Two new films — the animated “Phantom Boy” and documentary of musician Frank Zappa — open Aug. 12 at the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center.
Set in the shadowy streets and alleys of New York, “Phantom Boy” tells the story of Leo. A boy with a secret, Leo has a mysterious illness that allows him to leave the confines of his body and explore the city as the ghostly apparition, “Phantom Boy.” While in the hospital, he befriends Alex, a New York City cop injured while attempting to capture a nefarious gangster who has taken control of the city’s power supply, throwing the metropolis into chaos. Together, they form an extraordinary duo, using Leo’s phantom powers and Alex’s detective work to foil the plot and save New York from destruction.
“Phantom Boy” continues directors Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli’s fascination with animated film noir, in a heart-thumping adventure that pushes their trademark visual style.
“Phantom Boy” is rated PG for thematic elements, violence and a suggestive situation.
Also opening at the Ross, “Eat That Question: Frank Zappa In His Own Words” offers an illuminating primer for Zappa novices, as well as an entertaining retrospective for diehard fans.
Born in 1940, Frank Zappa, a self-taught composer, musician, bandleader, producer and independent thinker, first transcribed his avant-garde, Varèse-influenced compositions onto paper at 14. He only began to write lyrics in his early 20s. Nevertheless, upon the 1966 release of his debut album, “Freak Out,” he swiftly became the most quotable voice of dissent in popular music.
A subtle, skillful montage constructed from historic footage, “Eat That Question: Frank Zappa In His Own Words” follows Zappa’s story from clean-shaven youth, to fearless chief freak, to his relentlessly productive final days before his death at 52.
“Eat That Question: Frank Zappa In His Own Words” is rated R for language, some sexual references and brief nudity.
Both films show through Aug. 18.
For more information on films at the Ross, including show times, click here or call 402-472-5353.