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Thread: Frank Zappa: 200 Motels

  1. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by JIF View Post
    Does anyone like this movie?
    Not a fan of movie, but I quite like the music. One of Zappa's best releases, JMHO.

  2. #27
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    The film was so insane that I feel asleep watching it.

  3. #28
    Chronic Overspender zombywoof's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    It was released by Ryko, but that was under a limited licensing agreement with MGM, who own the rights. The Ryko CD didn't stay in print for long.
    I bought it after it was long out of print for about $30 new on Amazon marketplace. The record, on the other hand, is somewhat more common. As for the reissues, Gail is planning to release it, so hopefully we'll get a better remaster soon.

  4. #29
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zombywoof View Post
    hopefully we'll get a better remaster soon.
    I don't think there's a whole lot that remastering could do to improve the sound. It's just a fuzzy-sounding recording and always has been.

  5. #30
    Chronic Overspender zombywoof's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    I don't think there's a whole lot that remastering could do to improve the sound. It's just a fuzzy-sounding recording and always has been.
    Supposedly even FZ was unhappy with the vinyl sound, if I remember correctly.

  6. #31
    Matt! polmico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregory View Post
    Not a fan of movie, but I quite like the music. One of Zappa's best releases, JMHO.
    Yep. I love the music. Great vocal harmony sing alongs and out there orchestration.
    I want to dynamite your mind with love tonight.

  7. #32
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    The music is very good IMO (and I'm not at all a fan of the Flo and Eddie stuff in general). But the movie is tedious shit.

    Does it matter that this waste of time is what makes a life for you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Troopers For Sound View Post
    I love it. I mean, it's a total failure in many ways...but there's just something about the look and feel of it (and the music!!!) that i adore seeing despite its flaws. Uncel Meat was always a much tougher watch for me.

    Matt.
    No kidding. I watched Uncle Meat about a month ago and I thought I was torturing myself,it wouldn't stop. If I never hear this line again it won't be too soon: "I'm using the chicken to measure it" OMG! Why did I sit through this? 200 Motels is great. Just don't try watching it while hammered on Schlitz Malt Liquor. LOL.

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    It actually works better as an album than a movie. The effects used during the orchestra scenes are so annoying.....you thought the ELP film was bad?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rand Kelly View Post
    It actually works better as an album than a movie. The effects used during the orchestra scenes are so annoying.....you thought the ELP film was bad?
    What ELP film?

  11. #36
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    ^Pictures..., presumably.

    The album itself I've come to appreciate as easily the best of this Flo and Eddie period...though the likes of 'Penis Dimension' I could certainly do without.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    ^Pictures..., presumably.

    The album itself I've come to appreciate as easily the best of this Flo and Eddie period...though the likes of 'Penis Dimension' I could certainly do without.
    I was talking to Rand.

  13. #38

    Motels and Pictures were both shot on video and transferred to film and were the product of music groups, but that's where the similarity ends.

    More importantly, Motels visual effects were part of Zappa's artistic vision. Pictures FX were added by the director and bore no relation to the music or to the performance. In other words, a gratuitous mess.

  14. #39
    Actually, I kinda like the video effects on Pictures At An Exhibition. In the first place, I like psychedelic light shows, and in the second place, if I remember correctly, they were only used during bits where the three of them are more or less doing nothing visual onstage. You or I might think watching a guy playing an organ solo is really exciting, but a lot of people might view is at a bit boring. It's the same deal as the bits in Genesis In Concert where they used found footage and a few bits of presumably freshly filmed conceptual material. Somebody obviously thought watching Tony Banks playing extended keyboard solos was a bit boring. (shrug)

    To me, I'd rather have things like that than what you typically get with today's concert videos, where you get a headache from watching the shot change literally every 5 seconds, or less. I'd love to hear an explanation about why they need to do that.

    And while we're at it, I'd like to know why you don't see the kind of cinematography that one sees in a film like The Grateful Dead Movie, in concert videos now. Actually, I know the answer to that one, it's because instead of having actual cameramen on the stage (or in front of the stage, or behind the backline) filming the thing, you've got a combination of security cameras, and at best, cameramen with long range zoom lens (the kind the paparazzi use) in the back of the hall, resulting in very mundane camera angles.

