Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words


Documentary / Biography

IMDb Rating 7.5


Downloaded 444 times
12/2/2019 3:23:21 PM

88 min
P/S 0 / 2

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by texshelters 8

Eat this Review<br/><br/>&quot;Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in his Own Words&quot; is a film about the musical iconoclast, composer and entrepreneur, Frank Zappa. The film is mainly Zappa in his own words and his words are almost as entertaining as his compositions. The film also has a lot of footage of him playing live. Unlike the U.S., Zappa was a celebrity in Europe. Thus, many of the interviews are from European shows. In fact, his song Bobby Brown, despite its &#39;lewdness&#39; in English, was a number one hit in Norway and Sweden. <br/><br/>The film illuminates Zappa and shows his combative style as well as his creative talents. As a musician, he wrote everything from blues to classical to jazz to standard rock. All the while, he mocked musical styles he thinks of as trite such as disco, psychedelia and new wave. In one scene, Zappa mocks Devo music with an imitation of part of Devo&#39;s hit, Whip It. What Zappa seems to not know is that Devo would have absolutely agreed with Zappa&#39;s critique of music and pop culture. And that is why many love Zappa, his willing to challenge convention and critique everything. <br/><br/>He talks about free speech and freedom, he calls himself a conservative and a composer, he is proud to &quot;have four kids&quot; and brags that he pays his mortgage and pays taxes like any American. He has no patience for &quot;terrible music&quot; and people who are sell outs. There are many noteworthy quotes in the film. He hates the record industry for messing with his music and preventing him from making money off of his talent and music in generally, but one senses that if he could rid the world of music he hates, he might just do that. <br/><br/>I would have liked to hear him talk more about music he likes and dislikes and some of his other influences more than the one scene where he lists classical artist he likes and have influenced him such as Stravinsky and Bartók. Did he like Dylan, Miles Davis, punk rock, or rap music? Perhaps these questions weren&#39;t in the vault anywhere. But the questions are intriguing given the interviews that were in the film. <br/><br/>Rating: Pay full price<br/><br/>Interviews and live music from one of the most interesting musicians of the 20th Century makes for one interesting film. <br/><br/>Peace, Tex Shelters

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Reviewed by Ramascreen 8

EAT THAT QUESTION: FRANK ZAPPA IN HIS OWN WORDS documentary is unique and eye-opening, one of the best docus I&#39;ve seen all year. Those of us who are familiar with his legacy would respect him even more from watching this and those of us who may not have heard of Zappa, would see this film, and instantly become his newest fan.<br/><br/>To be honest, I didn&#39;t grow up listening to Frank Zappa&#39;s music and this documentary reminds me why that is. It&#39;s because Zappa&#39;s music is an acquired taste, if you will. His music is extremely unconventional, he would arrange complex bands and combine all kinds instruments and and styles and orchestra to perform his composition that more than often would have average listeners scratch their heads. I wonder if his music would have a place in today&#39;s short attention span social media/internet generation where everything has to be catchy and instant every single minute.<br/><br/>But I&#39;m a fan of Zappa the person, the artist, who doesn&#39;t give flying two-cents whether or not his music can be played on the radio or if it&#39;s commercially viable in the ears of records studios that only think of the bottomline.<br/><br/>The title wasn&#39;t joking when it said &#39;In His Own Words,&#39; this docu is as unique as it gets because director Thorsten Schutte completely throws the book out the window and instead of going with the usual talking heads or interviewing loved ones remembering about Zappa, Schutte goes straight to the source. By using archival footage of old interviews with Zappa, his TV appearances, concert recordings, &#39;EAT THAT QUESTION&#39; brings Zappa to us, as if his timeless words of wisdom have been resurrected once more and it feels all the more impactful hearing it straight from the man himself. This docu doesn&#39;t only celebrate Zappa but it also gives him a fresh look. Who knew that the man whose hippie appearance was striking and memorable was actually a family man who believed in anti-drug use. His protest against censorship is probably my most favorite part of this docu, it reminds us that time and time again there will be forces from the narrow-minded right wing who&#39;ll try to take our freedom of speech away, so it&#39;s important for today&#39;s generation to learn from Zappa&#39;s legacy and his fight to stay true to his art and ideas.<br/><br/>-- Rama&#39;s Screen --

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Reviewed by ferguson-6 7

Greetings again from the darkness. &quot;More people know my face from a poster or a TV interview than have heard my music.&quot; It&#39;s an odd quote and one that probably doesn&#39;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.<br/><br/>It&#39;s always been challenging to categorize or even describe the music of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. Rarely utilizing traditional melodies, &quot;experimental&quot; may come closest, though most of his 60 plus albums were lumped into the Rock section. It certainly wouldn&#39;t be considered mainstream, though he did have a cult like following for decades.<br/><br/>Schutte&#39;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&#39;s Zappa&#39;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.<br/><br/>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&#39;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.<br/><br/>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. &quot;For Gail&quot; indeed.

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