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Crumb (Criterion) [Blu-ray]

Robert Crumb , Aline Kominsky , Terry Zwigoff    NR (Not Rated)   Blu-ray
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 42.99
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Product Description

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Robert Crumb is known for his disturbing, yet compelling, underground cartoons: his most famous works made countercultural icons out of Mr. Natural ("Keep on Truckin'...") and Fritz the Cat. Terry Zwigoff delves into the odd world of the cartoonist in his documentary film Crumb, and the picture that emerges is not always pretty--at moments, it's almost repellent--but it's a fascinating glimpse into a very strange mind. Interviewing immediate family--Crumb has one suicidal brother, one semi-psychopathic brother, two sisters who declined to be interviewed, and a tyrannical mother--Crumb begins to look a bit saner. Given his surroundings, it's remarkable that he has survived so well. His hostilities toward women may turn some viewers off, but his wife, Aline, seems to be a grounding point, and she provides a solid counterbalance to the man. No one shies away from discussing incredibly intimate things (namely, sex!), which explains much of R. Crumb's cartoons. This documentary can definitely be considered a masterpiece for the cult crowd, and as for the rest of us, it's sure to make us feel a little better about our own lives! --Jenny Brown

Product Description

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.

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES * New, restored high-definition digital transfer, approved by director Terry Zwigoff, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack * Two audio commentaries, one from 2010 with Zwigoff, and one from 2006, featuring Zwigoff and critic Roger Ebert * Outtakes and deleted scenes * Stills gallery * PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Jonathan Rosenbaum


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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
I really don't know what to make of this film. When you first start watching Crumb, you wonder why anyone would ever want to watch something this odd, but after about twenty minutes you realize that you couldn't stop watching it if you wanted to -- and you don't want to. The world of Robert Crumb, a pioneer in the world of underground comics, is as disturbing as it is fascinating -- and that is exactly what Crumb is, a documentary about the life of this man and his family. It gives you a disarmingly honest look inside the man's mind, and I'm not sure anyone can really describe what we discover. In all honesty, I had never heard of Robert Crumb nor seen any of his work (although Fritz the Cat does ring a bell) before -- that work is eye-opening to say the least, and you get to see a lot of it during the documentary. Much of it is misogynistic and arguably racist, so I'm sure Crumb fans and anti-fans alike will be most interested in this artist's direct insight into his work. Crumb is a compulsive artist who draws almost constantly, and one gets the sense that it is the only thing keeping him from crossing a line into madness.

