Eat that Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words

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.

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  • ★★★★ review by Roy Shtayim on Letterboxd

    Tarantino was talking in the hall right above mine while I was watching this film. And I said goddamn. Goddamn.

  • ★★★★½ review by Matthew Donahue on Letterboxd

    Just a series of television interviews of Frank Zappa during his lifetime. Some insight into the man, but a hard to pin down timeline at points. Fans of Zappa will love it.

  • ★★★★ review by Aaron King on Letterboxd

    For me knowing nothing about him, it gave a pretty good look into who the man was and what he stood for. I'm not sure if I'll check out his music but I certainly respected who he was as a person and what he stood for.

  • ★★★★ review by Russell Holley on Letterboxd

    Smartly constructed entirely from pre-existing interview footage, omitting any talking heads or commentary, allowing the eloquent mad man to just speak for himself.

  • ★★★★ review by Ian Flick on Letterboxd

    A refreshing (not necessarily "good' per se) doc that's more about Zappa's ideas and the principals by which he chose to live his life and how he chose to present his music rather than the traditional series of events bio-pic. Presented in at least a somewhat straightforward manner, in the sense that for the most part the doc follows a linear sense of time, thus we follow Zappa evolve in the public eye as a "rock'n'roll" commodity into a political figure who pushes for freedom of expression and ideas. For a self-described conservative man, his ideas today seem almost radical and predictive to what is occurring politically today. A consistent stream of concepts and ideas that only appear to coalesce as years pass. Yet while the film itself isn't particularly distinguishable from others, it at least presents a man who's company is enjoyable and who's ideas and music are fascinating and engaging as they ever were.

    "Any artistic decision based upon whether you're going to make money isn't really an artistic decision... it's a business decision."

    Incidentally, I probably haven't listened to a Zappa album since I was in high school and this made me really want to go back and listen to some of it again.

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