Gary Numan: Android in La La Land review – electronic music pioneer in sparky doc

After years of being patronised, Gary Numan is recognised as a pioneer of electronic music and there is pure pop inspiration in the elegant, haunted singles of his heyday.

A documentary about Numan’s life leading up to the release of his album Splinter is welcome, and, though it does feel a bit like a promo video at times, there is always a kind of tortured honesty in Numan – particularly when he confesses to a Larkinian anxiety at the sight of old people in their seventies, who are facing the death that horrifies him. 

Numan married his biggest fan, Gemma O’Neill, and there are entertaining scenes showing their amiable squabbling, and long interviews with Numan himself in which he confesses to being a bit of an anorak. The film touches, carefully, on Numan’s issues with depression and anxiety, and his strained relations with his parents who once managed his career, though his Asperger’s syndrome is not explored and there is tactful silence on the subject of his political views. 

It’s all building up to a triumphal happy ending when the album is released. Well, good for him.

Powered by article was written by Peter Bradshaw, for The Guardian on Thursday 25th August 2016 22.00 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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