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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 8:43 pm 
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Nack Blapkin wrote:
I still find it hard to believe that Zappa wanted to be known primarily as a filmmaker. I'd be interested to read your book though.
...
FL: (reading) Are these film treatments a conscious effort to break away from music?

FZ: No. I do music all the time. I like films. During the holidays it's hard to get people to work – I mean people who are employed by me in the studio an engineer and two maintenance guys. While they're off on vacation, I think 'what am I going to do?' So I put the typewriter in my bedroom and spent a few days doing these things.[/i]

Thanx for dee kind comment on my book Nack Blapkin!!! It has not been easy tracking everything down. It's been over three years of research now. Still haven't seen all my listed movie title listing, but Youtube has provide some rare moments of "what dah, who dah," did they get that from.

Still find it hard to belive Zappa would not work in dee studio when dee techie's are on vacation?!? Interesting that he was workin' on film scripts though!! Kudo's Nack Blapkin!!! Remember, this interview was in 1983. Back in dee early sixties (PAL/Studio Z days), it was his film work that paid dee bills. Mind you it was dee scoring element that paid dee bills. BUT, Los Angeles is/was dee music & film capital of dee world. If dee Studio Z P.orn bust hadn't occured, and he didn't spend 10 days in dee hole, he would of finished CBvTGP, and Freak Out! would never have come out. We would of known FZ as a filmmaker first and classical composer second. Dee cross-over effect is dee centerpiece of my book - "what if detective Willis wasn't such an ass.hole?". Don't forget it IS dee most definative FZ filmmaker-filmography to date. All dee FZ fetishists concern of gathering every video of every show/interview/etc/etc is astounding. Numerous "filmographies" exist on that front. But, no serious attempt at FZ's actuall filmmaker-filmography (behind dee camera credits only). My book will change your opinion of his filmmaking side. I'm not kidding here he is one of my top-ten filmmakers of all time. That said, never in my quarter-century of filmmaking has a filmmakers filmography been so hard to pin down. Yes Kubrick made 16 films (13 features; 3 shorts), plus one 30' film lost to dee ages (or, as some beleive, it's in dee archives of dee State dept - no not dee moon landing stuff - an earlier 1955 UN flic commissioned to Kub). Y'arrr!!!

I'm shocked that even dee die-hard fetishists don't take his filmic output that seriously. This thread is proof of that already. Viddy well Nack Blapkin. Viddy well...

...:wink:...
Droog #26 dee Minister of Anthropology

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""Captain Beefheart vs. The Grunt People!" ... Zappa also said that if anyone had shown interest in the film five years ago, he would never have played rock and roll." - (R.S. mag: Oct 18/69)


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:04 pm 
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See folks, if people think Zappa's music was undefinable, well try and figure out his film if you will. I dare's you!!!!! Come on take dee challenge?

Most of you fetishists think, "Wow, another Zappa concert film. Yeah-ha!!!" "At least that one was directed by dear old Uncle Frankie." You know most FZ fetishists collect all things Zappa. When it comes to dee "videos," they got dee Stockhome '?? concert on tape, Cleveland's 1988 Stairway to Heaven was pretty darm good (wasn't it, eh!) - hey I even gatz dee Buoston show of shows. Everything video is collectable. All those lists form - to most - dee FZ "filmography." I had to even invent a word to describe his "filmography." I've never in my life seen a filmmakers work described as a filmmakers-filmography. But FZ being FZ, has to by his very nature defy catogorization. This ones for you Frank.

Frank Zappa was at his absolute best when making his films. He was dee complete package folks. It's all dee great genius music, plus dee visuals, and dee accompanying sound design (additional sound Fx and dialogue) I repeat, he did want to be known as a filmmaker first. But if that darm Detective Willis (no relation to Bruce, I'm told - Hmmm?), had not put FZ in leg-irons, thereby effectively nullifying dee CBvTGP casting sessions, and landing Frank in dee San Bernadino slammer for ten-day. All this forced a destitute FZ to abandom Studio Z (most of his tapes and possessions were seized, and to this very day no one knows what happened to all that eveidence?), and leave Cucamunga and head for LA. This Studio Z P.orn Bust in 1964 changed his careers forever folks. ""Captain Beefheart vs. The Grunt People!" ... Zappa also said that if anyone had shown interest in the film five years ago, he would never have played rock and roll." - (R.S. mag: Oct 18/69). Barely two-years later he releases Freak Out!!!

