An exploration into the extraordinary secret life of artist Chris Sievey, best known as his alter ego Frank Sidebottom, the maverick Manchester comedian in an oversized papier-mâché head.
Back in 2014, Lenny Abrahamson memorably fictionalized the identity of the artist behind Sidebottom in the delightfully leftfield comedy-drama, Frank. While Abrahamson’s film spun flights of fancy and absurdism into the whole mythology, in Steve Sullivan’s inventive documentary Being Frank, there’s a real case to be made for the veracity of the adage that truth is stranger than fiction. Sievey’s dreams of pop-music stardom were belatedly achieved incognito once the anarchic creation that was Frank Sidebottom sprung forth from his imagination. Combining Sievey’s own self-documenting cassettes and videotapes and interviews with former bandmates Mark Radcliffe and Jon Ronson (Frank’s co-writer), Sullivan constructs an engaging portrait of a mercurial, sometimes tortured artist with a rollercoaster private life.