Magnolia Pictures has released a trailer for Zappa Alex Winter. The documentary tries to dissect the genius of the legendary musician Frank Zappa with the stories of some of his closest collaborators. Winter has just seen the release of the acclaimed film Bill & Ted Face the Music, which turned out to be a much greater success than many expected for the entertainment industry in these uncertain times. Now he’s behind the camera.
With unlimited access to Zappa’s family foundation and all archive documents, Zappa explores the private sphere behind a gigantic musical career that never escaped the political turmoil of its time. Frank Zappa’s widow, Gail Zappa, and some of Frank’s musical collaborators, including Mike Kenelli, Ian Underwood, Steve Wy, Pamela De Barres, Bank Gardner, David Harrington, Scott Toons, Ruth Underwood, Ray White and others, attended the Alex Winter meeting. This is the work of the love for Winter, who has been working on a documentary film for years.
Frank Zappa was an unorthodox singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, composer and conductor. His work can often not be categorized, although he has played rock, jazz, progressive rock, psychedelic and many other styles and genres, often all combined in something that the world has been trying to catch up with for years. He is known for his incoherence and his fight for freedom of expression in art. The musicians who got the chance to work with Zappa had to be the best of the best with an open mind and extreme experiences.
Eamon Bowles, president of Magnolia, says Alex Winter made an impressive documentary. Zappa is an incredibly nuanced and breathtaking vision of the visionary iconographer and the environment that shaped him. The trailer contains a treasure trove of never-before-seen images that are sure to become the saliva of every Zappa fan. In this context, the project was difficult for director Alex Winter. He should have told me what he did to Zappa.
It’s the most ambitious project I’ve ever worked on, with a few years of archiving in addition to a few years for the film itself. This is not a typical music doctor, but a multifaceted story that this complex artist wants to bring to life. Magnolia, with its long and distinguished history of creating platforms for the big screen, is the perfect home for Zappa, and I look forward to working with them.
Working in Frank Zappa’s world hasn’t been easy since the musician died in 1993 after a fight with prostate cancer. Over the years there has been a lot of power struggle between family members, but Alex Winter focuses on Zappa and his music. From the moment Gail Zappa said yes, I was excited about the day we could share Alex’s film with the world, said producer Glen Zipper. I can’t wait for the public to see this.
Frank Zappa’s son, Ahmet Zappa, says: This emotional journey began with my mother’s belief in Alex Winter, and he made an extraordinary film… I have the feeling that Frank and Gail will be very proud of the documentary in my heart, and I can’t wait for everyone to see it! Magnolia Pictures will present Zappa on the 27th. November 2020 everywhere, and on Monday the 23rd. In November 2020, a special theatrical event will be organised for just one night. You can see Zappa’s trailer above, thanks to Magnolia Pictures’ YouTube channel.
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Author for Movieweb since 2017. He likes to play Katana when he’s not writing about superheroes and Star Wars.