REVIEWS

“Obsessive fans – some of whom have stuck with their hero since the 1960s - will be in clover, while non-initiates will be fascinated by a man for whom the term ‘maverick’ could well have been invented.” Screen Daily Review

“The film paints a remarkably strong portrait of the man and his music. It also puts even his most difficult experimental recordings into a telling context–including footage of Walker in the studio with echoey wooden boxes and resonant slabs of meat… there’s a constant stream of wit, from Walker’s realistic self-image to Almond’s hilarious rant about an album he loathed. And it’s made even more engaging through the use of old footage shot both on stage and off.”
Shadows on the Wall - “Britain’s first film ezine”

“Longtime fans of Walker’s warm, sepulchral baritone, startlingly evocative songwriting and lushly imaginative instrumentation will rejoice at this revealing docu…Balance of tech package is admirably unflashy, allowing Walker’s distinctive music — one talking head calls it “beauty in melancholy” — to remain at the fore.”
Variety (PDF Version)

“Far removed from his swoon-pop days in the Walker Brothers, we see him in the studio recording last year’s critically acclaimed head-scratcher The Drift, and punching a slab of pork. Much like that meat, Walker’s music is cold and rare, but the even rarer interview and studio footage offer a glimpse into the avant composer’s closely guarded mind – one that seems gripped by brilliance and fear – and assuages with that heavenly baritone.”
The Austin Chronicle SXSW review.

“Required viewing for anyone with even a passing interest in one of the weirdest men in pop history.”
Four Stars
The Austin American Statesman/Austin360

“Like the best music documentaries, “Scott Walker: 30 Century Man” blends grace and mystery. It should delight longtime Walker fans and introduce him to new ones.” Salon.com’s SXSW roundup

“It takes a few minutes and a few vintage black and white, badly lip-synced clips from old and obscure BBC programs to pass by, before audiences can settle into the well-produced documentary that is “Scott Walker: 30 Century Man.” Such is the hurdle director Stephen Kijak largely clears with this respectful, slightly fawning retrospective on the enigmatic, nearly forgotten 1960s pop star-turned-rock experimentalist, Scott Walker.”
Film Threat

“Kijak crafts a film that allows the mystique of Walker to remain intact…” says The Documentary Channel

High Times’ SXSW roundup

“a beautifully-crafted, straightforward story, that will draw in anyone with an interest in music, and enchant Walker fans at the same time…an embarrassment of riches for anyone paying even cursory attention to alternative music over the last 30 years.” Club Kingsnake’s review/interview

Politiken reviews the film at NatFilm in Copenhagen. (In Danish)

“Imagine music that sounds like the feeling of a David Lynch movie.” says Ain’t It Cool News in their SXSW round-up review.

“Filmmaker Stephen Kijak gained unprecedented access to Scott in the studio making his 2006 album The Drift. The music on that album is almost beyond words–weird, dark, goth-rock cabaret, not the place to start your Walker experience but a wild place to end up–but Scott’s story, and the story of his career as a whole, are riveting.” Download.com

“30 Century Man is a fascinating and entertaining exploration of one of the most extraordinary careers in pop culture. I have rarely seen a biographical documentary that is able to make the viewer experience the perspective of a devoted fan, a concerned friend, and a complete stranger at the same time. Like Scott Walker himself, this is an absolutely unique film.”
Atom Egoyan (Film director; “The Sweet Hereafter”, “Exotica”, “Ararat”, “Felicia’s Journey”, etc.)

The UK Press is starting to roll in…

“With surprising access to Mr. Walker himself and a proper central role for the music, this is a captivating documentary for fans of his or fans of music, full stop.”
4 STARS**** Empire.

“This definitive portrait of rock’s most fascinating and elusive outsider has pretty much everything you could possibly want from a music doc.”
FIVE STARS***** Time Out London

“Terrific… a must-see item”
“If you’re a fan, you’ll be in seventh heaven”
“This long overdue celebration of the man, the myth and the magic couldn’t serve his god-like persona any better”
4 STARS**** Film Review

“Essential viewing for all fans of the artist”
MOJO

“Scott Walker – 30th Century Man is a beguiling piece of work that is presented with real passion and unbridled enthusiasm by Kijak”
Clash Magazine

“…the film catches various commentators - Jarvis Cocker, Damon Albarn, Alison Goldfrapp et al - as they listen to, and are often visibly shaken by, Walker’s music. The emotions here are so exposed you would have to be allergic to every aspect of Walker’s singing not to experience at least a wobble of empathy. Remembering that existential symphony of the melancholy modern self that is a Scott Walker song gives us pause, as if all other rock music should somehow be ashamed of itself for being so unambitious.” Read the full Sight & Sound review by Nick James

“A dignified affair” decrees The First Post.

