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1971-1977: The Man Who Fell To Earth (DVD)

Brian Eno    Unrated   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rare, Unexpected and Very Well Done. Feb. 29 2012
By Richard S. Warner TOP 50 REVIEWER
"Here He Comes", "Alone Out Here Among the Stars" or even "Everything Merges with the Night" would have worked better as a title for this extremely good musical bio of Brian Eno's first and most formative creative period. It would've been better to have used a title from Eno's own work or part of one of his lyrics instead of scooping the title from the 1976 Sci-Fi movie that put David Bowie in the starring role of an alien that comes to Earth to seek help for his dying planet - and is ultimately destroyed by human corruption. In any case, this is a very well-done piece of musical documentation from the same people that put together the groundbreaking and penultimately authoritative "Kraftwerk and the Electronic Revolution". Whether this work is as rigorously authoritative as the excellent Kraftwerk piece seems to be a subject of debate. I will say however, that as a long-term Eno afficianado, I found this DVD to be very informative, pleasantly put together and completely earnest in its appreciation of its subject - but one not every rock and roller is going to want to spend time with either. You would have to really want to hear this information, as Eno's life and career, one of the most fascinating and artistically revolutionary in all of music, is not the picaresque, cocaine-riddled, crash-burn-revive-recycle of some of his collaborators. Yes, there is mention of his rather wanton sexual exploits in his early Roxy Music days, but that seems to have been something Eno himself experienced and grew beyond as he exited quickly OUT of the entire Rock and Roll package himself. Eno posses a cooler head and a temperament much more suited to self development than self-immolation. Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars Much better then I expected ! May 3 2012
By Stephen Bieth TOP 50 REVIEWER
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I ordered this under the assumption that this was an authorized Documentary based on the fact that .ca have Brian Eno listed as Director. Well this is not an authorized film and usually that is the kiss of doom. Well what a pleasant surprise when I saw how well researched the documentary was. It only covers 71 to 77 but it's 154 minutes long. Normally this is the sign of a film that needs a better editor but again not the case here. Great interveiws with people who know their facts. I know you would think all documentaries would interveiw people who specialized in the subject matter but I actually have an unauthorized John Lennon DVD where they interview his pharmacist! This film is good for beginners just discovering Eno's work and for us that have been fans for years. The other reviewer here has done a very good job breaking down the film so I won't bother but if you have been on the fence about this hopefully this and the other reveiw will help you out.
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Amazon.com: 3.7 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much Better Than You'd Think... Aug. 12 2011
By 4-Legged Defender - Published on Amazon.com
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[BRIAN ENO (1971-1976) THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH - Screen Format 4:3] An incredible in-depth documentary chronicling Eno's most prolific and experimental years and output, from pre-Roxy Music artschool days to collaborations with Robert Fripp, Phil Manzanera, John Cale, Nico, Cluster, Portsmouth Symphonia, 801,Gavin Bryars, David Toop, Harold Budd, Ambient music and of course, David Bowie. No musical stone is left unturned during this remarkable period of productivity in Eno's continuing career and, though this may be an unsanctioned chronicle (something I'm usually adverse to and highly skeptical of), it could only have been better if the man himself was involved. It's a collection of photos, videos, and interviews with writers Eric Tamm (who wrote bios on both Fripp and Eno), Mark Prendergast (The Ambient Century), Geeta Gayal (Another Green World), David Sheppard (On Some Faraway Beach - The Life and Times of Brian Eno), Johnny Rogan (an eccentric, notable biographer of many works), as well as prominent music critics Robert Christgau and Simon Reynolds, musicians Lloyd Watson, David Toop, Percy Jones, John Hassell, Bryan Turrington, Chris Spedding , David O'List and Rodelius. These are people who have been close to the 'nerve net' of focus here and not hangers-on, former-but-now-irate bedmates and rumor propagators. It's a fairly meticulous examination that clocks in at well over 2  hours, and never gets boring, bland, too analytical or critical. It's thoroughly entertaining on all counts.