As a very slight preview of my book:

What was FZ's biggest money maker until 1964. Scoring two film soundtracks: Run Home Slow (1965) & The World's Greatest Sinner (1962). Monumental they were to his careers. See folks, I feel one of dee main reason FZ did all those Garrick Theater shows in 1967 was to be in a dee mecca of world experimental film. To be around Andy Warhol, Jonas Mekas, Marie Menken, Jack Smith, and dee almighty Stan "dee man" Brakhage. They were aware of FZ's presence. They even went to FZ show there. But the considered FZ an outsider to their film community - "He was a musician, don't you know?" (cross-over thingie again, seems we like our artists neat'n'tidy). They loved his music, of course. To be fly on dee wall back then. Who wouldn't want to be there. FZ still wanted to make films at that time. I don't think there was ever a time that he wasn't. Once a filmmaker always a filmmaker. But dee music took over and was a more secure media at that time. Best political filmmaker-ever folks. Re-think your thoughts on this one folks, cause I'm not kidding here. OK?

I miss dear-old Unclie Frankie... R.I.P.

...:wink:...
Droog #26 dee Minister of Anthropology


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:17 pm 
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he didn't want to be known at all. he stated that clear as day.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 2:05 pm 
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Zappa was always about the music, not the film. Why did his films feature his music so much if he wished to focus on film more?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 7:43 am 
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Do you think Frank was aware/had seen the films of Maya Deren?
I'm more interested to know if by that he had heard the soundtracks by the great Teiji Ito..


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 2:15 pm 
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Some for you, my fellow Zappa-lovers:-

1. Kim Ki-Duk (Watch 'Bad Guy' and then 'Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring' to get a real feel for this guy's versatility and depth of vision)

2. Ron Fricke ('Baraka' is the most memorable film I've seen. He also did the camera work on Godfrey Reggio's amazing 'Koyaanisqatsi' - the films are similar, but whereas Koyaanisqatsi needs the incredible music of Philip Glass to be truly powerful, the images recorded in Baraka speak for themselves.)

3. Gus van Sant (purely on this list for 'Gerry'. Everything else he did is mediocre. After watching Gerry I couldn't get it out of my head for about 6 months.)

4. Steven Soderbergh (Solaris is one of the better sci-fi films of recent times, and personally I love the Ocean's films. Just don't take them too seriously, which is what many critics seem to do.)

5. Last, but not least, Richard Linklater. Although guilty of punting out the slushy 'Before Sunrise' and 'Before Sunset', his last couple of efforts I've seen - 'Waking Life' and 'A Scanner Darkly' - a faithful yet adventurous adaptation of Philip K. Dick's masterpiece novel - are superb. Both were filmed, and then paint is overlaid onto celluloid to create animation. Brilliant.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 2:22 pm 
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Terry Gilliam. Brazil ( the uncut version) is a masterpiece.

Hitchcock. It's all good.

Peckinpah. Same as above.

John Ford

Spielberg.....yeah, I know....

Scorsese.

Kubrick

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:29 pm 
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brainpang wrote:
Do you think Frank was aware/had seen the films of Maya Deren?

There is no evidence that he ever saw any great Maya Deren flics - Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) is her all-time masterpiece!!! FZ was very familiar with the 50's San Fran & 60's New York experimental film scene. That's a given folks!!! Look at all the Garrick Theater footage - it's totally in dee NYC-stylee!!!!!! In that scene, Maya Deren was a Godess & huge influence. So, one can assume that FZ was familiar with Deren great experimental "dance" films of the 40's!!! Y'arrr!!!

Maya Deren (1917-61) filmography:

Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti (1985) (original footage shot & directed; Cherel Ito finished the film)
The Very Eye of Night (1958)
Meditation on Violence (1948)
Ritual in Transfigured Time (1946)
A Study in Choreography for Camera (1945)
At Land (1944)
Witch's Cradle (1944)
Meshes of the Afternoon (1943)

