A 2021 Film Journey: Day 137

I am really struggling with keeping on top of writing this month. Yesterday was the first warm day of the year, and while I would like to say I missed my post because I was making the best of the weather outside, instead my body just shutdown unable to take the sudden temperature increase. So yesterday consisted mostly of naps and cold water. Regardless it is cooler today and I have a movie to write about, so here we go.

Zappa (2020, Dir. Alex Winter)

Zappa - Official Trailer - YouTube

This documentary had been on my list last year, but I missed its release in the mess that was 2020. Finding it on Hulu, I knew that it needed to be tonight’s viewing. I got really into Frank Zappa’s music and when I was in college – I saw Zappa plays Zappa twice during that time – and have always been enamored with the man behind the music. Alex Winter’s Zappa delivers specifically on the interest in the man behind the music. While it includes a near constant string of musical clips and tidbits, Frank Zappa the man and the artist take center stage.

As a fan, the film more than held my attention. Winter captured the complexities of Zappa’s career and keeps the movie evolving despite its rather long run time. Zappa’s evolution from musical theater innovator to experimental composer and eventually political voice highlights his genius and influence he had on the world of music. While I was completely enamored with the content of the documentary, I once again recognize that Winter does little artistically with his film. Zappa the man engrossing enough that the film succeeds; still, one has to imagine that Zappa himself would have wanted a more daring and experimental film honoring his legacy.

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