It is only fitting that a comet and a mollusk are named in Frank Zappa’s honor. The famed American musician, composer, and thinker created satirical, operatic interpretations of music that seemed to originate from another world.
Thorsten Schütte’s film is a sharply edited and energetic celebration of Zappa through his public persona, allowing us to witness his shifting relationship with audiences. Utilizing potent TV interviews and many forgotten performances from his 30-year career, we are immersed into the musician’s world while experiencing two distinct facets of his complex character. At once Zappa was both a charismatic composer who reveled in the joy of performing and, in the next moment, a fiercely intelligent and brutally honest interviewee whose convictions only got stronger as his career ascended.
Zappa was uncompromising as he led the charge against music censorship in the ’90s and even went on to embrace the role of quasi-cultural ambassador in the Czech Republic. His music and ideas are vital, and they cut across generations, while his goal of freeing the listener from conformity still resonates today.
3 day rental • R • 90 min.
"The film, a documentary about the iconoclastic musician and composer, is rich in archival footage."
— New York Times
"Seeing Mr. Schütte’s film, I’m reminded of how much more there was to explain about Zappa, and delighted to find how well the film explains it almost a quarter-century after his death."
— Wall Street Journal
"As a document of how remarkably well Zappa integrated himself into the larger culture, Eat That Question is a treat."
— A.V. Club