Cinema: Reservations Required

Anyone who enjoys being the target of a put-on will revel in Frank Zappa's 200 Motels. It's an act of undisguised aggression against the audience—rather like a mugging in a movie theater. Zappa makes movies the way he and his group, the Mothers of Invention, make music—wildly, brazenly, eclectically.

"Touring can make you go crazy, ladies and gentlemen," a voice proclaims early in the movie. "That is what 200 Motels is all about." It would be foolhardy to take Zappa at his word, of course. The film might just as easily be about hydrangea...

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