Scott Walker: 30 Century Man - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Scott Walker: 30 Century Man Reviews

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Super Reviewer
May 1, 2010
I had never heard of Scott Walker, but I found this documentary very interesting, and also his music very interesting (especially as his career goes on). Includes interviews from a lot of other good musicians such as Jarvis Cocker and David Bowie.
rubystevens
Super Reviewer
May 9, 2008
a fascinating look at the reclusive musician, who rose from boy band pop icon of the 60's to a truly avant garde artist. not as well known as he should be, especially in his native america (not that he cares), his influence can be heard from bowie to the the smiths to radiohead and beyond. his dramatic baritone voice, painting extraordinary images with abstract poetry, sounds like nobody else. i hadn't heard of him til fairly recently, my bad, but i certainly admire his courageous creative spirit and loyalty to his unique muse. and i'm acquiring a taste for his music too. he's still recording, every 10 years or so, most recently the drift in 2006.
Super Reviewer
February 10, 2008
Good as it was, after watching Scorsese's Dylan movie, "No Direction Home", I didn't feel like I knew its enigmatic subject any better than I did beforehand, but this superb documentary about Scott Walker is surprisingly revealing. If he weren't American by birth, Walker could easily be the archetypal wilfully eccentric Englishman, ploughing his own lonely furrow. Though littered with insightful contributions from Walker's peers, whose diversity reflects the visionary trail blazed from his boy-band roots, what makes the film are the candid interviews with the man himself. For all the genuine demystification, Scott Walker remains just as fascinating an artist at the close: an uncompromising perfectionist, riddled with insecurity. There are a couple of unintentionally funny glimpses of Walker at work in the studio though, which are reminiscent of Reeves and Mortimer's Mulligan and O'Hare at their most avant garde. I caught this again on TV recently and I am sure it had been re-edited, with a couple of bits taken out.
Super Reviewer
½ February 26, 2009
Scott Walker's music is an acquired taste -- a taste that I've only partially acquired myself -- but I feel no such ambivalence about this documentary. Fascinating from beginning to end. The tale of this shadowy musician's rise, fall, transformation and rebirth seems so archetypal that one half-expects the credits to reveal it's a work of fiction...some knowing pastiche or myth dreamed up by an imaginative music fanatic. But no, this is fact.

My one small misgiving is that the film is rather UK-centric. The contemporary musicians interviewed are all trendy UK tastemakers, and often they're not nearly as well-known in the United States. This leaves most Americans without an easy entry point into the tale. Walker's impact may be dominantly overseas but, if so, then we could have used more insight as to why he's such a marginal cult figure in the States.
½ March 23, 2011
Solid if unexceptional documentary about a very interesting musician. I definitely wanna look into his '60s/'70s work.
½ January 25, 2011
didn't learn much of what i didn't already know. scott walker is brilliant though; already knew that too. best parts are the few snippets of interview we get from the man himself.
August 2, 2010
People will see this film and think, "Oh Scott Walker, what an original sound sculptor, what a visionary." Little does anyone know that Walker has been stealing my ideas for decades! It was me who started the tuneless wailing trend, OK? And,while Walker was influenced by Jacques Brel, it was moi who during my years in European exile taught Brel how to write lyrics, for crying out loud. (He got real famous too and never stayed in touch. Thanks for nothing, Jacques.) Plus, I was using animal carcasses as instruments when Scott Walker was still growing his short and curlies. But do the critics and film documentarians pay any attention to that? What about my "Cantata for Road Kill" that included two dead squirrels, a run-over opossum, a half-decomposed beaver and the hindquarters of a goat? A revolutionary work, but does Brian Eno tell interviewers how much my work changed his life? Does David Bowie kiss my hand and ask me out to lunch? Does Alison Goldfrapp wonder how I'm doing? Hell no! Instead Scott Walker makes off with all MY brilliant ideas and then collects the respect and adulation. I'm so frustrated, I think I'll retire to my recording studio right now and punch some pork bellies.
½ May 6, 2010
It is such a shame that many people don't know or have forgotten about Scott Walker. Mostly known notoriously in the sixties when he was in the Walker Brothers band, his fame has gone through many highs and lows through out the years. This is an intimate look at his story & music career as told and remembered by his many admirers and even interviews with himself. It is touching to hear him talk about the Walker Brothers era to becoming a recluse and making a triumphant return to the music scene as a composer. There are glimpses of him making the soundtrack to Leo Carax's Pola X.

