Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story. John Cooper Clarke. Copyright: Rondo.

Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story

2019 British comedy film about the man behind character Frank Sidebottom. Stars Dave Arnold, Paul Dolman, John Cooper Clarke, Johnny Vegas, Mark Radcliffe and others.


2014's Frank fictionalised the identity of an artist performing under an outsized papier-mâché head with distinctive Pacman-shaped eyes. The truth is arguably even stranger.

Featuring: Chris Sievey, Dave Arnold, Johnny Vegas, Emma Bunton, David Soul, Dan Parrott.

Manchester native Chris Sievey dreamed of pop-music stardom but belated recognition only came incognito, through his loveably anarchic creation. Working from Sievey's own exhaustive self-documentation (old cassettes, degraded video) and deftly incorporating interviews with loved ones and admirers (including former band members DJ Mark Radcliffe and Frank's co-screenwriter Jon Ronson), director Steve Sullivan assembles a compelling portrait of a mercurial, often tortured artist with a chequered private life. Though the Sidebottom head is revealed as both a vehicle for success and eventual aesthetic straightjacket, the film fittingly evokes Sievey's painstaking, handcrafted art at its frank, freewheeling best.

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