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SCOTT WALKER: 30TH CENTURY MAN

Director: STEPHEN KIJAK

U.K. • 2006 • COLOUR • DOLBY STEREO SR • 95 MIN


THE SINGULARLY STRANGE AND REMARKABLE CAREER OF LEGENDARY MUSICIAN SCOTT WALKER COMES UNDER LONG-OVERDUE SCRUTINY IN THIS FASCINATING DOCUMENTARY.
Charting Walker’s early development and success as a member of prototype boy band The Walker Brothers to the recording of 2006’s ‘The Drift’, director Stephen Kijak presents a portrait of an artist with a unique vision. While the honeyed voice of ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore’ remains, Walker has evolved musically from such Spectorlike creations to carefully-wrought soundscapes that defy categorisation. Working alone in seemingly uncharted territory, he developed into one of the most unusual songwriters of our time.
The film follows Walker’s search for his creative voice, from those days as a teen heartthrob to his movement away from the world of mainstream pop. A myth built up around him as he retreated from live performances and took ever longer to release new albums, leading to a public perception of him as a dour, humourless hermit. Taking advantage of free access to the man himself, Kijak’s film presents a very different picture of an artist who, while undeniably focused on his work, is articulate, open and self-deprecatingly witty.
Although Walker is often portrayed as a marginal figure, the film assesses his contribution as central to contemporary popular music. The argument is bolstered by interviews with figures covering the entire spectrum, from Cathal Coughlan to Sting. Those unfamiliar with Walker’s work will have a new world opened up to them. Fans will rejoice that, despite the wealth of new information, a pleasing mystique still surrounds Scott Walker. —Kevin Coyne.

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