You begin to understand that the music he creates is so deep and emotional and comes from a secret internal place no one can possibly describe. Sometimes it's even provocative as his lyrics range from a variety of topics from war to sadomasochistic love affairs. He has inspired musicians from David Bowie to Radiohead shown in the documentary as well. The man is a true poet, an artist, and innovator that is always trying different approaches to his music that is such an inspirational force.
April 26, 2010
I think I watched the last 30 minutes without breathing. All I ever knew of Scott Walker was his Jacques Brel side, and was somewhat bored with the movie until it got to his later, more experimental music, then I couldn't stop watching! I had no idea what this man was about, and now I'm captivated.
April 20, 2010
SCOTT WALKER: 30 CENTURY MAN is a rare glimpse into the creative world of the most enigmatic figure in rock history, and will trace the undeniable impact he has had on popular music through casual interviews with some of his biggest, highest profile fans.

We explore his fascinating trajectory, from jobbing bass player on LA's Sunset Strip, to his domination of the British pop scene that began in the swinging summer of 1965, to his transformation into a composer of true genius; an uncompromising and serious musician working at the peak of his powers.

At age 63, over the course of 2005, he went into the studio again, working on what could be his greatest artistic statement yet - and we were invited to document part of this process ? a privilege no filmmaker has ever been granted.
February 3, 2010
SCOTT WALKER: 30 CENTURY MAN is a rare glimpse into the creative world of the most enigmatic figure in rock history, and will trace the undeniable impact he has had on popular music through casual interviews with some of his biggest, highest profile fans.

We explore his fascinating trajectory, from jobbing bass player on LA's Sunset Strip, to his domination of the British pop scene that began in the swinging summer of 1965, to his transformation into a composer of true genius; an uncompromising and serious musician working at the peak of his powers.

At age 63, over the course of 2005, he went into the studio again, working on what could be his greatest artistic statement yet - and we were invited to document part of this process -- a privilege no filmmaker has ever been granted.
February 8, 2009
Excellent documentary covering Walker's entire career up through the recording of 2006's "The Drift." Highest recommendation!
½ August 7, 2008
Meh. Scott Walker is under-appreciated, I guess, but he's not effing divine. This movie illustrates exactly why I keep poetry and the "fine" arts at arm's length: it is almost impossible not to take it too seriously. At some point exploring the fine line between chord and dischord becomes nothing more than noise. Likewise, at some point powerful poetic imagery becomes too powerful to carry any meaning. Its like body-builders: more muscle but the strength is hollow. I'll stick to my beloved pop songs and classic rock radio, as shallow and lean as it may be at least it has no intention of ever bludgeoning me over the head. So fuck Scott Walker and his genious. I can live without it.
February 10, 2008
"It's a love and hate relationship"
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Fascinating stuff. I knew Dick about Scott Walker other than being aware that he was a singer and the era he started on. In all honesty i thought the guy was dead.

How wrong i was. The guy is so intresting. The twists and turns in his career are so rewarding and seeing him work and how more so how and why he works is a perfect subject for a documentary.

By the end, i can't say i'm converted to the music of Scott Walker. For the most part i'm a little lost despite being quite in awe of his dedication and passion for his work. The struggles he goes through to fee his work are very well captured in his conversations as well as picked up beautifully be alot of his famous fans and producers.

This is the depth a music documentry should go to. You should feel a personal connection even if you don't feel the music. A hell of a documentary and a real unexpected gem.
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"I never listen to it once i'm finished with it"
October 28, 2007
Scott Walker chiseled out the most interesting career path of almost any musician I can think of, and he didn't even have to see the Maharashi to do so. A great, self-contained introduction to a mad genius, and the kind of movie that really makes you want to go out and create something of your own afterwards.
March 24, 2012
If you have an appreciation for the music of the Walker Brothers, or even Scott Walker then this is a must. The story itself is fairly interesting albeit mostly an interview with Walker backed up by some famous talking heads. Personally I now see how a lot of the artists I'm into have been influenced by Walker but I'm in no hurry to delve into his discography as it sounds like the soundtrack of nightmares.
½ August 3, 2014
"Scott Walker: 30 Century Man" é um negócio traiçoeiro: se por um lado oferece um diverso manancial de apontamentos e opiniões ilustres sobre a música do homem, também delimita o alcance da imaginação ao oferecer dados concretos para tantos pontos que até aí eram incógnitas bem mais estimulantes. Pessoalmente, e acerca do que o documentário mostra das sessões de "The Drift", não sei se prefiro desconhecer a origem de todo aquele horror ou ver Scott Walker a explicar como deseja que o percussionista esmurre um grande naco de carne. Mas há aqui um saudável e raro atrevimento em mostrar a reacção das várias pessoas enquanto escutam a música tantas vezes incómoda de Scott Walker. Só por isso valia a pena dar-lhe uma oportunidade.
½ July 26, 2014
very well done treatment of the legend of scott walker. great choices made throughout.
March 23, 2014
nothing like a doc about a genuinely messed-up guy. brilliant
January 19, 2013
Excellent insight into the beautifully accosting universe of Scott Walker's music.
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