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Brian Eno: The Man Who Fell to Earth2011

  • 4.2
Brian Eno: musician, composer, producer, music theorist, singer and visual artist. Probably best known for his early work with Roxy Music, his production duties for U2 and Coldplay and as one of the principal innovators of ambient music. This first-ever documentary film about Eno explores his life, career and music between the years 1971 and 1977, the period that some view as his golden age. Featuring numerous exclusive interviews, contributions from a range of musicians, writers, collaborators and friends, plus performance and studio film and an abundance of the most exceptional music ever created.

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"…wisely sidesteps the trappings of the Behind the Music-style music doc(s) and instead focuses on the music itself." - Derek Smith, Tiny Mix Tapes

15 members like this review

An absolutely profound look at Eno and the development of ambient music. This is the type of in-depth indie film I was hoping to locate, educational and entertaining, an historically accurate recounting of what is now a standard art form by those who were there, as I joined Fandor. Worth every minute of its length. Not to be missed by anyone interested in music and its composition as visualized by one of the truly eclectic composers of our time.

I have watched this again for a second time today and its even more enduring and filled with informative musical knowledge than I had thought yesterday.

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top reviewer

Member Reviews (47)

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top reviewer

An absolutely profound look at Eno and the development of ambient music. This is the type of in-depth indie film I was hoping to locate, educational and entertaining, an historically accurate recounting of what is now a standard art form by those who were there, as I joined Fandor. Worth every minute of its length. Not to be missed by anyone interested in music and its composition as visualized by one of the truly eclectic composers of our time.

I have watched this again for a second time today and its even more enduring and filled with informative musical knowledge than I had thought yesterday.

15 members like this review
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top reviewer

A very good standard for how music docs should be made. Sure there are sycophantic talking heads, but the dribble is kept to a minimum and most of the time we get to listen to people who either helped Mr. Eno make the music, or have had some serious involvement in the music scene. I'm going to almost certainly end up watching this again at some point.

5 members like this review
top reviewer

Brian Eno came into my music world when he collaborated with David Byrne on the score for Twyla Tharp's choreoplay/dance musical, THE CATHERINE WHEEL & I was entranced with Eno's work on MY LIFE IN THE BUSH OF GHOSTS *** This is a 5 star documentary for any one who dares to fly, work hard, create outside the box *** I am clapping alone in my apartment **** SALUTES and THANKS SO MUCH FOR THIS GIFT ***

4 members like this review
top reviewer

We both really enjoyed the film, Brian Eno: The Man Who Fell To Earth. The commentary was articulate and informative and at the same time entertaining. The accompanying videos to the song excerpts were fantastic. We both wished the credits would have said where those videos came from. Great film about a great artist.

2 members like this review

Just made me realise I need to go out and get my hands on more Eno albums!

Really insightful docu.

2 members like this review

An intricate, insightful and detailed examination of the legendary Eno. As a huge fan of the first two Roxy Music albums, Eno's Here Come the Warm Jets and Bowie's Low - this filled me in on all the missing spaces. Possibly the best music documentary I have ever seen. Watching this and thinking about what passes for rock music these days...where the hell did we go wrong?

1 member likes this review
top reviewer

Intelligent biography, but way, way, way too much talk and very little actual music.

1 member likes this review

excellent! nicely done and thorough about the inspirations of a genius. my only complaint is there is not a part 2

1 member likes this review

A satisfyingly in-depth study from a number of talking heads (critics and musicians) of the five or so years from the beginnings with Roxy and the art-glam-shatter of the 70's to Before and after Science at the cusp of punk and no wave. With a very generous supply of music it suffers somewhat from a dearth of direct contact with both Eno himself or anyone from the Roxy or Bowie camps, but those who do appear (and they include, among others, Cluster, with whom he made a series of collaborations and David Toop,for whom he released music on his Obscure label) provide much insight to the atmospheres, if you will, of recording his hugely influential sonic experiments in that period. Art-rock fans and lovers of 60's-70's electronic music will find this the most interesting, but as it ends before his work with Talking Heads and U2, to others it might be less so.

1 member likes this review

I learned alot but it also felt a bit long and some of the audio dubbing a bit off.

1 member likes this review
top reviewer

extremely OK movie. the subject is great, but the execution is poor. First, Christgau and Dayal shouldn't be allowed to speak in public - all they care about is either themselves or the most superficial take on Eno imaginable. Delete them, the movie is too long anyway. Second, if you're going to use that much Antonioni to make videos of Eno's music, just use all Antonioni. I'm kidding, but seriously - the video clip selection is awful. And why is there only like 3 minutes of Eno talking in the entire movie? Zero Bowie, Byrne, Devo, etc. lacklustre filmmaker vision and/or finances means you should have just not made the movie. (Clearly Eno wanted nothing to do with it.)

top reviewer

A great deal of insight and information is contained here in a very long "talking heads" formula documentary. The added differences are that the filmmakers have access to Eno's music, present relevant information and sprinkle creative use of many different cinematic / visual sources. It seems like this would be a dull film, but it is actually quite entertaining. The only real criticism is that it seems it might have been nice to come up with a more non-traditional method for such an important experimental artist. But it still works quite well.

