Video Services Corp.,
Directed by Lenny Abrahamson
Starring Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson and Maggie Gyllenhaal
Opens August 15
Toronto – Carlton Cinema, 20 Carlton St.
Vancouver – Rio Theatre, 1660 E. Broadway
Victoria – The Vic, 808 Douglas St.
Opens August 22
Calgary – Plaza Theatre, 1133 Kensington Rd. N.W.
Saskatoon – Broadway Theatre, 715 Broadway Ave.
2014 Sundance Film Festival
2014 SXSW Film Festival
2014 Berlin Film Festival
2014 Calgary Underground Film Festival
2014 Niagara Integrated Film Festival
2014 Fantasia Film Festival
“… weird and wonderful musical comedy…” Variety
“A weird, wonderful movie that dances to a different beat.” The Guardian
“One of the most charming movies I’ve seen in a long time.” – Nerdist
“Totally Rocks” – Indiewire
Frank, a dark comedy about a wannabe musician who joins an eccentric pop band led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank, hits theatres in Canada on Friday, August 15th following a successful film festival run. The film stars Oscar® nominee Michael Fassbender (Twelve Years a Slave, X-Men: Days of Future Past), Domhnall Gleeson (About Time) and Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Dark Night).
Acclaimed Irish director Lenny Abrahamson follows up his award-winning films Adam & Paul, Garage, and What Richard Did with an offbeat comedy about a young musician, Jon (Gleeson), finding himself out of his depth when he joins an avant-garde pop band led by a musical genius who hides behind a large fake head (Fassbender), and Clara (Gyllenhaal), a terrifying band mate.
Written by Jon Ronson (The Men Who Stare At Goats) and Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Men Who Stare At Goats), Frank is based on the memoir by Ronson. It is a fictional story loosely inspired by Frank Sidebottom, the persona of cult musician and comedy legend Chris Sievey, as well as other outsider musicians like Daniel Johnston and Captain Beefheart.
“It’s a hard film to categorize,” says Abrahamson. “It’s very playful in tone and has some sequences of out and out, broad slapstick. But it has subtle, darker, more moving aspects as well. Frank is both a real, complex person and a kind of cartoon character. The head, with its fixed expression becomes a sort of blank canvas on which Jon can project his clichéd ideas of what creativity is all about. Jon himself starts as the butt of the joke but evolves into something much more than that. So tonally the film is pretty rich – funny, tender, broad in parts, quiet and moving in others.”
When speaking to what first drew him to the film, megastar Michael Fassbender cited the writing: “It was the script,” he says. “It was so funny, I was laughing out loud. I didn’t know where it was going to go from scene to scene, it had me intrigued. It was a very original piece with moments of real poignancy within the comedy.”
Perhaps what makes Frank most unique is the integral part that music plays in the film – it’s almost another character. Abrahamson and his collaborators spent a long time deliberating over the kind of music they wanted to create. It was partly to situate the band, whose name ‘The Soronprfbs’ is deliberately unpronounceable, thus making for a wry running gag, within a very particular musical space that is neither too avant-garde nor too mainstream.
All the band’s music we hear in the film was recorded live. It was a bold and risky strategy but essential to preserve the film‘s integrity. “Recording the music live was important so the audience believe they are watching and hearing a real band,” explains Abrahamson.
Frank also stars Scoot McNairy (Argo, Twelve Years A Slave ), American musician Carla Azar (drummer with Jack White’s band and drummer/singer of Autolux) and French actor/musician Francois Civil.
About Video Services Corp.
Founded in 1993 by former rock critic Jonathan Gross, Video Services Corp. (VSC) is a leading independent all-platform film distributor with offices in Toronto and Los Angeles. VSC’s DVD catalogue includes “Corner Gas,” Sharknado, “Comedy Now! Starring Russell Peters” and “Spectacle: Elvis Costello With….” Recent theatrical releases include Union Square, with Oscar® winner Mira Sorvino, Alan Partridge, starring Steve Coogan, and the Israeli horror sensation Big Bad Wolves. VSC has an eclectic 2014 slate that features Cannes Selection Life Itself and the horror film Honeymoon. For more information visit www.videoservicescorp.