Iconoclastic composer and musician Frank Zappa was an unforgettable character, aggravating and fascinating, whose music never became “popular,” but who had an enthusiastic worldwide following, including in Lithuania where fans erected a statue of him.
“A compelling gateway documentary that should absorb both fans and novices alike.” – Leslie Felperin, Hollywood Reporter
This engaging, intimate portrait reveals a 20th-century musical genius: a self-taught composer, musician, bandleader, producer and independent thinker who created blunt, eccentric and satirical compositions, moving freely between jazz and rock, penning electronic and orchestral works, as well as novelty music (“Valley Girl”). Zappa, who testified before Congress against music censorship, was for decades a brilliant and uncompromising voice of dissent; his provocative worldview reverberates to the present day. He combined acerbic, playful humor with political wit, tempered his borderline misanthropy with a high regard for human potential, and had a strong belief in free speech and the ideal of democracy. Told entirely through choice archival footage culled from the performer’s 30-year career, Thorston Schütte’s acclaimed documentary explores Zappa’s unconventional and irreverent handling of the media, his witty self-dramatization and his irrepressible quest for enlightenment. Funny, engaging and often downright strange, Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words brings Zappa the artist into sharp, always-entertaining focus. (Dir. by Thorston Schütte, 2016, USA, 90 mins., Rated R)