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:55 am 
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Sam Raimi anybody?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 8:22 pm 
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Raimi's one of my favorites! Along with Wes Anderson, Quentin Tarantino, Coen Bros, Guy Ritchie, Terry Gilliam, Akira Kurosawa, Sergio Leone, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Kevin Smith & Robert Rodriguez. I think that's all of them.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:04 pm 
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1- Akira Kurosawa
2- Wim Wenders
3- Francis Ford Coppola
4- Stanley Kubrick
5- Jean-Luc Godard
6- Ingmar Bergman
7- Oliver Stone
8- Martin Scorsese
9- Bernardo Bertolucci
10- Sergio Leone
11- Sidney Lumet
12- Michael Cimino
13- David Lynch
14- Peter Bogdonavich
15- Federico Fellini
Not in that particular order.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 1:00 pm 
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Vat, no Werner Herzog?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 5:03 pm 
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Galoot Co-Log-Nuh wrote:
1- Akira Kurosawa
2- Wim Wenders
3- Francis Ford Coppola
4- Stanley Kubrick
5- Jean-Luc Godard
6- Ingmar Bergman
7- Oliver Stone
8- Martin Scorsese
9- Bernardo Bertolucci
10- Sergio Leone
11- Sidney Lumet
12- Michael Cimino
13- David Lynch
14- Peter Bogdonavich
15- Federico Fellini
Not in that particular order.

replace oliver stone with the coen brothers and I'm with you all the way. 8)

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 5:45 pm 
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In no particular order.....

Lloyd Kaufman
Sam Raimi
Ethan and Joel Coen (let's be fair, they work as a team)
Mike Binder
Blake Edwards
Billy Wilder
Spike Lee
Quentin Tarantino
P.T. Anderson
Sidney Lumet

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2009 5:57 pm 
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Did anyone mention Harmony Korine?

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2009 12:02 am 
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What going on folks?!? No one picked dear-old FZ???? What gives??? Y'arrr!!!!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:19 pm 
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Y'arrr!!! Anyone else?

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""Captain Beefheart vs. The Grunt People!" ... Zappa also said that if anyone had shown interest in the film five years ago, he would never have played rock and roll." - (R.S. mag: Oct 18/69)


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 3:16 pm 
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Hi. Once more a question that can't be answered seriously but causes an interesting discussion.
Here were a lot of names mentioned, I also would tell, but 1 name is absoluteley missing: Woody Allen (hey americans, were are u?)! He is really a "composer" of films and i heard him once saying, if he could do music, he wouldn't make films (just the opposite way as FZ? BTW Woody Allen is a Hobby-Jazzplayer on clarinet). I think his films have a very rich formal structure in his stories as well as in his images, he can play with every genre, he can get the most out of his actors, and he could keep this high level on the most of his really much films (like FZ on most of his albums). I really wonder, that his name wasn't fallen here until now. Instead i have found repeatedly names like Steven Spielberg or Peter Jackson or even Coppola and Tarrantino, which I never would rate that high.
One basic problem in rating directors is the fact, that movie is an artform that depends on a collaboration of a huge number of people (much more than music). So u cannot really say, that for example the films of Hitchcock (also one of my favourites) are really only from Hitchcock. Among other contributors, he always asked his wife Alma Reville in every important question, concerning his projects. Of course all of his films have some kind of inner core, that is 100% Hitchcock,his own handwriting. From this point of view, I maybe prefer those filmmakers, who really could enforce this personal handwriting into the final result, against all the gravity of productioncircumstances and dependency from other people with special skills and so on. Here i would mention again Woody Allen, Fellini (who always had to fight battles for his unique ideas), Wim Wenders, Jarmusch, Carlos Saura, Ingmar Bergmann, Chaplin, Tarkovsky... Maybe not on this level but still high rated were David Lynch, Kubrick, Polanski, Gilliam, Coen Brothers...
Of course this can change from day to day and i don't know, whom i have forgotten. There are also people who did astonishing masterworks but also boring stuff like Godard, Lars von Trier or the wonderful Luis Bunuel: He did this great surrealistic films in europe, but also more boring stuff in Mexico.
Considering 200 Motels i think FZ had something to say as filmmaker. It is a masterwork, even it seems unfinished (but Kafkas novels are unfinished too, so wtf). But here is the question again: How much Zappa is in 200 Motels? Tony Palmer called his recent release Tony Palmer's film of Frank Zappa's 200 Motels. He was co-director and co-author and he doesn't wanted to be forgotten as contributor. Stunning parts of 200 Motels or Baby snakes were done by the great animators Schenkel or Bickford. However this question can be answered, i would be deeply interested to watch original Zappa moviefootage, especially from this very early era, if anything has survived. On the other side Does Humor ...? was not exactly the reinvention of the cinema. Finally i wouldn't join Zappa into my personal olymp of movieartists. He also could have become a great writer (u just have to consider, how he could use words), but he simply didn't, cause he focussed on his music and it doesn't matter if it was his own will or the circumstances, that forced him to do.
:wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 6:17 pm 
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[quote="Gio. Shanger"]My Top-10 favourite filmmakers of all-time & the ones that have influenced my films dee most - in order, they are:

You rotten swine ... you should not have done this, and I just noticed it!

