A new documentary premiering at Sundance will allow Frank Zappa to speak for himself through archival footage. Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words presents performance footage and interviews with the late singer and composer in which he pontificates on what it means to be creative. “I make music because it’s the same as going to the toilet,” he says in a clip streaming above.
He also toys with a reporter, who asks him what he thinks of the title “the maestro of rock music.” “Seems pretty reasonable to me,” Zappa says. And when the journalist picks apart his appearance — “skinny in appearance … the hook nose … the stupid mustache … the black hair is stiffly knotted backwards” — the singer simply says, “Sounds like a pretty good-looking guy to me” and smiles.
In contrast to the Zappa Family–sanctioned doc currently in production by Alex Winter, German filmmaker Thorsten Schutte assembled Eat That Question from bootlegs and other sources. “Zappa’s body of work stands as a counterstatement to streamlined and commercialized pop music,” the Eat That Question director tells Rolling Stone. “In a time lacking controversial, outspoken and polarizing iconoclasts, the life and art of Frank Zappa connects to the universal questions that so many can relate to: How can an artist stay true to his art and ideas? How does one handle rejection and the limitations of a creative output? And what is the ultimate price to pay for the freedom of expression? … I find it promising that he still can be heard and I hope that this film will echo all over the country after its premiere at Sundance.”
The world premiere of the film is set for January 25th in Park City, Utah. Winter’s doc, which has yet to be titled, is scheduled to come out next year.