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Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words (2016)

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An in-depth look at the life and work of avant-garde musician, Frank Zappa.

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3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Zappa (2018)
Documentary

An in-depth look into the life and work of musician Frank Zappa.

Director: Alex Winter
Stars: Frank Zappa
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Himself (archive footage)
Angel ...
Herself (archive footage)
Chuck Ash ...
Himself - Pennsylvania State Police (archive footage) (as Trooper Chuck Ash)
Arthur Barrow ...
Himself (archive footage)
Adrian Belew ...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Rance Muhammitz (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
Pierre Boulez ...
Himself (archive footage)
Thomas Braden ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Tom Braden)
Napoleon Murphy Brock ...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
Wally Bruner ...
Himself (archive footage)
Paul Carman ...
Himself (archive footage)
Del Casher ...
Himself (archive footage)
Connie Chung ...
Herself (archive footage)
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Storyline

In the 20th Century, Frank Zappa made his mark as a musician unlike any other in America. With a wild eccentric iconoclastic attitude guiding his distinctive music, which it was itself guided by a firm intellectual integrity, Zappa made himself an unforgettable force in popular music. This film covers his life and work through various archival footage through the decades. Whether it was his taboo challenging early creations, his outspoken efforts against the political forces determined to censor him or his constant quest for new artistic challenges, Zappa made a mark no one could ignore. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

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A captivating portrait of one of the era's greatest defenders of artistic freedom and a true American original. (Oleg Ivanov/Slant Magazine) See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some sexual references and brief nudity | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

8 December 2016 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Eat that question: Frank Zappa en sus propias palabras  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$16,695 (USA) (26 June 2016)

Gross:

$354,981 (USA) (6 November 2016)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dedicated to Gail Zappa. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Frank Zappa: You're 18. Take the spoon out of your nose, take the needle out of your arm, take the beer out of your mouth, and go vote. You know what I mean? Vote. Register and vote like a beast.
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Crazy Credits

There is a final bit of footage at the end of the closing credits where Zappa encourages young people to vote. See more »

Connections

Features The New Music (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Mother People
Written by Frank Zappa
Performed by Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention
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User Reviews

 
A very frank Frank
23 June 2016 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. "More people know my face from a poster or a TV interview than have heard my music." It's an odd quote and one that probably doesn't fit any rock star other than Frank Zappa. Director Thorsten Schutte provides a no-frills look that is equal parts tribute for Zappa fans, and introduction to those who are unfamiliar with his life, words and work.

It's always been challenging to categorize or even describe the music of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. Rarely utilizing traditional melodies, "experimental" may come closest, though most of his 60 plus albums were lumped into the Rock section. It certainly wouldn't be considered mainstream, though he did have a cult like following for decades.

Schutte's straightforward documentary approach uses only existing concert footage and interviews with Zappa (across the years). Plenty of music is provided to allow any first time listeners a chance to get a feel, but it's Zappa's own words that are most fascinating. He is mostly an open book … honest and forthcoming about his many opinions. He has been labeled as irreverent or offensive, but I prefer to view him as an observationalist or theorist … and a highly intelligent and articulate one at that.

Should one doubt his commitment to the music, listening to him elaborate on the distinction between artistic and business decisions should end the debate. As a married man with 4 kids, it's enlightening (and surprising to some) to hear his editorials on drugs, the music business, the media, and even politics. Many will remember his Senate battles going head to head versus Tipper Gore in her quest for warning labels on music. Zappa viewed this as censorship and eloquently stated the case as protection for artistic freedom. Schutte presents not just footage from the hearings, but also follow up interviews that Zappa participated in.

He died of prostate cancer in 1993, and his band was an ever-changing ensemble over the years, but Frank Zappa never shied away from speaking out against attempts to stifle the rights of artists, and he was a trail-blazer in utilizing a computer for composing music. He also directed films and videos, wrote editorials, and in a fascinating development, was hired as a cultural consultant for Prague … yet another piece of the unique life and career of Frank Zappa. "For Gail" indeed.


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