From teen idol, to shadowy recluse, to avant garde genius; or that's according to tongue-in-cheek documentary Scott Walker: 30th Century Man. Once a poster-boy in 60s band The Walker Brothers, Scott left to produce highly experimental solo work. Here, a host of stars - from David Bowie to Damon Albarn - pay tribute to an unsung pop legend. Only thing is, none can quite manage to suppress a smirk. Is director Stephen Kijak having us on? You decide.
Things start conventionally enough, with Walker (real name Noel Scott Engel) shooting to fame as lead singer in The Walker Brothers, via a No.1 hit in 1965 with Make It Easy On Yourself. But before long, hints of Spinal Tap start to emerge; Walker - these days a recluse who rarely grants interviews - earnestly explains how his solo work has been inspired by obscure Flemish crooner Jacques Brel. His oeuvre consists mainly of doom-laden ballads, there's a song about Adolf Eichmann, overlayed by densely poetical and melodramatic lyrics.
"DESTINED TO BECOME A CULT CLASSIC"
The cynical might surmise that Walker's career post The Walker Brothers has been a knowing joke, and one that his 'fans', here, are in on. "What does anybody know about Scott Walker?" asks Bowie, before laughing out loud at a Walker record. "Listening to Walker was a year zero moment," deadpans Albarn. Enter into the spirit, and this movie becomes a pitch-perfect, and hilarious, spoof on pop industry pretension and the biopic format. It's surely destined to become a cult classic.
Scott Walker: 30 Century Man is released on Friday 27th April 2007.