Several reviewers here have taken issue that Eno has no involvement and that there's no newly unearthed music to be found, even that some of the details are incorrect (which is entirely untrue) - didn't they know this was an unauthorized biography? As Robert Fripp used to say at his small, improvised Frippertronic shows during the 70's, "Leave your elevated expectations at the door and you're more likely to enjoy this for what it is" (I'm paraphrasing). Ignore the naysayers. All followers of Roxy Music, Eno and those mentioned above need to add this one to their music libraries immediately, if not yesterday. It's enlightening, engaging, informative and essential to all who claim to love and know about important music. As reclusive as Eno is these days, we're not likely to get better than this. Don't pass this one up - you'll be sorry you did.
67 of 87 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More music. Less blathering. June 25 2011
By Ken - Published on Amazon.com
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This disc contains, in order of quantity:

- endless blathering by music critics and "social commentators," (who, with the exception of Eric Tamm, are irritating and too often incorrect)

- playback of Eno's commonly available studio recordings with unexplained (and frequently inexplicable) video clips

- portentious narration that provides the few laugh moments in the film

- a few interesting interviews with musicians who've worked with Eno (particulary Hans Joachim Roedelius)

- a few staggeringly bad interviews with musicians who've worked with Eno (particularly Lloyd Watson)

- a SMALL AMOUNT of Eno footage from the 1970s, some clips of which are repeated close to a dozen times

This disc does not contain, in any quantity:

- Interviews with Eno (save for about 30 seconds of him talking about Roxy Music)

- Interviews with any of his collaborators (save for a very brief clip with Jon Hassell)

- Music you haven't heard before

- Video you haven't seen before

- Information you didn't know before (except for the stuff that's wrong)

- Experts you want to hear from

Sometimes unauthorized documentaries are incisive portraits of difficult people who didn't want the truth told about themselves. Sometimes they are simply half-assed jobs suffering from a lack of access to the subject. This is the latter.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Long overdue and fascinating May 15 2011
By James Mann - Published on Amazon.com
About time someone gave a look at one of the true innovators of modern music, Brian Eno. Although not authorized by Eno, and only featuring him in interviews a few times, this look at his life and work is fascinating and long overdue.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent First Leg Documentary Aug. 5 2011
By Jimmy - Published on Amazon.com
Beginning with his involvement in Roxy Music, this film takes the Eno story as far as his Before and After Science album. The depth and scope in which his music is examined is staggering. Featuring an array of contributors including band mates and collaborators (Roxy guitarist David O'List, Hans Joachim Roedelius of Harmonia amongst many others) and musical academics offering a real insight into the technical innovations for which Eno is famed. Robert Rich and David Toop are on hand to shed light on Brian's involvement with the modern classical scene via his Obscure Records imprint, while renowned music journalists such as Simon Reynolds and Robert Christgau place the events in a wider context.
The film itself is beautifully put together and interspersed with an abundance of its subject's music. The shear wealth of information and discussion about Brian's achievements in the early part of his career make this documentary invaluable to any fans of his, or indeed anybody with an interest in experimental and avant-garde music. I can't wait for the next instalment!
19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A decent intro to Eno, but lacks the man himself May 23 2011
By Kristopher Spencer - Published on Amazon.com
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While watching this earnest doc about the legendary Brian Eno I wondered why the filmmakers were unable to interview the man himself. They clearly had access to the foremost experts on Eno, but Eno is seen only once in interview, and of his many collaborators only the most obscure sat for interviews (no Bowie, no Byrne). So, while much of the information shared seems accurate enough, I can't help but think that it was a missed opportunity to get new insight into his working methods and philosophy. That said, if you're new to Eno and don't want to read the various books about him and his music, this film offers a fairly concise portrait of him during his most protean period and relies heavily on the insights of the authors of those books.
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