New to VOD via iTunes this week:
GARY NUMAN: ANDROID IN LA LA LAND
Steve Read and Rob Alexander
Hot Docs, Edinburgh, Melbourne, Helsinki, CIMMFest, East End
A portrait of the legendary British synthpop musician as he relocates to Los Angeles to record a new album.
Read and Alexander eschew a career overview for the once chart-topping Numan, best known for the songs “Cars” and “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?,” to more firmly focus on the present day. The film finds the performer in the midst of a difficult transition, moving with his adoring fan-turned-wife Gemma and their three young daughters to Los Angeles, and working on his 2013 comeback album, “Splinter (Songs From a Broken Mind).” As referenced in the film’s title, Numan was known for his robotic stage presence – a demeanor eventually attributed to Asperger’s. While the film addresses formative issues like this, as well as his ambivalence towards fame and other personal matters, in far too cursory a manner, Numan himself comes off here as so disarmingly vulnerable that he easily wins over the viewer regardless.