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This is the second or third dry-as-hell music documentary I've seen on Fandor. This film could be 1/10 the length and you wouldn't miss a thing. Stuffed with music critics and bland talking heads, every point was repeated so many times it's as if an entire cavalry of horses has been beaten to death. No doubt Eno has had a fun life, is an engaging personality and there are probably a hundred of great anecdotes about him, but hardly any wild tales from of his career were recounted here, just banal generalizations about his interests and creative process. It took the film about an hour to just get past his participation in Roxy Music. Hardly enough raw or live footage. The only thing I really appreciated in the movie was hearing some of the avante-garde composers that Eno was influenced by, like John Cages's In a Landscape etc. I will certainly shy away from music critics every chance I get. Bla bla bla!!!!!

top reviewer

Enjoyable film, which discuses Brian Eno's introduction to music, the industry, and how he developed his own unique musical voice, which is completely his own, as he opened the door for so many others to expand on. I would have liked to have heard more from Brian Eno himself, thats where I feel this film falls a little short, aside from that, well worth your time.

top reviewer

HAgiography des Anges!

Eno - the 2nd-coming of sound?

But way better than a BBC hack job any day :-)

Dammit, I guess I <3 Eno too!!!!!!

top reviewer

Spectacular in an ambient way. Inspiring for anyone interested in innovation in any one of the arts, and the arts combined.

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I'd never heard of Brian Eno before now, so I'm glad I do now. I just wished the film had covered his death(?) Anyway, that's about my biggest complaint. The subject is definitely not mainstream, but it is an interesting, successful journey of an artist refining the pure expression of his passions over the span of a whole career.

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Finally saw this over the weekend. Although I was a Roxy Music fan and completely missed the Eno thing in the 70s (my loss). This film is a good luck at what he did during those pivotal years and where his sensibilities come from.I agree with c.fuller that this is a bit repetitive, but I enjoyed it and learned a lot!

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Great doc lovingly made. Mention of the ambient stream overshadowed the more raucus freeing tracks on record and missed here: 801, Bowie, et well and al.

top reviewer

ENLIGHTENING! Essential for anyone interested in experimental music!

Jesus Christ. What a gift of a film. Thank you.

It went through his musical journey, from rock to ambient. Cool doc. I wish I knew what some of the animations in this doc came from.

Plenty of Eno info here, with good links to Cage, Terry Riley, Steve Reich ETC.......I care about his music a lot, but this film didn't give me any sense of the man. Too talky talky: repetitive. Too much Roxy. Too much telling, not showing - and not enough music. I'd have liked more depth when talking about the avant guard, what conceptually drew Eno to it, where was it at etc. There was a clash then between art and rock, and rock won. An interesting film yet to be made.

Intellectually exciting and musically fascinating documentary on a truly innovative and complex individual who has had an enormous influence on modern music. The length of this documentary might scare some people off but the time flies by and not a moment is wasted. Follows Eno's career from Roxy Music through his collaboration with David Bowie. Excellent early videos of Roxy Music and a nice clip from "Night of the Hunter." Phenomenal!

Brian Eno: The Man Who Fell to Earth2011 good format. great recollection of Roxy Music and BE.

This is almost a scholarly--or at least a very thorough-- examination of Eno's considerable contributions to expanding the musical frontiers of the 1970s. The film made me want to listen again, or for the first time, to much of the music featured (along with some wonderful music videos.) The only disappointment is that there is only (I believe) one brief interview/comment by Eno himself, these many years later.

Great insights and history of this prolific music maker. However I thought the movie was a bit too long.

Interesting. Brought back memories of my youth and love of Roxy Music.

Really in depth. Going to gear myself up for a second viewing.

Worthy, if you are a fan of Eno, this is a really interesting viewpoint into the ideas and processes he used to make music.

Great in-depth look at Eno's career from 1971-1977. Lots of great interviews, photos and video provide some real insight to a somewhat mysterious artist. Some good ideas for more music to explore as well.

I learned lot about this artist who I grew up with but never had a sense of his real contributions.

will watch again for sure, reminds me of why I loved early Roxy Music and Eno, and yes the whole band, have so much of this music, mostly on vinyl, still sounds good, one the best music docs I have seen, thanx fandor!!!

A fascinating look at the early career of a musician with whom I've only recently become familiar. I really appreciate films like this and have already ear-marked several of his albums to listen to in their entirety.

A flawed film, in the sense that the filmmaker seems to have felt the need to make an unnecessary case to prove Brian Eno's far-reaching influence on the music of the 70s and subsequent decades. The director would have put his efforts to better use by focusing more so on Eno's conceptual, technical, and theoretical developments, rather than the redundant task of justifying Eno's importance. A worthwhile viewing for those newly initiated to the artist's music and super-fans looking for an emotional fix.

This one didn't captivate me.

Awesome doc, shows the inner-workings of an experimental mind.

The intersection of rock and avant garde classical electronic music. Did he turn on any rock audience to classical music? Or at least contemporary classical?

This was excellent, interesting, and illuminating.

The narrative filled many gaps in my understanding.

Good stuff!

a fantastic look at a personal hero of mine.


Great overview of his development from rock n roll to ambient music. Of course it could have been way better, but this was enjoyable, and anything to do with Eno is always inspiring.

Hey David Billman: a documentary about Eno!!!

I really like the movie, I was always a Roxy Music and Brian Eno fan I have most of his records and all the old ones. I don't think I saw the whole movie though it showed that it was the end but it left at such an odd place that it seemed the movie had another part.

This documentary solidified my opinion that Brian Eno is one of the great visionaries of our time... loved it!

This is a very focused, serious examination of the work of Brian Eno from his tremendously creative period of 1972-1977, or from Roxy Music to "Before and After Science." A must-see (and must-hear) for anyone interested in the popular music of the period, or art music

very revealing. filled in some gaps for someone who's been a fan all along. i'm going to turn my son onto it, if he hasn't seen it already.