    Personally, I think it's 200 Motels that is the "gratuitous mess". Weird special effects aside, there's just lot of boring futzing around with attempts at comedy and so forth that I don't really feel go anywhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Actually, I kinda like the video effects on Pictures At An Exhibition. In the first place, I like psychedelic light shows, and in the second place, if I remember correctly, they were only used during bits where the three of them are more or less doing nothing visual onstage. You or I might think watching a guy playing an organ solo is really exciting, but a lot of people might view is at a bit boring. It's the same deal as the bits in Genesis In Concert where they used found footage and a few bits of presumably freshly filmed conceptual material. Somebody obviously thought watching Tony Banks playing extended keyboard solos was a bit boring. (shrug)

    To me, I'd rather have things like that than what you typically get with today's concert videos, where you get a headache from watching the shot change literally every 5 seconds, or less. I'd love to hear an explanation about why they need to do that.

    And while we're at it, I'd like to know why you don't see the kind of cinematography that one sees in a film like The Grateful Dead Movie, in concert videos now. Actually, I know the answer to that one, it's because instead of having actual cameramen on the stage (or in front of the stage, or behind the backline) filming the thing, you've got a combination of security cameras, and at best, cameramen with long range zoom lens (the kind the paparazzi use) in the back of the hall, resulting in very mundane camera angles.

    Personally, I think it's 200 Motels that is the "gratuitous mess". Weird special effects aside, there's just lot of boring futzing around with attempts at comedy and so forth that I don't really feel go anywhere.
    Speaking of Genesis In Concert, it bugs me that that ocean footage is shown over the Mellotron ending of Entangled. I wanted to see more 'Tron.

  16. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by JIF View Post
    Speaking of Genesis In Concert, it bugs me that that ocean footage is shown over the Mellotron ending of Entangled. I wanted to see more 'Tron.
    You wouldn't have seen much 'Tron. I saw one of The Musical Box shows where they did the Trick tour, and as I recall, when they got to the coda section of Entangled, they showed a film, with the rest of the stage being pretty much shrouded in darkness. Hence, there would have not been a chance to film Tony Banks playing that particular keyboard break, at least not without disturbing the visuals the band had prepare for the performance.

    I suppose they could have filmed Tony on a soundstage later (as Zep apparently did with some bits in The Song Remains The Same, and what Pink Floyd definitely did on Live At Pompeii) and inserted later. They could have done the same thing for the As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs guitar solo, or the Squonk reprise during Los Endos (both being further examples where they blacked out the stage, so that the audience would be able to see the laser properly). But I have to admit, I actually like most of the visuals that were used in that film. I thought they added a great sense of atmosphere during the segments where they were used. The one exception I would say would be The Cinema Show, where I have to admit the director got a bit carried away with the silent movie footage, which I don't think really adds much to the performance (apart from the pun on showing a "cinema show" during a song called The Cinema Show).

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    You wouldn't have seen much 'Tron. I saw one of The Musical Box shows where they did the Trick tour, and as I recall, when they got to the coda section of Entangled, they showed a film, with the rest of the stage being pretty much shrouded in darkness. Hence, there would have not been a chance to film Tony Banks playing that particular keyboard break, at least not without disturbing the visuals the band had prepare for the performance.

    I suppose they could have filmed Tony on a soundstage later (as Zep apparently did with some bits in The Song Remains The Same, and what Pink Floyd definitely did on Live At Pompeii) and inserted later. They could have done the same thing for the As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs guitar solo, or the Squonk reprise during Los Endos (both being further examples where they blacked out the stage, so that the audience would be able to see the laser properly). But I have to admit, I actually like most of the visuals that were used in that film. I thought they added a great sense of atmosphere during the segments where they were used. The one exception I would say would be The Cinema Show, where I have to admit the director got a bit carried away with the silent movie footage, which I don't think really adds much to the performance (apart from the pun on showing a "cinema show" during a song called The Cinema Show).
    Isn't there suppose to be a version of Genesis In Concert coming without that annoying footage?

  18. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by JIF View Post
    Isn't there suppose to be a version of Genesis In Concert coming without that annoying footage?
    Is there? I haven't heard anything about it. I'd like to have a version of the full concert (or at least as much of it was filmed), but I kinda had the impression Tony Maylam, the director, wasn't interested in doing anything with it. I read somewhere that he referred to it as "ok, but very much of it's time". I kinda had the impression he's the one who owns the rights to the footage.

    I honestly don't think there's much you can do for Entangled, As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs, and Los Endos, in terms of restoring footage of the band playing. The technology didn't really exist in 1976 to film someone performing in the cover of darkness. It might be possible that Maylam watched the band perform (I believe I read that he actually attended an earlier show on the tour, so he could get a fix on wanted he would have to do, which songs should be included in the film, etc), and said "There's no way we'll get anything useable during those bits" and may have even ordered his film crew to not even bother filming during those bits.

