Today: May 27, 2024

Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story

Being Frank tells the bitter-sweet story of Chris Sievey—a musician, artist, comedian, who spent his life dreaming of having just enough fame to ensure he could do things his own way.

Steve Sullivan’s funny and moving BIFA-nominated film is the only official documentary about Sievey and his maverick creation, Frank Sidebottom—remembered as the man with the papier-mâché head, who was the court jester of the Manchester music and comedy scene.

Looking at the life of the ‘man-inside’ the mask, his loves, passions, and eventually his frustrations, Being Frank includes extensive archive material from Chris’s personal collection of notebooks, home-movies, and VHS tapes. Insights from Chris’ family, friends, and colleagues, including Johnny Vegas, Jon Ronson, John Cooper Clarke, Ross Noble and Mark Radcliffe, finally reveal the unknown story of Chris Sievey—a wayward genius who, like so many, never received the recognition he deserved when he was alive. 

Sullivan has spent over seven years digging through Chris’s archive and putting together interviews to create Being Frank. Was it time well spent? That depends on your perspective. If you’re looking for a belly-laugh, then probably not. This is a tale of the arts and there’s tragedy and desperation here in spades. But if you’re in need of a little inspiration, then Sievey’s wonderfully unconventional life may be just the thing.

The Blu Ray disc contains an additional half hour of ultra-rare nonsense not available anywhere else. An official soundtrack album is also available on Iain Lee’s 7A Records, packed with the best of the newly-discovered Chris Sievey and Frank Sidebottom rarities featured the film.

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email:

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