The Fearless Freaks: The Wondrously Improbable Story of The Flaming Lips.


This aptly subtitled documentary tells the 20-plus-year history of how the Flaming lips went from being a “hillbillies-gone-punk version of the Who” playing very noisy, psychedelic rock in their hometown of Norman, Okla., to scoring an improbable MTV/Top-40 hit with 1993’s “She Don’t Use Jelly,” to becoming the critically lauded kings of alternative music culture. With footage mostly shot from 1991-on by filmmaker friend and band tag-a-long Bradley Beesley (with miscellaneous home video from the band’s early years spliced in), the documentary does its job of laying out the band’s history, but most importantly it stays tightly focused on modest front man Wayne Coyne. It’s Coyne’s dogged work ethic and carpe diem devotion that has made each increasingly outlandish creative idea possible—such as simply calling Warner Brothers and getting a record deal, or creating a pre-recorded rock orchestra and performing it live via 40 boomboxes in the Boombox Experiment. Now grey-haired, but no less active, Coyne spells out his work ethic in a soft Okie drawl, “When there’s things that I wanna say to people, or things that I wanna do, or things I feel need to be expressed, I just go and do it.”