Watch Scott Walker: 30th Century Man
- 2 hr
Scott Walker: 30th Century Man is a documentary film that explores the life, work, and creative process of one of the most enigmatic and influential figures in contemporary music: Scott Walker. The film is directed by Stephen Kijak and produced by Mia Bays and John Battsek. It features interviews with Scott Walker himself, as well as with a number of musicians and artists who have been inspired by his work. The film was released in 2006 and runs for 95 minutes. Scott Walker was born Noel Scott Engel in Ohio in 1943, and started his career as a pop singer in the 1960s, first with The Walker Brothers and later as a solo artist. Over the years, however, he moved away from the mainstream and became an avant-garde composer and performer, experimenting with various forms of music and incorporating elements of jazz, experimental rock, classical music, and film scoring into his work. His brooding, existential lyrics and his baritone voice have made him a cult figure, admired by fans and musicians alike. The film follows Scott Walker over a period of three years, from 2000 to 2003, as he works on his album Tilt, which was released in 1995, and on his subsequent albums The Drift (2006) and Bish Bosch (2012). The film shows him in his studio, working with collaborators such as Mark Warman, or alone, tinkering with samplers, mixers, and other tools of the trade. It also shows him at home, in his kitchen, cooking a meal or enjoying a glass of wine, and reminiscing about his early days in the music business. Throughout the film, we hear from musicians and artists who have been influenced by Scott Walker's work, such as David Bowie, Brian Eno, Alan Vega of Suicide, Jarvis Cocker of Pulp, and Damon Albarn of Blur. They discuss his impact on their own music, as well as on the wider landscape of popular music. They also share their thoughts on his elusive persona, his humor, and his philosophy of art. The film is structured around a number of themes that recur in Scott Walker's work, such as death, violence, religion, and eroticism. It features clips from his music videos, still images, and archival footage of his earlier performances, as well as documentary footage of him recording his albums. These clips are interspersed with interviews, creating a mosaic of voices and images that give us a sense of Scott Walker's aesthetic and his unique approach to music. One of the highlights of the film is its use of sound. The film is a sonic experience as much as a visual one, with its dense, layered soundtrack that includes snippets of songs, sound effects, and ambient noise. The film's sound designers, Ken Yokoyama and Paul Goodman, have created a rich and textured soundscape that reflects the complexity and depth of Scott Walker's music. Another strength of the film is its intimacy. Although Scott Walker is notoriously private and reclusive, the film manages to capture his personality and his creative process in a way that feels authentic and unguarded. We see him at his most vulnerable, struggling to find the right chord progression or the right lyric, and we hear him speak candidly about his fears, his doubts, and his hopes. This intimacy is enhanced by the cinematography of Grant Gee, who often frames Scott Walker in close-ups that reveal his expressive eyes, his hands at work, and the lines on his face. In conclusion, Scott Walker: 30th Century Man is a fascinating and insightful documentary that sheds light on the enigmatic artist behind some of the most daring and innovative music of our time. It is a celebration of creativity, of risk-taking, and of the power that music can have to move us and to change us. Whether you are a fan of Scott Walker's music or not, this film is a must-see for anyone interested in the intersection of art, culture, and identity.