Those of you who’ve been reading this weblog for more than just a couple of years may remember our coverage of Adam Fiorenza’s documentary on FZ’s Cucamonga days, aptly titled “Freak Out In Cucamonga”, featuring interviews with the likes of Paul Buff (PAL Studios), Dick Barber, Jim “Motorhead” Sherwood, Don Preston, Roy Estrada, and Weird Al Yancovic. Although at the time, seven years ago no less, this project had gained traction and interest, it sort of withered away and went into hibernation. Here’s the initial trailer, with artwork from Sharleena and me:
Having [re]discovered this rather sublime trailer on my hard disk drive just a week ago, I had to email Adam to find out if the project is still en route in some way, making its way to an official release.
Frank Zappa’s 1971 big-screen venture 200 Motels has not been particularly well-preserved on VHS over the years. Although there have been several releases and re-releases, these have tended to be sourced from the same slightly iffy video masters with no attempts at any kind of upgrade.
The first ever (official) DVD release of the film last month on the Voiceprint label should have been the perfect opportunity to rectify this. Sadly, this release – overseen and ‘restored’ by original co-director Tony Palmer – stands out as not only the worst edition of the film ever commercially released but could actually hold the honour of being the worst DVD ever compiled. (…)
It looks like shit.
Full – very very detailed – article here (see our previous post about the DVD!) Just one side-note: on the official site of the DVD one will find where the trailer should be: “This video is no longer available because of copyright reasons – belonging to Metro-Goldwin-Mayer”.
(Sorry, the latter had to be translated back to English from Hungarian… I’m not sure whether it’s perfect, but you’ll understand anyway.)
Released on DVD for the first time, by original director Tony Palmer, is this flawed masterpiece of circa 1970 Frank Zappa craziness. Obviously shot in a very short time on a very low budget, some of this drags, but some of it is really funny and/or spot-on; I still see the ‘re-education camp for musicians’ sequence in my dreams
Another big thing for next year is another DVD, our Roxy concert that we did 35 years to the date that Frank last played at the Roxy. We’re also working hard to complete Frank’s Roxy film, so hopefully both of those can get released by the end of 2010.
In an interview including also some other news: a new ZPZ CD, some other musical experimentations, Dweezil’s guitars, and the What the Hell Was I Thinking project – with a downloadable part from Zomby Woof’s solo.
Manuel de la Fuente Soler is a Media Studies lecturer at the University of Valencia and writer of “Frank Zappa En El Infierno” (Frank Zappa in Hell), an analysis of political discourse in Zappa’s oeuvre. He’s the thriving force behind The University of Valencia’s Frank Zappa Film Festival this November.
Each session will be introduced by different experts in Frank Zappa. The final session will be presented by Didier Mervelet, from Les Fils de l’Invention. The Festival will be held at Colegio Mayor Luis Vives in Valencia (Blasco Ibáñez Av., 23). All the films will start at 7.30 pm.
5 November (Thursday)
– 200 Motels (1971)
– The True Story of 200 Motels (1989)
12 November (Thursday)
– Baby Snakes (1979)
19 November (Thursday)
– The Dub Room Special! (1982)
21 November (Saturday)
– Does Humor Belong in Music? (1985)
26 November (Thursday)
– Video from Hell (1987)
– The Amazing Mr Bickford (1989)