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

Moving picture, 93 minutes

Seen in 2017.

Review refers to the 60 minute version retitled “Zapped”, as aired on SVT’s K special in 2017.

Frank Zappa’s life through interviews with him and archival footage, mostly in approximate chronological order. No narration.

For me, who’d already seen a lot of the individual sources, the presentation was mostly dull. As an intro for someone unfamiliar with the man’s career, it’s better than Summer ’82 (2013), but as a film it’s worse.

Highlights: Zappa telling the anecdote of 200 communist students trying to storm the stage at the Berlin Sportpalast in 1968—because they were disappointed that Zappa hadn’t wanted to help burn down the Allied command center—and being repelled by amplified noise “like a science fiction story” while the rest of the crowd wondered if that was all just part of the show. Zappa 25 years later, interviewed for the Today Show, saying he regrets nothing. “It’s not important to even be remembered” he says, shutting down the interviewer, and he’s right. Thorsten Schütte then smash-cuts to the credits, an unsentimental choice honouring Zappa’s atheism.

References here: Zappa (2020).

moving picture non-fiction