-idol Scotty Engel, who left America for ’60s Britain, hit big with the swoonsome boy-band pop of The Walker Brothers, then launched into a series of solo albums blending his baritonal MOR croon with seedy Jacques Brel imagery. As the records got further out, sales declined, and Scott Walker seemed destined to slope out of the spotlight. . . were it not for the fact that we now find him in the studio making a new album leaving conventional ‘pop’ structures way behind in its avant-garde wake. There’s a song about the hanging of Mussolini, for instance, which requires a slab of meat to be punched for the mics. . .
It’s an inspiring tale about an artist pursuing his own furrow whatever the cost, and respect oozes from contributors including David Bowie, Damon Albarn and the ever-urbane Jarvis Cocker. Given his reputation for reclusiveness (it’s rumoured he once crashed his car to avoid a gig), Walker himself proves a refreshingly straightforward interviewee, thankfully a lot less pretentious than some of his work. Indeed, with its careful assemblage of archive material, the film leaves us with a vivid picture of his unique career trajectory, and if it doesn’t quite persuade us that the later material’s as interesting to listen to as it is to talk about, the clever use of animated interludes means the music could hardly be given better presentation. An unhesitating recommendation for fans and neophytes alike.
Author: Trevor Johnston
Fri Apr 27 2007