Friday, March 22, 2019

Being Frank Movie Review

Many moons ago I used to review movies. I loved doing it too, and went to some awesome screenings and press conferences - heck I was in the same room as the entire cast of the Avengers! Yes, I was twenty feet away from Scarlett Johansson and Tom Hiddleston without passing out. Getting to these screenings was pricey and soon fell outside of my budget, and the big Marvel movies didn't really need press conferences and screenings to get people interested - people were going to see them no matter what! - so my movie reviewing seemed to have been left by the wayside.

However, I still get invites and review offers for some of the coolest indie movies around, and last month I was offered the chance to check out the new documentary Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story

I couldn't make it to the screening, but my very good friend Maz Webster went in my place and really enjoyed it. Anyway, enough of me waffling on, here's Maz with her review of Being Frank.

This is a portrait of the man underneath the over-sized papier-mâché head of Frank Sidebottom, Chris Sievey. A good looking, hugely creative man. One that saw himself as a pop star, and could have achieved such status but didn’t fit into the Manchester music scene of the time. With his band, The Freshies, he released a few pure pop Manchester singles but they never quite broke out. Frank Sidebottom first appeared at a Freshies gig as a fan. This appears to be the start of a split personality which intimately consumed its creator.

Being Frank is an affectionate film including interviews with some of the privileged few who knew  Chris Sievey and including well known fans such as John Cooper Clarke and Johnny Vegas. This comical and moving story is told through extensive images, music and tapes made by Sievey himself. 

Starting with him as a young man, this is a portrait of a family man who had a fun and unique approach to fatherhood. Often making videos with his children, this is a man who lived and breathed art in all forms. Apparently never disheartened when a project failed to take off, he would just move on to the next idea. Frank Sidebottom was just meant to be a fun character but became a legendary Manchester personality putting the suburb of Timperley on the map. Sidebottom was often on television, released records, produced a comic and made many live appearances particularly through the ‘Madchester’ time of the late 1980’s. 

Frank Sidebottom allowed Chris Sievey to express his art and claim the fame he sought after. The alter ego however, started to overtake his true personality and a double life was truly formed. 

This is a thoroughly enjoyable film and is totally fascinating and inspiring. The world has lost a fantastic artist and human being. It’s time to bring Sievey and Sidebottom into your life. It really is.

Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story is released in cinemas in the UK on 29th March 2019 by Altitude. For further information, check out the official website for the movie at and check out the trailer below.

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