ANDROID IN LALA LAND
9pm, Saturday 15th October 2016
Chauvel Cinema, Paddington, Sydney
Co-presented by Groovescooter
for Antenna International Documentary Film Festival
“Startlingly honest and sincere, this is essential viewing for fans of Numan and electronic music.” [Austin360]
At the end of the 1970s, a very young and unprepared GARY NUMAN became one of the world’s biggest-selling recording artists, with global hits like Are Friends Electric? and Cars. His career could have gone in a completely different direction though. After stumbling upon a synthesizer on his way into a recording studio (one that the last player just happened to leave on, set to a growling sub-bass preset that would stop Numan in his tracks as he absentmindedly hit a key on his way past) Gary Numan’s as-yet unlaunched career suddenly found its direction. This random interaction with machine also meant the debut LP the Beggars Banquet label thought they were getting would now sound completely different. Luckily for the label, it catapulted him to almost instant stardom. The press reacted as if no one had seen or heard anyone like him before. Of course we had, but Numan still forged something utterly unique, from the immediately recognisable vocal tone, to the cold synthetic, dystopian tracks and those startlingly made-up robotic alter-egos. The press and the public knew little about Asperger’s syndrome back then. It was at the centre of Numan’s assiduous, tunnel-visioned ambition, but also drove the press to label him a freak, one paper even suggesting his parents should have been doctored for giving birth to him. Depression, anxiety, near bankruptcy and a long period in the wilderness followed. Then Numan met one of his biggest fans…
With honesty, humour and warmth, this new film captures a remarkably candid Numan recounting his journey and navigating a return to the stage and his recording studio, while the public and press awaits a new album. As the drive to make music propels him afresh, a heartwarming story and a man far more human than his image would suggest, emerges.