frank-nov-26thUnconventional Irish filmmaker Abrahamson turns his attention to a story loosely based on the memoir by musician and writer Jon Ronson about Frank Sidebottom (aka Chris Sievely), former front man of Oh Blimey Big Band. Frank (Michael Fassbender) is a papier-mâché headed singer-songwriter whose band of fellow travellers aspire to travel to the South by South West festival in America. Into the mix comes Jon to replace their emotionally exhausted keyboard player. Jon is a deluded dreamer who hopes to find his milieu within Frank’s band, the unpronounceable Soronprfbs. (Cert 15)
Dir: Lenny Abrahamson 95 mins UK/Ireland 2014

Programme Notes

UK/Ireland/USA 2014 95mins Cert 15

This off-beat comedy music drama, directed by Lenny Abrahamson (Garage (2007), What Richard Did (2012), Room (2015)), centres on a young musician, Jon, played by Domhnall Gleeson (About Time (2013), Unbroken (2014), Ex Machina (2015)), who has ambitions to become a successful songwriter. His path collides with the avant-garde, experimental band Soronprfbs, who are in need of a keyboard player. Jon manages to become part of the group and ends up going off to start work on some new material for the band with the eponymous, papier-mâché headed Frank as their front-man, played by Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds (2009); Prometheus (2012)). The film focuses on the Soronprfbs’ latest output (recorded by the cast during filming), as well as tensions between Jon and other members of the band.

Fans of British cult comedy may recognise Frank as Frank Sidebottom, the stage persona of Chris Sievey, whose comedy routine consisted of a unique take on popular music, couched in his distinct Mancunian accent. He passed away in June 2010 and the film is dedicated to his honour.
Acknowledgements: Anon,;

“This terrific sublime experience, and strikingly original film, is mandatory watching for the adventurous viewer” Rodrigo Perez, The Playlist
“You’re in for something funny, touching and vital. Director Lenny Abrahamson knows his way around eccentrics: just see Adam & Paul or Garage or What Richard Did. He makes an ideal guide into a bizarre world where music is made on the margins … ” Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Jon Burroughs – Domhnall Gleeson
Clara – Maggie Gyllenhaal
Frank – Michael Fassbender
Don – Scoot McNairy
Baraque – François Civil
Nana – Carla Azar
Radio DJ – Phil Kingston

Director – Lenny Abrahamson
Producers – David Barron, Ed Guiney, Stevie Lee, Andrew Lowe
Screenplay – Jon Ronson, Peter Straughan
Music – Stephen Rennicks
Cinematography – James Mather



“More credits than actual content”

“…. and sweet”

FRANK (feature)

“What might have been a comic music drama, with elements of novelty, became an emotionally draining experience that tackled strong themes of mental illness among the more light hearted moments.”

“Esoteric. They needed a manager – like Malcolm McLaren (perhaps)?”

“I felt we didn’t really get the real Frank – too much Jon!”

“Possibly the most eccentric film I have ever seen.”

“Frankly – a bit of a swipe at popular music culture. Rather depressing.”

“It will become a cult film in due course but will never beat The Blues Brothers!”

“Not my kind of film but I’m glad I stayed ….”

“Nice locations – not much inspiration!”

“The best bits were the end credits!”


A:3, B:6, C:10, D:5, E:0 to give 57%