    On the other hand, if he did attempt to film, let's say, the Entangled coda, it's possible that technology exists now where you could come up with something useable image. But I'm completely positive on that. Everything has it's limits, ya know.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Is there? I haven't heard anything about it. I'd like to have a version of the full concert (or at least as much of it was filmed), but I kinda had the impression Tony Maylam, the director, wasn't interested in doing anything with it. I read somewhere that he referred to it as "ok, but very much of it's time". I kinda had the impression he's the one who owns the rights to the footage.

    I honestly don't think there's much you can do for Entangled, As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs, and Los Endos, in terms of restoring footage of the band playing. The technology didn't really exist in 1976 to film someone performing in the cover of darkness. It might be possible that Maylam watched the band perform (I believe I read that he actually attended an earlier show on the tour, so he could get a fix on wanted he would have to do, which songs should be included in the film, etc), and said "There's no way we'll get anything useable during those bits" and may have even ordered his film crew to not even bother filming during those bits.

    On the other hand, if he did attempt to film, let's say, the Entangled coda, it's possible that technology exists now where you could come up with something useable image. But I'm completely positive on that. Everything has it's limits, ya know.
    Oh. I was under the impression that the entire concert was filmed, then the stock footage inserted into it.

  20. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by JIF View Post
    Oh. I was under the impression that the entire concert was filmed, then the stock footage inserted into it.
    Well, Tony Maylam claims to have the full set in some form or another. Exactly what that means is anybody's guess. My understanding is, back in the day, you couldn't film a 2 and a half hour concert non stop. There'd be some point where the cameramen would have to stop and reload the cameras somewhere in the middle of the show. As I understand it, it was like up at least up to the mid 80's. One of the things discussed with bands when filming concert videos/films back in the day was "Which song do you want us to change reels in".

    This is the reason why so much of the Muddy Waters song that was used in The Last Waltz is taken from just one camera (or was it the entire song that is just the one camera), because the cameraman reportedly ignored Scorscese's order to stop filming at that point in the show. The rest of the crew obeyed the order except this one guy, and it turned out this was one of THE songs that HAD to be in the film.

    With a band like Genesis, circa 1976, it's even more problematic because of the durations of some of the songs. Firth Of Fifth is something like 8 minutes long, The Cinema Show around 12 minutes, Supper's Ready a whopping 24 minutes, etc.

    In the case of Genesis In Concert, Maylam is said to have filmed two shows. So it's possible one night, he may have ordered the crew to not film, let's say Firth Of Fifth, then the next night, he had them change reels during Entangled, let's say. It's also likely that certain camera caught certain segments of the show that not everyone else got. If the cameramen were to resume filming as soon as they were done changing reels, or if they chose to wait until the reel they were on ran out, it's likely that one or two cameras captured portions of certain songs that other cameras didn't.

    But I still think it's possible that Maylam knew that any footage he got of the band performing with the stage blacked out would have been unusable and therefore may have opted to not bother wasting the film stock. I'm not saying that's definitely what happened, I'm just saying that's one possibility.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by JIF View Post
    I was talking to Rand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    PAAE aka Rock N' Roll Your Eyes which is what JJ88's emoticon seems to be doing. Those FX are annoying and one of the reasons I haven't bought that dvd. Also,I still don't understand why all 3 versions of this dvd omit Take A Pebble,Knife Edge and The Barbarian. I have this rare vhs boot I bought in 1990 at Valley Forge,Pa that has those songs. I think it came from a Laserdisc. The Barbarian is awesome. The transfer to tape and the fact that it's 23 years old makes it a little visually impaired.

  23. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by JIF View Post
    Did you get the DVD, or have it streamed? I got the streaming option, as previously stated, and it's available to stream.
    I guess I didn't read your whole comment... yes I watched it streamed.

  24. #49
    Get your 200 Motels fix :
    FM broadcast tonight : https://www.francemusique.fr/emissio...rasbourg-64923
    Live videocast this sunday : https://live.philharmoniedeparis.fr/...327.1536835198

    How 'bout a shark parfait for dessert ?
    https://live.philharmoniedeparis.fr/...rn-varese.html

    You're excited.

  25. #50
    The very fact that the 1976 film is only 40 minutes long (iirc) may be taken to indicate that there wasn't much more that was deemed to be usable. I hope I'm wrong, but isn't this a weird format ?

    I hadn't really rationalised the reason why non-concert footage was inserted, outside of the "people will find it boring when there's no singing" argument. I hadn't considered lighting issues. Still, I don't imagine the "Cinema Show" instrumental extravaganza occurred in pitch darkness ?
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