InTheNews.com’s pick for “essential viewing this summer”: 8 out of 10!

“There’s something wonderful and oddly moving about this profile of the troubadour/poet born Scott Engel, if only because it makes a refreshing change to see a portrait of a reclusive pop eccentric who hasn’t merely survived but has continued to grow as an artist.” The Financial Times

FOUR STARS **** The Sunday Times

“DESTINED TO BECOME A CULT CLASSIC” BBC online

“A first-rate music documentary” Glasgow Sunday Herald.

“feels a little like reading liner notes while a good friend plays Walker’s LPs on the living room turntable…In Kijak’s insightful and substantial documentary, The Walker myth has found a worthy vessel with which to continue its course through rock history.” Late Night with Riviera

“…a great achievement…In an era when revivalism rules, Walker, for good or for bad, continues to plough a lonely but fascinating modernist furrow.” The Telegraph

Music’s international man of mystery and ace sunglasses wearer is given the lavish documentary treatment” *** 3 Stars The Herald (online edition, Scotland)

“Music fans shouldn’t miss this documentary - it’s an affectionate, thoroughly enjoyable biography and tribute to one of music’s greatest, if not terribly prolific, musicians.” Four and a Half Stars from Eye for Film

“In a rare moment Walker talks of the seductive quality, the power, of the baritone voice. Clearly the gift he was given has been a double-edged sword. But this film reveals that he’s learned to wield that sword in a unique manner, and out there on the edges of music, where he walks alone, he’s leaving a magical, fairy tale trail that many may wish to follow, but few can.” Barb Junger’s Culture Wars

“The opening credits feature disembodied voices pondering the nature of Walker’s career and compare him to Orpheus, heightening seemingly beyond anticipation what we are about to witness, but Kijak does not disappoint.” Montage


HotPress from HotDocs:

“as enigmatic and elusive as Walker himself” says NOW Magazine.

“As mesmerizing as Walker’s best songs…” Four Stars**** from Toronto’s Eye Weekly

“An inventive, cinematic examination of the music and influence of the famously reclusive Scott Walker, former swoon-worthy pop-star crooner turned experimental songsmith…” FOUR STARS**** Toronto Globe & Mail

Artvoice’s HotDoc’s roundup: “lovingly directed”

TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL

One of Premiere’s Must-see movies at TFF ‘07. And here’s their review:
“I’m quite glad the picture exists. I think it might even warrent a sequel.”

“A Walker Wonk’s Wet Dream” says The Reeler

“A staggering movie! Scott Walker is one of my all time favorite musicians and the movie is big and generous and totally absorbing. An introduction to the beautiful and radical work of a genius.” Laurie Anderson

PRESS FROM IRELAND:

FIVE STARS ***** The Irish Times

FIVE STARS *****Entertainment Ireland

FOUR STARS **** AM Herald and Herald AM

4/5 Irish Examiner

FOUR STARS ****HotPress PDF

from SILVERDOCS:

“The film is a thoughtful, well-constructed introduction and tribute to an artist who is only beginning to be appreciated as the visionary innovator that he has been for decades. 30th Century Man goes beyond that, though, by illuminating the process of making art and illustrating what it means to let your work become your world. “

says Judy is not a Punk from Tiny Mix Tapes

“See the film. Listen to the music. Play it loud” writes Richard Peabody in a detailed review/SW career overview at The Happy Booker

SEATTLE FILM FESTIVAL:
A favorite of DJ Masa’s of KEXP radio.

SIFFblog reviews: “in Scott Walker: 30 Century Man, Stephen Kijak profiles Walker with a rapturousness that is utterly befitting.”

