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Tony Palmer's Film of Frank Zappa - 200 Motels

Tony Palmer's Film of  Frank Zappa - 200 Motels -Rock, Pop-Documentary
ID: TPDVD127 (EAN: 604388714902)  | 1 DVD
Released in: 2010
Tony Palmer
Rock, Pop
ZAPPA, Frank
STARR, Ringo (singer) | ZAPPA, Frank
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
HOWARTH, Elgar | LYNNE, Gillian | PALMER, Tony
Other info:

Region Code: NTSC. Code 0, Plays in all territories
Presentation: Wide Screen
Screen (Picture) Format: 16:9, Aspect ratio
Sound Format: Dolby Digital Stereo
Duration: 98 mins

DVD Release Date: 04/20/2010
Original Release: 1971

Director: Tony Palmer, Frank Zappa
Cast: The Mothers of Invention, Theodore Bikel, Ringo Starr, Janet Ferguson

Frank Zappa; Tony Palmer; Ringo Starr; Theodore Bikel; Jerry Good; Herb Cohn; Keith Moon; Jimmy Carl Black; Martin Lickert; Calvin Schenkel; Mara Kam; Richard Harrison; Barry Stephens; Murakami-Wolf Films.; Bizarre (Firm); Mothers of Invention.; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.; Tony Palmer Studio (Firm)

A psychedelic precursor to music videos, in which The Mothers of Invention, a touring musical group, wreak havoc in Centerville, a stereotypical American town. The first color movie made on videotape and then transferred to film, it includes many visual effects.
In attempting to summarize the infamous history of FRANK ZAPPA’S 200 MOTELS, three quotes mentioned in Amos Vogel’s book, Film as a Subversive Art, come to mind which also address early malignment of the film.
For the music’s ribald, bawdy lyrics, which caused a live performance of 200 MOTELS to be banned from the Royal Albert Hall in 1971, Goethe wrote to Johann Eckermann, “Only the perverse fantasy can still save us.”
For co-director, Tony Palmer, who publicly disowned the film in an article he submitted to the British Sunday Observer for what he wrote off as a shamble and misguided scrap heap, Nathanael West wrote, “Your order is meaningless, my chaos is significant.”
Of note, Palmer withdrew his repudiation of the film recently by placing his name above the film’s title on last April’s DVD release (We’re Only in It for the Money, Mr. Palmer?).
And lastly, for Zappa who had no formal filmmaking training and for his prescient useage of videotape (200 MOTELS was the first feature film shot on video; director Palmer threatened to erase the master videotapes, which producer, Jerry Goode, later did in order to “balance the film budget”), then transferred to 35mm film using 3-strip Technicolor process, filmmaker Jean Cocteau wrote, “What one should do with the young is to give them a portable camera and forbid them to observe any rules except those they invent for themselves as they go along.”
Scene index 
1. Enter Larry the Dwarf - Ringo3:55 
2. Touring Can Make You Crazy - The Mothers2:42 
3. Rance Muhammitz and the Steaming Cheeseburger and Frank is Watching!!5:15 
4. "I Don't Know Too Much About This Stuff- Do You?"4:47 
5. "Centerville - A Real Nice Place to Raise Your Kids Up" including the Rancid Boutique3:27 
6. "This Town is a Sealed Tuna Sandwich"1:45 
7. Lonesome Cowboy Burt6:33 
8. Ringo Speaks About the Life of a Musician!2:22 
9. "Oooo....The Way You Squeeze Me, Baby"5:00 
10. Redneck Eats1:20 
11. The Raving Nun (Keith Moon) and the Newts While the Girl Wants to Fix Him Some Broth!5:13 
12. The Dental Hygiene Movie6:17 
13. The Groupies Rescue the Nun From His Death Bed6:34 
14. "Penis Dimension4:48 
15. "She Painted Up Her Face"3:57 
16. "Half a Dozen Provocative Squats" & "Shove It Right In"5:05 
17. Ringo Is Finding Some Pussy & Bwana Dick1:44 
18. "What Will This Evening Bring Me?"2:11 
19. "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy"4:01 
20. Vile Foamy Liquids4:33 
21. The Vacuum Cleaner Is Attacked!!1:41 
22. Jeff's Trip3:01 
23. The End, Except For "Lord Have Mercy on the People of England" Followed By "We Have to Get Wasted"10:31 
24. End Credits1:26 


Less a movie than a purposely crude series of musical vignettes and inside jokes for die-hard fans, Frank Zappa informs viewers in the opening scene that "Touring can make you crazy, ladies and gentlemen, and that is what 200 Motels is all about." The rest of the plot-less production is filled with more self-reflexive reminders, as the close-up eye and tape recorder signal that Zappa is watching everything his bandmembers are doing. Reasonably, the Mothers of Invention make up the cast, notably Jimmy Carl Black, who repeatedly remarks how he just wants to quit the band and go play real music, have a beer, and get laid. The character of Jeff, played by Martin Lickert, was written for bassist Jeff Simmons, who actually did quit the band just prior to shooting. Other cast members include real-life groupies appearing in some bizarre nudity sequences, along with the Who's drummer Keith Moon as the Hot Nun who overdoses on drugs. Ringo Starr appears as Larry the Dwarf and lends some humorous narration, but that does not clarify any of the proceedings. The action supposedly takes place in Centerville, which is really a kind of poorly dressed set guarded by soldiers. The scenes are randomly assembled and interspersed with performances, including the songs "Lonesome Cowboy Burt," "Magic Fingers," and "Strictly Genteel." ˜ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi All Movie Guide


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