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Zappa (2020) (documentary)

  • 02-02-2021 10:36pm
    Registered Users Posts: 12,890 ✭✭✭✭

    Yesterday I saw this fairly-hyped documentary by Alex Winter, which took advantage of unprecedented access to the Zappa family archives as well as interviews with many of his collaborators. Mostly enjoyable, but I thought it had some notable shortcomings.

    We regularly heard about how Frank Zappa was driven by the music he heard in his head, and how that justified some of his fairly extreme lifestyle. Such as mammoth rehearsal sessions that drove other musicians to breaking point, tours of the world that took him away from his family for extended half a year at a time, and later on practically living in his home studio.

    For all that, there was surprisingly little discussion of the music itself, and I found myself getting a bit tired of Frank Zappa, the person. Quick to tell people that he didn't drink or do drugs, but chain-smoked and had no qualms about sleeping with groupies while his family waited at home. He became almost a cartoon version of himself - as often portrayed on his album covers.

    I could have used more of the music and less of the moustache. One highlight for me was a stripped down piano & drums version of a piece called The Black Page #1 by two of his former band members:

    From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch’.

    — Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 Astronaut


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,607 ✭✭✭Brief_Lives

    Where did you view this? it is supposed to be on Amazon Prime, but where I am, i can´t see it.