Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

October 9, 2016 by  

If Frank Zappa’s legacy is going to extend through the next generation of music fans, one would hope that this documentary reaches out to existing, the new, the curious and those who are open to discovering Frank’s music. “Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words” is highly recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2016 Les Films Du Poisson, UFA Fiction, ARTE France and SWR. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Eat That Question


DURATION: 93 Minutes

DVD INFORMATION: 1:33:1 Full Screen, English 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio, Subtitles: English, English SDH, French

COMPANY: Sony Pictures Classics

RATED: R (Language, Some Sexual References and Brief Nudity)

AVAILABLE ON: September 27, 2016

Directed by Thorsten Schutte

Written by Lorene Scafaria

Produced by Estelle Fialon

Co-Producer: Arte France, Jochen Laube

Executive Produced by Thorsten Schutte, Ahmet Zappa, Gail Zappa

Associate Producer: Markus Brunnemann, yael Fogiel, Laetitia Gonzalez, Nico Hofmann, Joachim Kosack

Cinematography by Brett Pawlak

Edited by Willibald Wonneberger


Frank Zappa

Gail Zappa

Steve Allen


Chuck Ash

Arthur Barrow

Adrian Belew

Theodore Bukel

Jimmy Carl Buck

Pierre Boulez

Thomas Braden

Napoleon Murphy Broc

Tom Brokaw

Wally Bruner

Paul Carman

Del Casher

Connie Chung

Vinnie Colaiuta

Katie Couric

Robin Denselow

Mike Douglas

George Duke

Told solely through rare and never before seen historic footage of Frank Zappa’s highly acclaimed 30-year career, this unique 90 minute documentary is an energetic celebration of an often outspoken and brilliant musician. Unforgettable Zappa interviews and performances from one of rock and roll’s most legendary self-taught musicians have been painstakingly gathered across decades by director THORSTEN SCHÜTTE from the obscure vaults of TV stations around the world to create this unparalleled look at one of the brightest minds popular music has ever witnessed.

Frank Zappa, the American musician and songwriter who created lyrics which reflected his iconoclastic views of the social and political establishment and was quick to challenge politicians as an advocate for the freedom of speech and the abolition of censorship.

Considering the fact that he was counterculture and was against the music industry, he was a highly productive music artist and was respected for his ability to not be controlled by the music industry, worked as an independent artist for the majority of his career and did things on his own.

Voted by “Rolling Stone Magazine” as one of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” (voted #71) and “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” (22), Frank Zappa is well-respected not just by admirers in the United States but found commercial success in Europe.

In 2016, filmmaker Thorsten Schutte would create a film to pay respect to Frank Zappa and his highly acclaimed 30-year career with his documentary “Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words”.

Featuring a culmination of interviews, rare footage, archived news and television performances, concert footage and more, Schutte’s film is a wonderful collage showcasing the musical oeuvre and also the philosophy of one of the greatest music artists, musicians, producers despite that had his supporters but also detractors for his outspoken brilliance.


“Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words” is presented in 1:33:1 and in English 5.1 Dolby Digital.

The documentary is a culmination of archived interviews, concert performances, television appearances and more.  So, while archived sources vary depending on the scene, for the most part, picture quality is good and audio which also comes from various archived sources, is very good.

Subtitles are in English SDH and French.


“Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words” comes with a theatrical trailer.

When it comes to Frank Zappa, while I discovered his music thanks to “Valley Girl” in the ’80s, I discovered more of his philosophy and his music through following the music of his son Dweezil Zappa and seeing Dweezel and Moon Unit on MTV and then also following Ahmet Zappa later on.

But what led me to Frank Zappa’s music is the Los Angeles radio station, KROQ.  Where I listened to a lot of alternative rock music and Frank Zappa’s music would be played on the station throughout the ’80s and early ’90s.

But while a lot of us who saw Frank Zappa on television was mostly about music censorship, which he was vehemently against, I’ve always wanted to know more about Frank Zappa beyond what one can find on YouTube and this is where Thorsten Schutte’s documentary, “Eat that Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words” does remarkably and that is creating a timeline but also a context of Frank Zappa showcasing his music, his philosophy, his feelings towards commercial success up to his final TV interview before his death.

And what we have is a fantastic documentary that really show us how bold, how intelligent and how brilliant Frank Zappa really was.

While I am very proud of what Thorsten Schutte was able to accomplish with this film, I hope its brilliance is not overshadowed by the drama (or here) that is ongoing between the Zappa brothers.  Watching this documentary, I can only picture in my mind of how Frank Zappa would react to what’s going on with his family right now and its unfortunate.

If Frank Zappa’s legacy is going to extend through the next generation of music fans, one would hope that this documentary reaches out to existing, the new, the curious and those who are open to discovering Frank’s music.

“Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words” is highly recommended!

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