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Scott Walker: 30 Century Man [Reino Unido] [Blu-ray]

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Amazon.com: 19 opiniones
33 de 34 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
A very entertaining way to catch up on the Scott Walker phenomenon, half a century active and still breaking new ground 18 de junio de 2009
Por Christopher Culver - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato: DVD
Scott Walker is a figure more talked about than heard for many music lovers. As a fan of the 4AD record label, I heard Walker's name come up again and again, whether it was as the inspiration for Brendan Perry's vocals or the aesthetic of Cocteau Twins bassist Simon Raymonde (whose father Ivor recorded Walker's youthful music). Walker himself was signed to this very label at the age of 60. After Walker released his album The Drift in 2006, I felt the time was right to finally encounter this musician, but I wanted some historical background on the Walker phenomenon. The documentary 30 CENTURY MAN is a good way to quickly get up to speed.

The film is divided into two parts. The first is the story of Walker's career and the effect it had on musicians who worked with him and who listened to the albums he released. Artist interviews include members of Radiohead, Sting, David Bowie, Simon Raymonde, Allison Goldfrapp, and Jarvis Cocker. There's a great deal of archival interview footage with Walker from the 1960s through the 1980s. The second part consists of scenes from the recording of THE DRIFT. Here one can see how Walker created some of the bizarre sonorities on the record, for example having workmen construct an elaborate wooden structure just to get the precise slamming sound he wanted. Much of THE DRIFT is piercing noise of uncertain origin, but the documentary gives you an idea of the instrumental forces used. It's remarkable how humble a musician Scott Walker comes across as in the interviews, absolutely sure of his aesthetic direction but very understanding that it won't be everyone's cup of tea. While not the nutty recluse that some suspected he was, Walker still clearly likes his privacy, but he opens up enough that the viewer feels a deepened understanding of his work.
20 de 21 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
Fascinating 12 de julio de 2009
Por FastFilm - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato: DVD Compra verificada
The subject is American, but his pre-eminence is strictly European. Fans of "Absolutely Fabulous" should remember Patsy's older sister claiming she was the subject of a Scott Walker song; fans of director Minghella's first (and best) film "Truly Madly Deeply" (comedy-tragedy-ghost story: deserves own eventual blog) should remember the woman and her ghostly dead lover singing a raucous cover of "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" while fans of oldskool retro-60's classics on classics radio should recall "Make It Easy On Yourself" plus many anthemic others done with the same sonorous baritone over an orchestral sweeping vista.

The film is "30 Century Man" and the subject is Scott Walker. Once upon a time in the 1960's, three typical tall, skinny Sunset Strip denizens with long hair and bangs past their eyebrows plus failed C.V.s as musicians moved to England, wherein the intrinsic lack of tall, skinny Sunset Strip denizens with bangs past their eyebrows would allow them to actually stand out. And they did, to eventual mega-stardom. Precursors of the Ramones' hat trick, these unrelated chums named themselves the Walker Brothers, surrendered to mainstream pop, and had enormous hit after enormous hit there, with their flagship sound of Scott Walker's baritone crooning. However mushy the MOR slop tended to be, at least it was interesting having "one of our own" youth culturers singing this way, and all three looking so shaggable. Believe me, David Bowie was listening INTENTLY to this particular sound, and you can hear it every concert he sings to this day.

Huge hits written by the era's best other songwriters, genuine Beatles-esque fan mobbing, compromises, breakdowns, supstance abuse, what photographer/director Larry Clark called "the usual betrayals in the music biz," then it gets weird. Prettiest boy and main voice Scott derails, joins a monestary, emerges as a Jacques Brel interpreter, then a techno-artist songwriter before there actually is techno, then avant-garde orchestrator cum performance artist for music that has no categorizing description, all of which he warbles the highest brow intellectual themes over. He releases his work maybe once a decade. This is the story of Scott Walker, a man rightly called the most enigmatic figure ever in the history of popular music, depicted from infancy to 2006 in "30 Century Man."

Director Steven Kijak gives us "listening heads" instead of the talking variety, what with David Bowie coming aboard, Radiohead, Brian Eno and others chatting about Walker's influence upon their own work. Even 60's compatriot Lulu inquires to the only director that's managed to snag an interview with Walker if he's still gorgeous (A: yes, in a tall, skinny, bit of receding hairline, wildly creative, intellectual mien way. Plus he's sober now for decades. The guy laughs a lot for a supposed morbidly reclusive type, too.) Many depicted fans of old don't "get" his newest work, voicing Luddite disdain for something so far ahead of what's going on now (whenever "now" is: that's the beauty of the avant garde) that they fail to embrace pure innovation for its own sake.

