Film screening. Zappa


From 19 July 2021




Garage Screen summer cinema
Film screening. ZappaFilm screening. Zappa


An impressionist portrait of one of the most innovative and productive rock musicians of the twentieth century

Filmmaker Alex Winter traces the story of the legendary and controversial rock musician Frank Zappa—heir to the tradition of self-taught American composers Charles Ives, Harry Partch, and Sun Ra. The film follows events in chronological order: from Zappa growing up to the music of Edgard Varèse and R&B to his becoming a multigenre perfectionist who could break up the band, fought for his radical vision, and left 62 albums during his lifetime, with 53 more released posthumously. The life of Zappa is studied in the context of the rapidly changing music market and political landscape of the second half of the twentieth century: the rigidity of educational institutions in art, such as the prestigious Juilliard School; the court case over Zappa’s parody of the Sgt. Pepper cover; the neoliberalization of America under Reagan; the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Czechoslovakia.

Known as the director of the absurdist horror Freaked (1993) and a lead in the comedy sci-fi trilogy Bill & Ted (1989, 1991, 2020), which also brought acclaim to Keanu Reeves, in the late 1990s, Alex Winter left the big screen for almost fifteen years. However, in the 2010s, he returned with documentaries on digital phenomena, such as the file-sharing platform Napster (Downloaded, 2012), the dark web (Deep Web, 2015), and blockchain (Trust Machine, 2018). Shot over five years, Zappa marks Winter’s return to his roots in comedy, yet presents a study of the commercial infrastructure that surrounded the musician in the spirit of Winter’s later documentaries.

Visually, Zappa is a whirlpool of TV and concert footage, home video, fragments of films to which Zappa wrote the score, and the avant-garde movies in which he took part: the surrealist 200 Motels by Tony Palmer (1971) and Bruce Bickford’s Baby Snakes (1979) with clay animation elements. The fast-paced, messy, and sometimes downright punk editing reflects Zappa’s own free spirit and willfulness. At the same time, the makers of the film do not forget to analyze the songs: the polyrhythmic and ultra-complex Black Page; None of the Above arranged for the strings; and Zappa’s only real hit Valley Girl that he recorded together with his daughter Moon. Unlike many films in the genre, Zappa does not kill the energy of the unusual and charismatic performer.

The film will be screened in English with Russian subtitles.

Director: Alex Winter
USA, 2020. 129 min. 18+


Standard: 350 rubles
Student: 250 rubles*


 GARAGE cardholders: 175 RUB**

Tickets for seniors, veterans, large families, under 18s, and visitors with disabilities (with one carer): 175 RUB**

We recommend that you buy tickets in advance. All ticket categories are available online.

* Students aged 18–25 on production of relevant ID
** Please show proof of eligibility at the cinema entrance