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Détails sur le produit
Interview de Terry Zwigoff et Robert Crumb
Descriptions du produit
Description du produit
Crumb, 1 DVD, 119 minutes
Documentaire unique et sulfureux, produit par David Lynch, sur l'artiste underground Robert Crumb. Le film décortique les influences culturelles et les déchirures familiales qui ont inspiré cet artiste hors norme...
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I'm not. He's fascinating.
Director Terry Zwigoff gets a lot of mileage out of Crumb's reactions to situations. Whether it's the confused and perplexed look he gets from watching the parade of shallow consumers he sees on the streets, or his half-sincere/half-uncomfortable bursts of laughter following bizarre tales from his youth, Crumb's expressive face says more than his mouth ever could. This, combined with his wonderfully laid-back voice (at once sarcastic and self-deprecating and tinged with regret) makes me wonder why it's taken so long for this man to get some camera time. Self-imposed exile, I suppose. He's definitely a star.
The opening sequence over the credits is the lone contrived moment in an otherwise truthful film. It begins by showing a series of porcelain sculptures modeled on Crumb's most recognizable characters, followed by a shadowy shot of Robert, sitting in a near-fetal position, listening to one of his many old time blues records. It is the only moment in the film that feels fake, and threatens to ruin the film's credibility right from the starting gate. Thankfully, director Zwigoff has a perfect game the rest of the way.
And there is only one moment that puts objectivity aside and allows for a bit of commentary on the part of the filmmakers. It concerns an interview with Deirdre English, a former editor of the magazine 'Mother Jones'. She gives her opinion (along with shown examples) of Crumb's supposed racism. Zwigoff precedes this with footage of Crumb complaining that the only people who found these comics offensive were white liberals, e.g. Ms. English herself. Otherwise, Zwigoff uses an even hand in his portrayals.
Other than the legacy Crumb will leave with his innovative work, the film focuses heavily on his family life (or lives).
What the heck was in the water at the Crumb house? Besides Robert and his well-known proclivities, his lesser known siblings have serious problems of their own. Older brother Charles, still living at home with his overbearing mother at the time the film was shot, admits to a severe reliance on tranquilizers, and baths biannually. Younger brother Maxon (whose role in the Crumb boys' childhood comics company was "supply boy"), lives alone in a dive hotel and spends his days cleansing his colon with a long strip of cloth while sitting on a bed of nails (two sisters declined to be interviewed). Upon seeing the devastating dysfunction of the apples that fell from the Crumb family tree, one begins to wonder not how odd Robert turned out, but rather how normal. It's the film's most startling revelation.
Some of the most touching moments are those of Crumb with his own kids. Young daughter Sophie, the only woman Crumb's ever loved, receives her fathers gentle affection willingly. Son Jesse sports the costume of the hippies that Crumb so despised (long hair and dirty beard), but his artistic talent more than makes up for this transgression in his father's eyes. One moment has the two men competing in a contest to best reproduce a photo of an ugly insane woman. Contrast the unsettling subject matter of the photo, with Robert's sincere artistic advice to his son on how to draw out its interesting elements, and you get a wonderful scene of iconoclastic domesticity.
"Crumb", the film, like Crumb, the artist, manages to combine humour and tragic sadness in a cohesive whole. It is at once repellent and mesmerizing, encompassing nearly every aspect of humanity. From the perverse to the pleasant, it all seems somewhat, well, Natural. A truly astonishing feat from a truly astonishing documentary film.
In terms of being a documentary for those curious about Crumb and his work, it doesn't shortchange you in any way that I can see. We get to spend plenty of time with Crumb himself, of course; we also get to spend a good amount of time hearing from his wife, and ex-wife, his mother and two brothers, his friends and an associate or two, and, as I mentioned, several critics, each with their own take on Crumb's work. We also get to *see* a lot of Crumb's work by way of numerous well-edited, well-placed montages, as well as artwork by his brothers, who are themselves exceptionally talented. We learn a great deal about Crumb's youth, attitude, hang-ups, perversions, artistic status, and anxieties.
This alone would be great, but what pushes the film even further up the ladder is the clever but straightforward, unembellished way the movie forces us to take the information we receive--all the aforementioned perversions, anxieties, etc.--and *relate* it back to the society from whence it came. This theme, this connection, is not belabored, but it is tangibly there, and it is very true that while Crumb and his family are the subjects of the film, they are also serving as complex vehicles for much broader, more universal themes and questions. But all of this is done without a trace of pretention.
As if this wasn't enough, the soundtrack is absolutely A++, culled from Crumb's own collection of old records. It is well-chosen and well-used, enhancing the atmosphere and drily emotive moments of the film, but w/o being the slightest bit intrusive.
I liked this film the first time I saw it a couple years back, but seeing it again recently just really floored me. Truly a fantastic and greatly underappreciated movie. The Academy's failure to offer it any recognition says a great deal about their thematic agenda. But who cares about the Academy anyhow? I highly recommend Crumb. Even if you know nothing about him, and your interest suffers for that--I guarantee you'll still find this worth your while. Powerful without trying, touching without being sentimental or manipulative, disturbing without celebrating the fact, and profound without being pretentious. Genuinely superb.
This was a low-budget film that was never shot in widescreen, so, if a DVD of this movie was released in widescreen, THAT would be the "ripoff," since they'd have to crop part of the film to make it widescreen. True, when you play this DVD, a screen comes up saying that the film "has been modified to fit your screen," or something like that, but I suspect what that's referring to is the fact that the original aspect ratio was 1.37:1 (according to the IMDb site), the standard non-widescreen ratio for film, which means it was trimmed VERY slightly to fit the 1.33:1 aspect ratio of a standard TV screen. This is standard practice, and, since the difference is so slight, almost nothing is lost.
I just waned to reassure people who might be put off by the fact that this DVD is not widescreen that the ORIGINAL wasn't widescreen, either, so this is NOT a ripoff...