You'll see recent footage of him orchestrating in the studio (replete with a percussionist pounding a huge side of pork, or recording sounds under a wooden box,) and explaining his difficult themes with assured ease and aplomb. Thank God Scott Walker is still around, for this is one former pop star turned composer who is actually working at the peak of creative powers right here, right now, a massive acheivement for anyone, but especially former popstars. Trent Reznor should be so lucky when he's Walker's age. Check out "30 Century Man" now on dvd to watch a fascinating musical journey.
13 de 14 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
A Mystery Man of Music 1 de julio de 2009
Por George C. Hutton - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato: DVD Compra verificada
I use to play the Walker Brothers "The Sun Ain't Gonnna Shine Anymore"
on 45 in my room as a 12 year old kid. It was then that I realized that
Scott Walker has one of the strongest voices EVER. He left the group at
their peak, to pursue a solo career. He has put out several solo projects
where he interupts other peoples songs with dark passion, but strong
communication skills (sounds like a Vampire ?) anyway he has been compared
to Jazz Greats; Johnny Hartman and Billy Eckstine, which is great, but he is much more of a experiementalist. I have to admit I enjoy his earlier
works more than his most recent efforts, but I would drive from Miami to NYC just to hear him live. This Video captures his story, life, music etc
if you watch it, and go hmmmmmm, becareful, like the Vampire, once you invite him in, you'll never be able to get him out of your head.
7 de 7 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
Great look into the world of Scott Walker 5 de abril de 2010
Por M. White - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato: DVD Compra verificada
I have been listening to Scott Walker for many years and it is certainly not a stretch to say, that in terms of pure vocal ability and interpretive skill, he could be considered the finest male vocalist of the pop era. This documentary-style DVD fills in a lot of what has been missing (for the general public, at least) from Scott's complete story. I found the performance clips, especially from the 60's, to be worth the price of the video alone. Walker, although a self-proclaimed nervous performer (and in several performances you can actually see his hands shaking), performs with a kind of cool sophistication that you rarely saw pop singers display in that era. The 2006 interview with Scott, which is the focal point of this DVD, is very revealing and paints a picture of an artist who, although steadfast in his vision relative to his art, has paid a very high price for that vision. In my opinion, some of the peripheral characters in the DVD are, quite frankly, insignificant to this effort (particularly the insignifcant Marc Almond and syncophant David Bowie, who always manages to make anything and everything he talks about "all about him"). That being said, the reverence and respect that artists like Johnny Marr, Gavin Friday, and Jarvis Cocker speak of Scott with is what gives the film its emotional power. Most impressive is Brian Eno. His insightful commentary on everything from contemporary music criticism to music/commerce/marketplace contradictions to his own acute observations and assessments of Scott's work are priceless. This is a must see for anyone who still believes in artists like Walker who are, quite literally, willing to give everything for their art.
4 de 4 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
A true original... 8 de noviembre de 2011
Por B. Bowman - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato: DVD
I must preface this review by being honest, I was not a huge Scott Walker fan prior to watching "30 Century Man". The only one of his albums that I owned before watching this documentary was "Scott 3", which I didn't dislike, but overall didn't knock my socks off after a few listens. However, as has happened often in my music listening life, I had a feeling that Scott Walker was the sort of artist I would really begin to understand and become a fan of when the right time in my life presented itself. I was correct, and that moment came after I watched "30 Century Man". I had a similar experience over a 15 year period with Tom Waits; I tried to get into his music at a fairly young age and hated it, but sure enough, I own all his albums now and went through a period of a little over a year where I barely listened to anything but Waits' music. Ironically, I can think of very few musicians whose careers have followed the pattern of Waits and Walker: both started their music careers by making mainstream music (much more so in Walker's case than Waits'), but ended up breaking from their more commercial roots and making music influenced by Jacques Brel and the avant garde. The Scott Walker story presented in "30 Century Man" will be fascinating to any music fan: here is a man who was in a "boy band" in the 60's which was HUGE, went solo and did four albums on his own, only to become convinced by record company executives and/or his management that he needed to release commercial material to satisfy his fan base after following his muse for four albums, made albums he didn't care for for a few years, and then saw a reunion of the boy band that he had broken away from, only to unleash some of his most uncompromising material on their final album. This started a trend of Walker releasing unconventional and certainly not commercial albums sporadically that has continued to this day. (When I say this is rare, I mean it. For example, can you imagine Nick Lachey or Justin Timberlake releasing albums like Walker has when they're his age? I can't either.) One of the funniest moments in this documentary is Brian Eno's statement about the last Walker Brothers album "Nite Flights", where he states that Walker's contributions to the album were not only unprecedented at the time, but have not been topped by any of the bands that have come since, including the Talking Heads. I also found the interview segments with Walker to be very revealing, as well as the clips of him in the studio having various contraptions built for the recording of his most recent album "The Drift". The interviews revealed Walker to be a down to earth human being, certainly one who is not fond of the spotlight, but one who believes in his muse wholeheartedly and follows it wherever it takes him without question. That is the mark of a true artist in my opinion; not success, not monetary gain, not fame, but the belief in yourself to be true to your heart. After watching this documentary, I purchased Walker's entire catalogue, and am a few albums into the listening experience as I write this. It is an unorthodox, but ultimately rewarding ride to these open ears.

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