Action / Biography / Comedy / Documentary


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1hr 59 min
P/S 4 / 29

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by mseditrix 10 / 10

Strange and interesting study of a warped genius

What are the odds that an artist can survive family violence, mental illness, sexual rejection, and Big Mac culture? As far as this film can make clear, three members of the Crumb family had strong artistic temperaments and significant talent. Only one, Robert, made it out alive, and his life and work are defined by resistance to what should have been a sad fate.

To many, this documentary may be depressing, offensive to women, or just too damn ugly to sit through, but it made me as happy as anything I've ever seen on screen. Art's ability to reveal truth and promote survival is evident in every frame. I admire R. Crumb's courage to speak unpopular truths, to draw what gets him off, and to ferret out the art he loves at considerable expense and trouble (he's a blues maven; one of my favorite scenes, where's he's sitting on his floor absorbed by aching music, is echoed in Ghost World, when Enid takes home Seymour's record and gets lost in her favorite song). And like Ghost World, ratty, real American culture is railed at hilariously: another favorite scene involves R. on a park bench, disgustedly commenting on the ugliness of everything around him: logo-emblazoned clothes, graceless music, ugly plastic everything.

By the end of it all, I respected and liked him Crumb enormously. I'd take his scary-woman worship over the banal musings of a dime-store philosopher any day. And Terry Zwigoff deserves much praise for being able to pull it off (especially as a first-time filmmaker who had very little idea what he was doing). From high art and family pathos to a lovely animal appreciation of big round female asses, this is far more a "roller-coaster, I laughed/I cried" film than most others so touted.

Reviewed by wbhickok ([email protected]) 10 / 10

SOMEBODY gave me an enema.....

'Crumb' is a fascinating, unsettling, but equally hilarious look at Robert Crumb. Even people who have no artistic talent or interest in the arts would be impressed with this movie. Watching how this man endured a brutal childhood and how he tried to escape it all. His candid remarks are a riot. The interview with Dian Hanson was hilarious, [does anybody have a copy of that issue]. The segments with his brothers were funny but sad at the same time. There were only two items I wish they would have included, I would have liked to seen him talk about his tax problems, and second, I wish he would have played a number with band he is in.

Reviewed by JanneĀ§ 9 / 10

An unusual tribute to the artistic mind

Robert Crumb became an idol among hippies in the 1960's because of the psychedelic comics he drew at the time. In this excellent film, directed by Terry Zwigoff (who also directed the excellent, and also comic book related, "Ghost World" and "American Splendor") Crumb starts out by telling that he hates just about all the work he is most famous for. This is typical, Í think, of Crumb: he is uncompromisingly politically incorrect, completely unafraid to speak his mind openly, and above all disgusted by the idea of selling out for money.

I have been a fan of Crumb ever since I advanced beyond Donald Duck and Marvel Comics about 20 years ago (this is not to say that I don't love Donald or Marvel anymore, because I do). Crumb is probably the most talented comic book artist of the latter half of the 20t Century. Quite simply, I don't think anyone can draw as well as he does. He is not much of a storyteller, but like I pointed out above, that is more than made up by the fact that he is always totally candid about his life, sometimes painfully and embarrassingly so.

"Crumb" is an excellent portrait of an exceptionally talented artist who also happens to be a total pervert. However, as this film makes abundantly clear, Robert Crumb is practically the ideal model of a stable, well-adjusted person when compared to his mother or his brothers Charles and Maxon. We see once again that great suffering makes a great artist.

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