The world's smallest cinema to Hollywood

Visiting Frank with the world’s smallest cinema

I Vitelloni: cinema piccolo went to Arizona to pay Frank, from ‘Life’s too short not to be Frank’, a visit

After the Oscars we returned to Amsterdam, just in time for the Go Short International Film Festival and the Geheime Liefde festival. We have saved you some stories about our American adventure, but now feels like a good moment to tell a special one.

One of the first shorts we screened is Life’s too short not to be Frank, a documentary about a Vietnam War veteran now living in Arizona. Filmmaker Tom Huntingford stayed with Frank for several months and caught their best moments on camera.

In Hollywood we received the news that Frank had never seen his own documentary. Without hesitating we contacted Frank and told him that we were bringing the world’s smallest cinema to Arizona to show him the documentary. Being the first short film screened in our cinema this adventure obviously meant a great deal to us, as well as to Tom!

Frank deserves a short introduction. When he was seventeen years old he was sent to Vietnam. After his active service he secured a job working on oilrigs for Shell. At the time that Tom was staying with Frank he had over a hundred guns to protect himself, against any intruders unfortunate enough to walk through his door. Twice he had a price on his head (perhaps his fears were justified?). He used to live in California, but when he was not allowed to carry concealed guns around anymore and to drive his Harley Davidson without a helmet, he had had it and moved to Arizona. He has been divorced three times, but he has three pit bulls to keep him company.

Cinema Piccolo drove to Arizona and hit it off with Frank from the start. We ended up staying for a while. Seeing his own story moved Frank. Also, we managed to have a Skype session with Tom Huntingford, who was filming a feature length film in Kenya at that moment. We were also fortunate to go shooting with Frank as Tom has also done so in his documentary. It was quite an experience shooting automatic rifles, a .50 rifle, pistols and his gun named ‘The Judge’, particularly coming from Amsterdam where guns are still illegal.

Truth must be told. This, together with our appearance during the Oscars weekend, has been the most special and meaningful part of our trip to Hollywood. To us, all of it started with screening Life’s To Short Not To Be Frank and to be able to screen the film to Frank was just amazing.

We have decided that Frank will visit England and Amsterdam as soon as he can. Hopefully, we can arrange a screening with Tom Huntingford and Frank as guests of honour.

Frank and Maarten with the cinema

Frank and Maarten with the cinema

Eating breakfast and listening to Frank's view on life and politics

Eating breakfast and listening to Frank’s view on life and politics

Driving out of town to shoot

Driving out of town to shoot

Going shooting with Frank

Going shooting with Frank

Some of Frank's guns

Some of Frank’s guns

Frank pretending to be Dirty Harry.

Frank pretending to be Dirty Harry.

The Judge

The Judge


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