You ever hear some indie pop tune and you knew in a perfect world it would be a #1 hit, but because of the way major label infrastructure with radio and music video channels worked, you knew it was destined to be a cult hit song that only you, your friends and a whole bunch of other likeminded people across the nation would cherish? That’s kind of akin to “Frank,” a movie, that in a perfect world would be a big hit.
Directed by Lenny Abrahamson (“What Richard Did,” the film that launched Jack Reynor’s career; he’s in the next “Transformers” movie) and starring Michael Fassbender, “Frank” is an utterly hilarious, offbeat British comedy, but it’s also affecting, poignant and dark. The movie centers on an introverted and unnoticed aspiring musician and dreamer (upcoming “Star Wars: Episode VII” star Domhnall Gleeson), who accidentally falls in with an outsider art rock band.
Way out of his depth, he joins a group that includes the singer/brainchild named Frank (Fassbender) who constantly wears a papier-mâché head – the character modeled after damaged leftfield artists Frank Sidebottom (who actually wore such a giant head), Daniel Johnston, Captain Beefheart and Syd Barrett. His kooky and fierce group of band mates includes Maggie Gyllenhaal, Scoot McNairy, Francoise Civil and real-life multi-instrumentalist Carla Azar of Autolux (who has also collaborated with PJ Harvey and Jack White).
In a perfect world, you’ll see and love “Frank,” but who knows, as it’s no juggernaut like “The Avengers” or anything. But we loved it and gave it an A-grade review out of Sundance earlier this year. The soundtrack rules too, with Fassbender and all the actors actually performing all the music live on film (none of this record to tape business). And you can hear the first track from the movie here. “Frank” opens in the U.K. this weekend and hits stateside via Magnolia Pictures on August 22. Here’s the first trailer, the first clip and our SXSW interview with the director for more.
And below, a new clip from the film where Scoot McNairy’s character explains the weird “head-thing” to Gleeson and basically tells him, this band is f*ckin’ weird and if you wanna survive in it “you’re just gonna have to go with it.”