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL:
a Surprise Highlight of the Sydney Film Festival says the Sydney Morning Herald

NEW ZEALAND FILM FESTIVALS

“This is one music documentary where you won’t even need an appreciation of the artist’s music before hand…Just take your open mind – and a friend – and discover the magic of one of the most unique and innovative musicians, an under-sung hero who sits somewhere between Warhol, Eno, Bowie and Laurie Anderson.” The Lumiere Reader

as the UK EDITION OF THE DVD rolls out, some more reviews are rolling in:

FOUR STARS - Q Magazine

5/5 - “Outstanding.” BreakingNews.ie

“Director Stephen Kijak’s journey into the weird and wonderful world of Scott Walker’s perplexing music is an exemplary ‘rockumentary’ - a study of one of pop’s most precocious sons which manages to be intelligent and insightful without ever descending into maudlin reverence.”
Mark Kermode in The Observer

“if you’ve any artistic inclinations whatsoever, you’ll be inspired more than you thought possible.” says Ambival.net

Vancouver International Film Fest:

“fascinating meta-doc…profoundly dissects the influence that Walker (also present on-screen) had on modernists like Brian Eno, Jarvis Cocker, Sting, and members of Radiohead, all of whom make lucid and insightful comments about a mysterious artist who often elicits more admiration than pleasure.” Straight.com

“reveals Walker to the masses in an emotionally gripping way thanks to interviews with David Bowie and others…” Vancouver Sun

“perhaps the greatest gift offered to us: (is) being allowed to witness not only how inspiring a writer Walker was in his time, but also how brilliantly his material has aged over subsequent decades.” says Racan Souiedan at The Peak, Simon Fraser University’s Independent Student Newspaper

Australian DVD reviews…

**** (4 Stars out of 5) The Big Issue

“Finally, the story of one of music’s most compelling, confusing, contrary and captivating
figures has been told…vital for anyone wanting to understand music.” Citysearch Melbourne

“Scott Walker…has never stopped moving, creating or perplexing his audience and as this doco reveals with astounding access, he’s one of the most thoughtful individuals ever to pull on winkle pickers, stovepipes and fuck-the-world sunnies. Extensive jawdropping archival footage makes this the best home movie ever made about experimental crooner baroque pop and the assorted vox pops from Bowie, Eno through to Goldfrapp and Johnny Marr attest to Walker’s exhaustive influence.” BMA Magazine

Db Magazine says “We should all kiss Kijak’s feet for this picture. Walker is not only insightful and humble, he is devilishly funny. His trademark cap and shades - which he wears as a sort of defense mechanism - are slowly removed, leaving us with a man whose brain just never stops working, and whollyevident is is his passion for sculpting truly original song/constructions that can only be adequately described only as Walkeresque.”

“A Masterpiece…brilliantly-made…a visual feast.” Sound & Image

FIVE STARS ***** The Buzz “An inspiring tale.”

2007 YEAR-END MENTIONS…

DOCUMENTARY OF THE YEAR according to Michael Dwyer of The Irish Times

#4 on Uncut Magazine’s 20 Best Music DVDs of 2007

And more UK Press…this time for the BBC broadcast…

*****(Five Stars) The Mail on Sunday

“The sharp twists and sandpapery turns of Scott Walker’s long, strange career are traced in this corking documentary. While the early, teen-pop stuff is represented by nice vintage clips and sensible interviews, his more recent ‘direction’ sees the whole thing dissolve into an oblique gumbo of ‘interpretive’ video collages, honking goose noises and footage of Walker punching a side of beef. Monumental, actually”
The Guardian

**** (Four Stars) The Daily Mail

“Terrific” Radio Times

Tired of waiting for a US release, Tim Lucas ordered up the PAL DVD from the UK and declares: “…as music documentaries go, this one is about as good as they come. This film should be considered required viewing for artists of all kinds for the simple reason that it is so inspirational; it depicts a level of almost monastic consecration to one’s craft that is so rare as to be easily mistaken for incipient insanity — when it is the idea that the value of any music is dictated by the marketplace that is truly mad.”

“Y después, el silencio.” A review from Spain on Ideal.es.

“Kijak’s documentary is a portrait of an artist in a universal sense, perfectly capturing a man in a period of unfettered creative transcendence.” Vertigo Magazine

Press from the long-overdue USA release begins with…NYC:

****(Four Stars) from Time Out New York.

Capsule review in The New Yorker.

“Haunting” Stephen Holden in the New York Times.

The Playlist: “Long-overdue…we love it…a fascinating portrait of one of rock’s most enigmatic musicians…It’s a remarkable music doc and if you do have a chance to go see it in theaters, make sure you do.”