This is a really strange man, basically a recluse who never seems comfortable with himself or anyone else -- it's quite amazing he would allow a film crew in to follow him around for such a significant amount of time. He's not shy about discussing any part of his life or his work, however, taking us all the way back to his childhood. The man's artistic talents, even as a child, are undoubtedly extraordinary and certainly unique in terms of the exaggerated way he tends to draw things, especially people.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keep on Truckin'... May 23 2004
Format:DVD
"Crumb" is the sad and funny documentary of a damaged man who happened to find a beautiful and reasonably lucrative outlet for his peccadilloes. It's also the brutal portrait of two men - Robert's brothers - who were not so lucky.
"Crumb" offers amazing access to R. Crumb and his family, but the man himself remains an enigma - an entertaining and fascinating enigma, but an enigma nonetheless. Still, Zwigoff's probing camera gets behind the man and his art, his fans and detractors, and delivers a wonderful portrait of the man and a great appreciation of his work - even his most off-putting, misogynistic work.
But it's when Zwigoff talks to Robert's family that we see the true effects of a horrible, and horror-filled, childhood. Both of his brothers are intelligent and considerably talented, but they were unable to find a healthy outlet to escape a tyrannical father (his abuse is only hinted at in the movie), and their stories are deeply affecting - and difficult to watch.
So "Crumb" is either life-affirming or terribly depressing. I vote for the first option, which is why I'm the proud owner of the DVD. You wont find a much better documentary, or a more powerful drama, than "Crumb."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinarily intimate and honest Feb. 9 2004
Format:DVD
Robert Crumb is the influential creator of seminal underground comics icons such as Mr. Natural and Fritz the Cat. It would be difficult to have any awareness of American pop culture without being aware of his images. Terry Zwigoff's powerful documentary chronicles Crumb's life, his work, and his family and friends with an honesty that is frequently shocking. One may revile Crumb's work as pornographic and misogynistic (a charge that he would not dispute) or appreciate it as a fearless, honest revelation of psychic baggage that most of us keep deeply and safely hidden, or a combination of the two, but it quickly becomes clear that such judgments are mostly irrelevant: Crumb creates what he does because he has no choice. At a couple points in the film, he questions whether he should have committed certain images and themes to paper. He is compelled by his own inner demons and neuroses; his art is what has saved him from falling into madness. Interviews with his brothers, Charles and Max, show just how high the stakes were for him; Charles in particular, though highly intelligent, was extremely maladjusted and suicidal and spent much of his life in one room. "Crumb" is an extraordinary document of the power of art as therapy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Strangely compelling Jan. 19 2004
Format:DVD
With his Mr Magoo glasses big enough to reflect a film crew, Goofy-like body and mouth transfixed into a seemingly permanent wry grin, the satirical artist Robert Crumb looks like a bizarre cartoon even in real life. It is the first thing one notices in Terry Zwigoff's intense and weirdly moving documentary portrait Crumb, about the man who signposted the Sixties generation with the likes of Keep on Truckin' and Fritz, the randy cat. The next is Crumb's opening comment that if he doesn't draw, he feels 'cranky and suicidal', yet the same feelings creep into him when he is inspired to put Rotring to paper. If ink seeps through his veins, it is like some bad blood that runs in the family. Zwigoff turns his camera on Crumb's tormented brothers Charles and Max, men who gave up the pen long ago and consequently shut-down. A group photo of them as kids depicts them in their Sunday best with sharp, Fifties crew-cuts and flannel-polished complexions. But behind all the neatness, their's was an 'Ozzie and Harriet hell' made particularly difficult by sadistic father. It's a familiar story of dysfunctional values and the children's subsequent escape into a world of cartoons.
Only the twist is that Robert found that such respite already had a charge to it " he confesses to having been sexually attracted to Bugs Bunny at the age of six.
Zwigoff, who has known Crumb as a friend for more than 25 years and took six years to make the film, elicits the most candid of interviews with his subjects " to the point that they at times feel like a family-therapy session that includes the artist's ex-wives and girlfriends as well as his current spouse, the cartoonist Aline Kominsky. All have a line on his sexual obsessions, both off and on page.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Keep On Truckin'!
Although I haven't received my copy, I have seen this doc before quite a while ago and I'll tell you this; it was on late one night and I should have gone to bed but I just... Read more
Published 12 months ago by DavewhammybarMac
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks to Zwigoff for documenting the Family Crumb
What a fascinating family, so glad they let us glimpse their eccentricities head on, to me it was liberating. Read more
Published on June 22 2004 by bookfan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Documentary
Wow! I knew R. Crumb was off-beat, but I had no idea how much so. And his family is really messed up, much worse off than Robert Crumb. Read more
Published on April 22 2004 by James R. Mckinley
4.0 out of 5 stars not a bad movie if you like dysfunction, greatness
What can you say about the iconclastic artist r. crumb, profane, sexist, racist,pervert, a genuis, this movie explains why in more ways than one his brother is sucidal who had a... Read more
Published on March 27 2004 by E. D. Daniels
5.0 out of 5 stars To the dude from Sedona...
....sounds like you're reviewing the PERSON rather than the FILM.
I share R's love of old time blues and big band music and, like many others, I view R. Read more
Published on Feb. 22 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars On behalf of Charles...
I own this film and I must say that I like Robert Crumb's taste in the blues and I share a lot of his views about the shallowness of American culture. Read more
Published on Feb. 21 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Just not made for these times
I`m not a big comic book fan but I was quite aware of American artist Robert Crumb and his crazy drawings. Read more
Published on Jan. 18 2004 by R. Cousineau
5.0 out of 5 stars so this is american film...
classifying this film is simple: it's really an apple and oranges type thing. for those looking for a universal medium in the film, some kind of generic entertainment or moral... Read more
Published on Dec 28 2003 by A. Granger
5.0 out of 5 stars ---
crumb is important to me because i watch a lot of movies and i think documentarys as a whole are important because they avoid a lot of the escapism that is key with most movies... Read more
Published on Dec 15 2003 by "billbillbillybill"
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