Much of the brilliance showcased in this documentary stems directly from the tortured, deeply flawed geniuses of all three Crumb brothers. Borderline schizophrenics in their childhood, only Robert managed to exorcise his demons entirely thorugh very detailed, bizarre yet masterful drawings of his all-dominating sexual neurosis, that of which his two brothers were hopeless victims. The epilogue is sad and shocking.
Disturbing and honest in a disconcerting way. Usually it's quite easy to find linear narratives and discourses about how to deal with one's own fragilities and face one's own ghosts to construct sanity. Or to look at our own uglyness and realize how beautiful we truly are. Something like that. Here there is just honesty. Embarassing honesty. No moral tale in the end, to make it good. It's what it is. Human.
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.
Because my DVR skipped the first half hour, I can't help but feel I missed out on some essential piece of R. Crumb that may bring all this heartbreak and random perverted mad genius into a greater context for me. At the same time I felt I saw what I needed to see. Having little exposure to him, I feel that Crumb was a great introduction to both the man and his work and I'm dying to see that first half hour.