It's hard to get an order, but here we go, and please be advised that I have over 200 Foreign and Art Film Reviews on IMDB and that I happen to have been one of the few folks that gave 200 Motels a very good review. Now if I can get motivated to upload the other reviews ... only 300 more! (I don't do top ten!)

No order, but I am taking names from the list:

Stanley Kubrick - for his use of music and visuals. One of the first to let the "music sink in" with images, a beauty he shared with David Lean.

David Lean - See Kubrick

Akira Kurosawa - Hard to not appreciate the beauty of his design and simplicity of directing coupled with his ability to get "the right shot" that gives you everything you need to know about a character or story! One has to "live" through "Ran" or "The Seven Samurai" to appreciate it even more.

Terry Gilliam - One of the best visionary film makers since Luis Bunuel days ... sadly, I think that he is having too many fights with the studios and he needs to go to Mexico and do what Luis did and learn how to get around the studios and still make good films.

Fank Zappa - Not sure I would consider him a director, but as a writer and main visionary, yes. But he would make a good director, because he had a great sense for the "moment" and when things were happening, and it would only take a little time and fun before he learned how to catch it on actors, instead of musicians.

Andy Warhol - Probably the worst director ever ... but I think it was good to see that total disrespect and attitude towards film makers that were ... pretty fucked up. And just sitting here and watching 2 people sleep was the ultimate in "minimalist" anything! ... until you want to get up and punch the fucker for taking your bux at the door and calling that a "film".

Luis Buñuel - One of the most original of all film makers in history. He was also one of the fathers of "surrealism" with Andre Bretton and Salvador Dali.

Federico Fellini - Probably the most ... outlandish film maker out there ... the best you can say? ... it's a Fellini film. The worst you can say? ... It's a Fellini film ... but sometimes the images are insane and amazing ... and if you have not seen the opening of Intervista, go home and put on your Walt Disney records! You are punished as a bad boy or girl!

Martin Scorsese - The biggest and best "lesson" on directing and cinematography. He is also one of the "eyes" that gave us one of the most vivid of images in American Music History, and that is "Woodstock" of which he was one of the guys with cameras in his hand. Too bad he was too stoned to remember anything, and to have any ideas of what he was doing, or any perception of what he did or did not do ...and he is not big enough to discuss the film or talk about it. Not one of my favorites for more than one reason and I find him a bit pushy and way too over rated for my tastes.

Ingmar Bergman - I think that what made him important, was not his directing or the actors under him ... it was Sven Nykvist ... whose camera and touch had such a way of making you just love the visual and appreciate it all, and it made the director look better than he was. In the end, and even later when Billie August did a film about all this, what he did that was very good is put good people around him, and then turn them loose. I suppose that counts!

Jean-Luc Godard - The most original and the most fun to watch for us film students and appreciators. He created what he called the "anti-film" and turned every convention you could think of upside down and then some ... and it taught you something about how conditioned we are by television shots and bad movies ... that makes you realize how bad some of the big Hollywood movies really are. Extremelly original, specially in the early days, and off the wall ... and fun!

Werner Herzog - There is an interview on ProgArchives that talks about the music, and Florian says ... that Werner would come over and used to go over all those tapes in the closet and a week later he would show up and say ... look Florian, I got a new film ... with that piece of music. I really think that this is what inspiration is all about! And some things that he did were magnificent and far out, visually and with the music.

Wim Wenders - Part of the same school of Germans that helped create "krautrock" and a lot of electronic music. It was a part of their learning and schooling, Wenders, Fassbinder, Peter Handke, Peter Weiss were massive in helping define this whole scene. There is an amazing sequence and discussion on the BBC Special on Krautrock (6 hours!) that is the ultimate ... and listen to what Edgar Froese says ... and it describes ALL of these late 50's and 60's German artists completely!