“In down-to-earth interviews all the more precious for their rarity, the Ohio-born teen idol turned industrial-cabaret innovator comes across not as a Jandek-like eccentric or obscurantist but as a man trying to realize abstract visions through exacting concrete means. And if that means demanding retakes of a percussionist punching a side of meat (for Walker’s 2006 album, The Drift), Kijak lets the results speak eloquently for themselves.” Jim Ridley, The Village Voice

“Watching him at work, one wants to like his music more, which makes the film the perfect gateway: it holds open all the passageways the music itself denies.”  Hammer to Nail

“Imperative to catch on the big screen.” A long examination of film by prior non-fan NP Thompson at The House Next Door.

The L Magazine:30 Century Man can be viewed as a real-life Synecdoche, New York: Scott Walker, like a musician version of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Caden Cotard, is a chronically dissatisfied artist. He’s conscious of the fact that he’s inching towards death, so he constantly creates more complex, abstract and layered meta-music to fill his existential void.”

“deeply absorbing and smashingly successful…one of the best music documentaries ever made.” Film Journal International

“Kijak takes us through Walker’s history, methodology, and cultural relevance. The movie is a light at the end of Walker’s twisting tunnel, giving valuable insight into this venerated nonconformist.” SF Weekly

SF Bay Guardian: “…the chief glory of 30 Century Man is the lavish setting that it affords Walker’s recordings…This listening party effect is intoxicating.”

“…pays tribute to his timeless, still envelope-pushing talent.” Dennis Harvey in SF360

“…the man, the music, the impact and the influence - a story from the other side of a parallel universe…a fine new rock documentary.” Joel Selvin, The San Francisco Chronicle

“In the film’s most memorable sequence, we’re taken chronologically through Scott Walker’s discography, watching as the above-mentioned musical luminaries listen and react to their favorite songs. Their enthusiasm and delight for this modern day “poet and composer of the unconscious” is thoroughly contagious.”  Film-415

“an impressive documentary about the musical journey of a mop-top pinup turned respected avant-gardist, with a smart emphasis from filmmaker Stephen Kijak on the ever-evolving Walker’s recent work.” SF Examiner

“By actually playing the music and allowing commentary, Kijak hits upon a kind of astute music criticism, and an argument for music as challenging as this.” Combustable Celluloid

“It’s about the pleasure of witnessing one man’s steady, uncompromising approach to his own unique artistic ideal.” says Jonathan Kiefer on KQED

“Riveting…” says the 7×7 roundup.

“convincing, elegant, revealing, seamless…” Chris Knipp at ICPlaces.com film guide

press from the LA theatrical run:

“A Cult Above…Kijak’s documentary penetrates the mystery without fully explaining it away, leaving Scott Walker’s music to do the talking.” says Roy Trakin on SonicBoomers

“a film that should not be ignored” says Kevin Bronson on Buzzbands LA.

“revelatory…with unprecedented access…New doc says Scott Walker’s music was decades, if not centuries, ahead of its time”  says LA CityBeat

“…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.” LA TIMES

“…compelling and refreshing…” LA Alternative Film Examiner

“…utterly haunting…With 30 Century Man, Kijak has done a brilliant job of focusing on a musical figure who has made it his burden to remain out of sight…astonishing” Filter

“Scott Walker vs. The Jonas Bros. : compare and contrast.” - The Huffington Post

“A fascinating meditation on the nexus of art and celebrity with a deeply charismatic figure at its center…one of the most remarkable music documentaries in ages. Not to be missed.” Box Office Magazine

An “odd” review from some “fringe freak” in Columbus, OH named Frank Gabrenya

“…a deep, detailed look at an intriguing musical journey…thoroughly and entertainingly documented.” Denver Westworld

“…absorbing…The film proves pop culture’s trove isn’t always filled with fool’s gold. Its contents can shine with a real value. Its connoisseurs and practitioners can be the keepers of a vibrant historical record…Black-and-white footage of (Walker’s) nervy, vigorous take on Brel’s “Mathilde” is worth the price of admission alone.” The Denver Post

If ever a walking, talking, crooning enigma erupted from the outback of popular culture, it’s Scott Walker…don’t miss it.” Decider, Denver/Boulder

One of The 405’s 10 Must See Music Documentaries.

