Directed by Steve Read and Rob Alexander, who filmed and produced it respectively, ‘Gary Numan: Android In La La Land’ is more than just a documentary about the Godfather of Electronic Pop; rather, it’s a love story, about and between Gary and his wife Gemma, and their three daughters.
The film chronicles the family’s move from leafy England to the bustle of Los Angeles, and also features interviews with Gary’s parents, whose stories about his early days are very funny – if at times sad, particularly when speaking of his (and their) mistreatment by the UK press at the height of his fame. The family are at once real and endearing, the love Gary has for them is evident from the start: the language he uses to speak of them, and how it shows on his face as well, his world revolves around them. It’s clear that it would have been impossible for Gary to still be going if it weren’t for Gemma. Originally the leader of his English fan club, Gemma’s one ambition in life was to “marry Gary Numan” – she’s every fan success story – and it’s clear from the film how important she is to his continuing success.
The true heart of the love story is that between Gary and Gemma. Numan had suffered from near crippling depression and anxiety, coupled with stage fright, but Gemma convinced him to get back into the studio, and return to the stage. From there his career experienced a resurgance, critically acclaimed albums, and a new love for touring.
Alexander and Read are given exclusive access to the family, and the film finishes up as Gary takes to the road to promote his 24th album, ‘Splinter’. It’s a brilliantly moving film, both touching and heartwarming, and shows Gary Numan as a very human – far from android – talented but fragile entertainer.