On a stormy night after hours spent at the local bar, I found myself driving toward Baltimore. The sky lit up into flurries of light and thunder as I made my way into the arms of an old friend, greeting me with a cone and a warm place to lay. As the smoke filled the room, she asked me if I had ever watched the movie Frank, and thus began an incredible cinematic and musical journey.
The movie is loosely based on Frank Sidebottom, the alter ego of 1980s british musician Chris Sievey. The obvious visual weirdness will strike you right away as the musician named simply Frank, who the film is centered around, is always wearing a giant fake head made of fiberglass. But the story itself is beautiful, following a band trying to reach their furthest corners of musical inspiration and interpretation. Though the band in the film itself is fictional, it draws from many musicians and is more of a vessel to capture the struggle that goes on between members in a group. From insecurities and goal differences, the band ultimately reaches its fate but we are left with what we are always left with, the music.
Though the soundtrack itself is extremely littered with song ideas, incomplete clips, and sometimes just transitional 50 second instrumentals, there is an incredibly cool body of work hidden within the mess. The music is raw, experimental, lyrically ambitious, and honestly and most importantly, it is unique and touching. There have been very few music-based films in the past 10, or even 20, years that come close to what this film has captured. One of my favorite songs off the soundtrack is “Broke,” with the final lines ‘Now that it is all over, go back to the start.’
If you are looking for an new listen and a great movie to go with it, I highly recommend that you take an hour or 2 with a friend on a stormy night and share something special.
Similar Artists: Chris Sievey