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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Zappa was an outrageous figure but this documentary is fairly forgettable.
There is no doubt that Frank Zappa was a genius, a cultural icon and an inspiration to many. Unfortunately this documentary is fairly forgettable.
The documentary relies almost completely on archive footage, from 1967 to just before Zappa's death in 1993. This comprises largely of concerts and interviews. This footage is informative and revealing. There is also lots of humour, either coming from Zappa himself or from his music.
The interviews however tended to reveal more about the media culture that Zappa lived in through the 60s, 70s and 80s than they revealed about the man himself. And although no doubt a very radical figure at the time, Zappa doesn't seem quite so radical when viewed from the year 2016.
The major flaw with the movie is that it lacks an emotional core; it lacks bite. We are simply shown a succession of footage with no great attempt to draw us in, or to tell a story. Zappa was a creative and outrageous figure, and yet this documentary of his life is fairly quiet and ultimately disappointing.
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