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Eat That Question: Frank Zappa In His Own Words

Poster image for Eat That Question: Frank Zappa In His Own WordsThorsten Schütte’s enormously entertaining portrait of the pathologically prolific composer, singer and guitar wizard Frank Zappa, taking a cue from the films of Asif Kapadia (Amy, Senna), is constructed exclusively from archival television appearances. It’s a shrewd way of granting Zappa, who died of cancer in 1993, posthumous control of his legacy.

Eat That Question tracks Zappa’s unlikely rise to stardom from an early showcase  on ‘The Steve Allen Show’, and killing it on French tv with his crackerjack avant-rock band The Mothers of Invention, to appearing in suit and tie on 'Crossfire' in the 80s, when he became an outspoken activist against the campaign to apply warning labels to records containing objectionable material. 

In interview after interview, Zappa is iconoclastic, articulate and hilarious, debunking myths about drug use, refusing to align himself with any ideology and critiquing American materialism. But kudos to director Schütte for allowing the film to close on a moment of wordless bliss, with Zappa conducting an orchestra, eyes closed, nearing death and doing exactly what he wanted to be doing.

– José Teodoro, NOW Toronto

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