March 30th, 2016 – Asbury Park, NJ: After an increasing amount of buzz building around the famed iconoclastic composer and bandleader in recent news, the Asbury Park Film Festival is proud to be hosting a screening of “Eat That Question: Frank Zappa In His Own Words,” a brand new documentary that has only previously screened at the Sundance Film Festival, where it received rave reviews from hardcore fans and the Zappa family alike. Shortly after its debut at Sundance, the film was bought by Sony Pictures Classics and reviewed in Rolling Stone, Variety, The Guardian and other publications.
Thorsten Schütte’s film is a sharply edited and energetic celebration of Frank Zappa through his public persona, allowing us to witness his shifting relationship with audiences. Utilizing potent TV interviews and many forgotten performances from his 30-year career, we are immersed into the musician’s world while experiencing two distinct facets of his complex character. The film depicts both a charismatic composer who reveled in the joy of performing and a fiercely intelligent and brutally honest interviewee whose convictions only got stronger as his career ascended. Zappa was uncompromising as he led the charge against music censorship in the ’90s and even went on to embrace the role of quasi-cultural ambassador in the Czech Republic; his music and ideas cut across generations, while his goal of freeing the listener from conformity still resonates today.
The night is shaping up to be a Zappa celebration the likes of which New Jersey has never seen. When the screening ends, the live portion of the night begins with a panel discussion and open Q&A with Ahmet Zappa, son of Frank Zappa, writer, producer, publisher and head of the Zappa Family Trust. Following the Q&A, Asbury Park’s own avant-garde large ensemble, We Used to Cut the Grass, will take the stage. Lead by multi-instrumentalist Cody McCorry, the group regularly features five horns, two drum sets, guitar, bass and vibraphone, performing a vast repertoire of contemporary pieces, including the group’s own experimental music. The ensemble will be joined by multiple guests, including guitarist Tom Monda and violinist Ben Karas of the nationally touring North Jersey prog band Thank You Scientist, Asbury Park soul singer and bandleader Remember Jones, Red Bank multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Jon Francis, with more to be announced as the show draws closer. We Used to Cut the Grass will endeavor to give the audience a look into the past, present and future of Frank Zappa as they perform a set that contains not only a wealth of complex Zappa pieces such as “The Black Page,” but also a study of the music that inspired him, including works by Edgard Varése and Igor Stravinsky, in addition to some of the ensemble’s original work.
The Asbury Park Music in Film Festival will be hosting the event at the House of Independents, a brand new theater which is quickly becoming a cultural staple in Asbury Park, on April 9th at 7:30pm. Tickets for the screening and the concert, as well as for the concert alone, are on sale now. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit apmffzappa.splashthat.com.