Terry Zwigoff’s landmark 1995 film is an intimate documentary portrait of underground artist Robert Crumb, whose unique drawing style and sexually and racially provocative subject matter have made him a household name in popular American art. Zwigoff candidly and colorfully delves into the details of Crumb’s incredible career, as well as his past, including his family of reclusive eccentrics, some of the most remarkable people you’ll ever see on-screen. At once a profound biographical portrait, a riotous examination of a man’s controversial art, and a devastating look at a troubled family, Crumb is a genuine American original. —The Criterion Collection
Singular filmmaker Terry Zwigoff showed his talent for giving both real life and fictional outsiders their cinematic due in his as yet small but distinguished oeuvre.
A San Francisco resident, Zwigoff held numerous jobs, including musician, shipping clerk, printer, and welfare office worker, before he made his first foray into film in the 1980s with his documentary short Louie Bluie (1985). A portrait of an obscure blues artist, Louie Bluie revealed Zwigoff to be an able documentarian and presaged his personal passion for blues and jazz music that would give his feature Ghost World (2001) its extraordinary soundtrack. Zwigoff subsequently co-wrote two screenplays with his long time friend, underground cartoonist Robert Crumb, in the late ’80s but neither got made.
Instead, Zwigoff made Crumb himself the subject of his first feature-length documentary. A Sundance Film Festival sensation and art house hit, Crumb (1994) proved to be a devastating examination of a family utterly… read more
R. Crumb is to comic books what C. Bukowski is to literature. That being said, this doc is complete: examining, vivid, provocative, breathtaking. Truly essential to understand the mind of one of the most brilliant and influential American artists. In a certain way, essential to understand America itself. Best doc I've ever seen to date.
I’m calling this a great movie for so many reasons even though it was released 16 years ago. This and “Hoop Dreams” are two of the most true and realistic documentaries I’ve ever seen. I say true because… read review
A portrait of the artist as an insane man.
This documentary explores the tortured psyche of underground cartoonist Robert Crumb, whose family history is gradually revealed to… read review