Title - 'Frank' (Silva Screen Records)
Artist - Stephen Rennicks
‘Frank’ is a film that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January of this year and has gone on to garner critical success at subsequent festivals and such. Based on the memoir by filmmaker and journalist Jon Ronson, the fictional story is loosely inspired by Frank Sidebottom, the persona of cult musician Chris Sievey as well as other outsider musicians like Captain Beefheart and Daniel Johnston.
To give you more of an insight into the late Chris Sievey aka Frank Sidebottom, he was an English musician and comedian known for fronting the band The Freshies in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and for his comic persona of Sidebottom from 1984 onwards. The character was instantly recognizable by his large spheroidal head, styled like an early Max Fleischer cartoon. This was initially made from papier-mâché, but later rebuilt out of fibreglass.
Frank, usually dressed in a 1950s-style sharp suit, was portrayed as an aspiring pop star from the small town of Timperley near Altrincham, Greater Manchester. His character was cheerfully optimistic, enthusiastic, and seemingly oblivious to his own failings. Although supposedly 35 years old, he still lived at home with his mother, to whom he made frequent references. Frank sometimes had a sidekick in the form of "Little Frank", a hand puppet who was otherwise a perfect copy of Frank!
‘Frank,’ here in 2014, is an Irish comedy-drama film directed by Lenny Abrahamson and starring Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Scoot McNairy and Michael Fassbender as the title character. ‘Frank’ follows Jon, a young man with a strong interest in music, as he joins an eccentric band called "Soronprfbs" led by the title character Frank. The film begins with would-be musician Jon invited to join the band right before a concert, only asked if he is able to play a few chords. Joining the band, they move to Ireland to record an album, where Jon begins posting videos on the internet of the band's rehearsal sessions.
It’s also been said that to preserve the integrity of the film, the actors - Fassbender, Gleeson and Gyllenhaal - who all perform as screen creation, “The Soronprbs” were recorded live! I mean, this 31 track album is incredible to behold, and even has a song entitled ‘I Love You All’ performed by Fassbender himself, together with the “Soronprfbs,” of course. Believe me when I tell you that once you start listening to tracks such as ‘Jon’s Crap Songs,’ ‘Welcome to Vetno,’ ‘Lay an Egg,’ ‘Be Still 9Don’s Song),’ and then ‘Secure the Galactic Perimeter’ and ‘Viking Funeral,’ you will never want this music wonderment to ever end!
Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk