In “Moby Doc,” animation, staged dream sequences, skits and archival footage type a portrait of the title artist, the musician Moby. While the credited director is Robert Gordon Bralver, the film is clearly a late-life self-realization venture for Moby himself.
Small of body and wanting hair, Moby understands the methods by which he’s an unlikely pop star. Boy, does he ever. His presentation is a textbook instance of the artwork of self-aggrandizement by affected self-effacement.
He narrates the movie, typically onscreen, talking right into a cellphone as if he’s having a dialog. The textual content (written by Moby with the director) might have used an editor. Here’s a passage: “My father worked in the chemistry department at Columbia University and he brought home some test rats. They were in their twenties, they were in New York and they hung out in the Village and they talked about poetry and politics.” Wait — the rats?
What Moby leaves out of his account is as revealing because the tales of homelessness and habit he places in. Sampling is a trademark of digital dance music, and lots of songs on his blockbuster album “Play” have been constructed round bits lifted from the work of African American musicians. You’d be onerous pressed to be taught a lot about that from this documentary.
Indeed, different musicians come up solely to convey Moby’s sense of cool, as in when he sports activities an Agnostic Front T-shirt, or spends a couple of minutes remembering his friendship with David Bowie. He additionally speaks of “dating” film stars, however prudently doesn’t say the title of the one film star who publicly said that no, she didn’t date him, after he talked about her in his print memoir.
“Like all people with timid personalities, his arrogance is unlimited,” Orson Welles as soon as mentioned of Woody Allen. Ditto with this man.
Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 32 minutes. In theaters and accessible to lease or purchase on Apple TV, Google Play and different streaming platforms and pay TV operators.