Gary Numan: Android in La La Land Reviews

  • Dec 03, 2016

    In this documentary, Numan repeatedly draws attention to his social awkwardness and the difficulties he has had in fitting in. He is a distinctly "un-rock-and-roll" person and speaks with insight, honestly and clarity about his struggles with Asperger's and depression. What shines out clearly is the love he shares with his wife Gemma and their three delightful little girls. They are a proper family unit with very little of the nauseating excess and ego that many in his world seem to cultivate. This is a fascinating film that follows the Numan family during what is really a make-or-break year while Gary works on the album Splinter. This is also a year when they move from the UK to set up home in LA in an attempt to reboot Gary's faltered music career. His importance and influence in the electronic music genre is easy to overlook due partly to his public reserve and a difficult relationship with the music press. So determined was he to plough his own furrow that he often seemed to be deliberately going against the trend. He is also the first to admit that he made some errors of judgment and as a result, spent many years in a kind of creative Doldrums, satisfying neither himself nor his fans. This being the case, it is easy to forget that by the time he was 21, Gary Numan was one of the most successful musicians on the planet. As this documentary unfolds, you find yourself willing and praying that he is going to make a real success of his latest venture and finally put his troubles behind him. The loyalty and devotion of his wife is refreshing to see in an world not known for fidelity or understanding and how she helps him heal himself and overcome debt, mental illness and family difficulties is a real inspiration. It also gives an interesting glimpse into the creative process as the new album gradually comes together. Even if this isn't really your musical cup of tea, as a story of humanity and determination, this makes for very rewarding viewing and only the most stony hearted of viewers would remain unmoved.

    In this documentary, Numan repeatedly draws attention to his social awkwardness and the difficulties he has had in fitting in. He is a distinctly "un-rock-and-roll" person and speaks with insight, honestly and clarity about his struggles with Asperger's and depression. What shines out clearly is the love he shares with his wife Gemma and their three delightful little girls. They are a proper family unit with very little of the nauseating excess and ego that many in his world seem to cultivate. This is a fascinating film that follows the Numan family during what is really a make-or-break year while Gary works on the album Splinter. This is also a year when they move from the UK to set up home in LA in an attempt to reboot Gary's faltered music career. His importance and influence in the electronic music genre is easy to overlook due partly to his public reserve and a difficult relationship with the music press. So determined was he to plough his own furrow that he often seemed to be deliberately going against the trend. He is also the first to admit that he made some errors of judgment and as a result, spent many years in a kind of creative Doldrums, satisfying neither himself nor his fans. This being the case, it is easy to forget that by the time he was 21, Gary Numan was one of the most successful musicians on the planet. As this documentary unfolds, you find yourself willing and praying that he is going to make a real success of his latest venture and finally put his troubles behind him. The loyalty and devotion of his wife is refreshing to see in an world not known for fidelity or understanding and how she helps him heal himself and overcome debt, mental illness and family difficulties is a real inspiration. It also gives an interesting glimpse into the creative process as the new album gradually comes together. Even if this isn't really your musical cup of tea, as a story of humanity and determination, this makes for very rewarding viewing and only the most stony hearted of viewers would remain unmoved.