INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Record Collector JUNE 2011 - by Thomas Jerome Seabrook
BRIAN ENO - 1971-1977: THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH
The Man Who Fell To Earth is billed as the first ever feature-length documentary about Brian Eno - and feature-length it certainly is, with a near three-hour running time that even James Cameron might have baulked at. But then, as ever with Eno, there's a lot of ground to cover; he was, as biographer David Sheppard puts it at the start of the film, an "anomaly" who found himself at the centre of so many key moments in the music of the '70s.
After a slightly flabby Roxy-centric opening, the film hits its stride when Eno swaps group dynamics for cybernetics and systems music. After that there's nary a pause for breath as we take in everything and everyone from Robert Fripp and Gavin Bryars to collapsed lungs and Oblique Strategies.
The film boasts an impressive array of talking heads, including Sheppard, Robert Christgau, Simon Reynolds, and old friends and collaborators of Eno's such as Lloyd Watson, Chris Spedding, and Cluster's Hans-Joachim Roedelius. As insightful as their contributions are, however, the nagging feeling remains that the voice you really want to hear is that of Brain One himself. But, aside from the occasional archive clip, he remains a tantalisingly elusive presence - probably just the way he'd like it.