Sunday, February 28, 2010

Scott Walker: 30 Century Man

I briefly mentioned the documentary Scott Walker: 30 Century Man a couple of years back, after seeing it a VIFF; I picked it up on DVD last week (along with the Scott 3 CD which I am loving), and I've got to say, it deserves a second mention.  The film covers Walker's career path from idolized pop star to fairly reclusive avant garde musician/composer, interspersed with really interesting interviews with musicians about the influence of Scott's work, and fascinating interviews with the man himself.  

What got to me this time were two of the extras - the first, an extended interview with Brian Eno.  Eno's amazing musical brain is not news to me, but I was still left shaking my head in wonder at his ability to so clearly articulate some fairly difficult musical ideas, and his ability to so accurately pinpoint what makes Scott's music unique.  Eno speaks with the confidence of someone who is comfortable with his lofty position in the pantheon of musical gods - he's great at what he does, he's comfortable, he has nothing to prove. 

Not so much with the second extra - an extended interview with Scott.  What slays me about this interview is how revealing it is - every question is treated with complete openness and honesty, and the picture you end up with is of a man who is at once very precise and sure of his musical ideas, and utterly terrified that they won't work out; someone who understands that he is on the musical margins, but is somewhat pained by the isolation of that position; someone who blames himself for any perceived misstep his career has made, and not the record company's creative shackles.  You look at his eyes and see the pain of living with his creative, tormented brain.  Unlike Eno "comfortable" is never a word that comes to mind.  Scott has no choice but to do what he does, but it doesn't mean that he finds it easy. 

Not much else to say really - except rent it.