Review: ‘Scott Walker: 30 Century Man’


” Scott Walker: 30 Century Man” chronicles the career of musician Scott Walker, an enigmatic figure whose influence far outreaches his relative obscurity. Having achieved some success as part of the 1960s baroque orchestral pop group the Walker Brothers -- none actually named Walker, none brothers -- he began to pursue his own muse, releasing a series of idiosyncratic solo albums. Finally, he turned a corner into music that became increasingly inaccessible, made up of submerged melodies and ghostly, sepulchral vocals.

He is referred to at one point as an intrepid explorer, daring to venture off into terra incognita.

The film’s executive producer is David Bowie, and even a partial rundown of the musicians who speak on camera is dazzling: Jarvis Cocker, Damon Albarn, Alison Goldfrapp, Brian Eno and members of Radiohead. Many of them are shown simply listening to Scott Walker recordings, and the looks of surprise and delight on their faces speak volumes.

Director Stephen Kijak previously made the documentary “Cinemania,” about a group of obsessive moviegoers, and it comes across here that Walker (born Noel Scott Engel) and his acolytes might best be described not by that distasteful word “hipster” but rather by the more dignified “connoisseur.” These are people of discerning taste.