“The film is a naked and honest portrayal of a man whose work has deeply compelled artists like David Bowie (the film’s executive producer), Brian Eno, Sting, Jarvis Cocker, Johnny Marr and Radiohead, all of whom share their appreciation onscreen. To a man, these talking heads seem exceptionally humbled by his music–a testament to the mammoth influence that Scott Walker has had on late 20th-century pop…” Nashville Scene

“…the film’s portrait of the artist is fascinating. I came away thinking about all those Big Questions: Is it possible to have success in the world and still live an authentic life? Is every artist ultimately a blinkered, hobbled being? Where does vision end and ego begin?” BitterGrace Notes

“…a fascinating exploration of a reclusive composer…With 30 Century Man, director Stephen Kijak accomplished the remarkable task of visualizing Walker’s work, casting interviews and other footage in twilight shades of melancholy.” Express Milwaukee

“Even David Bowie - the executive producer of this exceptionally smart documentary - admits it: Scott Walker is the original avant-garde crooner.” FOUR STARS - Rolling Stone

“The new gold standard for music documentaries. I have to applaud Stephan Kijak for not exposing all the secrets, for keeping an essential part of the mystery, and thus the allure, intact. In terms of presentation, (Oscilloscope) are quickly becoming one of the best DVD companies on the market. Scott Walker: 30 Century Man is the tops.” DVD Talk

FOUR STARS **** “For Walker fans, I imagine 30 Century Man will come as a bit of a vindication, having the knowledge that they knew this world before it had been fully documented and made ready for public consumption. For novices, suffice it to say you have my unadulterated jealousy.” Chris Cabin, AMC Filmcritic

“If you’ve managed to forget how cool a pair of Ray-Bans looked in the sixties, this one’s for you!” men.style.com

“As a story that now encompasses about 50 years of music, it’s truly compelling.” Surface Noise

“Fantastic…scintillating…a glorious trip down memory lane…” The Gumshoe Grove

30 Century Man examines one of music’s truly unusual artists with a seriousness and reverence appropriate to its subject matter…the year’s most enriching music documentary.” Time Out Chicago

“…fine, haunting…It’s one of my favorite rock documentaries of the past few years: may it influence many more to come.” New City

A scintillating film that sets the bar high for the whole music documentary genre…an ideal introduction to the eccentric,  mystifying, and inventive artist.” Chicago Poetry Examiner

NewYorkMag_07-20-09_ApprovalMatrixSM.jpg

“…this movie will f*** with your soul…great…riveting…once you watch the film, for a little while you feel like all other “music” is worthless.”  DrewViews

” (a)  rather grand film…The film’s main attraction is the 63-year-old composer who, though alive, has been a more difficult “get” than the late Garbo herself. Kijak had the great good luck to ask Walker to participate at just the right time…the sight of Walker in the studio directing a percussionist how to slap sides of meat for sound effects is worth the price of this DVD.” Express Night Out, from The Washington Post

“a tribute to the man’s pioneering spirit, focusing on the way listeners engage with and interpret his music, instead of forcing a pat biographical arc on its subject….the best way to get to know Scott Walker is by letting his music do the talking.”  The Agit Reader

FOUR STARS **** - About.Com: Alternative Music reviews

“Like a flashlight beaming into a dark room…For fans it is a real treat without destroying the mystique at all. For those unfamiliar, it serves as a great introduction.” Acme Video

” (a)  subversively affecting statement.” 9 out of 10.  Blurt on-line

“”A must watch; a must listen.  Just don’t expect an easy go of it; it’s dark music for dark times. This is in my top 10 of the year.” The Film Buff Blog

“If you don’t already feel that 1960s pop singer turned enigmatic rock provocateur Scott Walker should at least be on the short list for The Coolest Enigma Who Ever Lived honors, director Stephen Kijak’s documentary may get you there.” #5 on Baltimore Citypaper’s Top Ten Year in DVDs.

#5: Top 5 Docs of 2009: “this documentary that topped several other understated-artist-on-the-verge-of-insanity docs I saw this year. What impressed me so much about “Scott Walker: 30th Century Man” was how willing this longtime recluse was to let the filmmakers in on his artistic process.” Marshal Democrat-News

#36 : NME.com’s list of 50 Awesome Music Movies

Pop Matters reviews SW30 ahead of its Sundance Channel premiere: “(the film) pokes and probes at some very basic concepts of music and language, following Walker’s lead into abstraction and a frankly compelling sort of indefinition.” 7 out of 10