UNCLE MEAT
1987, 100 min, USA, Dir: Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa began directing The Mothers of Invention’s one and only movie, UNCLE MEAT, less than two years after the group’s 1965 debut but it did not see release until 1987. Colorful footage from their “Absolutely Free”-era residency at the Garrick Theater in New York, and from the Sgt. Pepper/psychedelia-mocking “We’re Only in it for the Money” album cover shoot is mixed with orchestral bits from a 1968 concert at London’s Royal Festival Hall. Plus you get Rodney Bingenheimer, Linda Ronstadt, Meredith Monk and others along for the ride at the legendary Hollywood Ranch Market on Vine Street. Camerawork by the great Haskell Wexler.


200 MOTELS
1971, United Artists, 98 min, USA, Dir: Frank Zappa

“Touring can make you crazy. That's what 200 MOTELS is all about,” noted Frank Zappa, a mad scientist constantly pushing the boundaries of music and film. 200 MOTELS, a surrealistic documentary of life on the road conceived, written and scored by Frank Zappa, features The Mothers of Invention with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and was filmed live (200 MOTELS is the first feature shot on video in six days and transferred to film; cameras were directed by Tony Palmer). Some of Zappa's favorite topics - groupies, mundane Americana, inside jokes – crop up all over this film, with musical interludes to provide transcending breaks where things such as place, time and plot are forgotten. With Theodore Bikel, Keith Moon, and Ringo Starr as Larry the Dwarf disguised as Frank Zappa.


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