Orson Wells - Very valuable for his work in theater and radio and then how he turned it into film. I kinda think that he lost it some and his fights with studios and what not, made things very tough for him, and hurt his creativity that he started out with ... and Citizen Kane becomes his masterpiece. One other one, vastly less known and appreciated is his Falstaff film ... Chimes at Midnight ... which is far out and neat ... but will never get a response because it is weird ... and guess what is Falstaff's issue? ... all the inspiration all the ideas, and he never gets any credit or is appreciated and ends up getting thrown out by a king that was once his whoring and drinking companion! Guess what happened to his Hollywood days?

Adding:

Peter Greenaway - Really tough to appreciate by most film go'rs because he is from the club ... I don't care what you think or like ... and he does what he does. From one of the most amazing and stunning film ending sequences (The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover), to Prospero's Books that has the sweetest reading of Shakespeare you will ever hear ... and appreciate such amazing clarity ... to the blow out visuals ... that bring Shakespeare alive in such an amazing way, that we can not possibly ever ... realize ... how good this really is. To the Pillow Book, which is a film within a film, so to speak, and we see the character's mind inside the mini film, and the juxtaposition is scary and disturbing, because you have no idea what to think about it, and how to react! ... like sometimes you are doing something and thinking about something else ... that is exactly what this is like. Visually stunning film maker ... some people say that he is too gay ... but I tend to think that is an not a necessary view or concept.

Gaspar Noe - The most brutal and visual film maker since Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali hit the scene. The inevitable question is ... is this film ... what the fuck is this ... and how are you going to reconcile it with the word "film" ... and its worst enemy ... "entertainment" ... because you will see a quarter of the audience walk out of the theater in these films ... scared, fucked up, and totally unable to handle the brutality (literal and otherwise) with which these images are given to you. I equal this to a madman that turned on a camera inside the asylum and started shooting ... opinions and ideas and concepts are ALL at your own risk and imagination ... the rest? ... you eitherlive through it, or you quit! ... and you have a decision to make! "Je Suis Seul" is a madman gone beserk from his mind's point of view non stop and continuous and never lets up, and then Gaspar has one detail up his sleeve that scares the living shit off your knickers and balloons ... that helped pepple leave the theater scared ... go ahead, go back and intelectualize your Batman's and Jack Sparros films that help you forget your miserable life! "Irreversible" is the same thing, but a total psychedelic acid trip. In these films the less said about them the better for your experience. But you have been warned ... please make up your mind if you want to see entertainment and do not come near these films ... because you will regret it otherwise!

Some of the "popular" directors that are well known, like Tim Burton, Quentin Tarantino and others, I tend not to bother with or like that much. I really find this stuff boring and just plain ... more Walt Disney stuff to help you forget the war, kind of thing ... and it's just not fun for me, or enjoyable. And I happen to not care for Tarantino's total Godard ripoffs, and him not even having the guts to talk about it ... because he is the star, not Jean Luc!

Sorry about the rants ... hope this gets some of you into film some more.

MUST SEE's:

Catch the film "Visions of Light" about cinematographers ... you will go after a whole bunch of those films after you see it. And pay attention to the one by Roman Polanski, because he was one of the first "clever" camera folks and people to use hand held cameras ... easy ... it's all he had in Poland!

There is also a DVD on Tom Dowd, a well known music and recording engineer ... you want to catch this one and appreciate it because it will be the best history of American music in the 20th century you will ever hear ... and learn how one person's perception and appreciation for "the feel" in music ... made him the person he was.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:57 am 
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Zappa as a 'great' film maker...

What a joke.

15 or so years ago I bought Uncle Meat on VHS. Probably the worst film I ever saw on that medium. I love the music on UM, the album, but the dialogue(!) excerpts are also utterly dire.
Only my opinion, and probably shaped by my complete disappointment at shelling out a lot of money (at the time) on something that I wanted to like (It was FZ after all!).


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 7:14 am 
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Whoever made The Giant Claw.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:28 am 
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Philmore wrote:
Whoever made The Giant Claw.

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Looks like a high Cheepnis quotient on that one.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:00 am 
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Where is your sense of humor...Woody Allen anyone?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:31 pm 
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Plook wrote:
Where is your sense of humor...Woody Allen anyone?

At least the 2nd time that this name appears here. Very disappointing. Maybe he needed to be a little bit taller for being not ignored so easily?

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 1:58 pm 
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No mention of Robert Altman, or did I miss it?

Some Altman films, 1970-1977:

MASH
McCabe And Mrs MIller
The Long Goodbye
California Split
Nashville
Three Women


Some innovative, influential and entertaining stuff. And funny, too!


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