The Confessions of Robert Crumb (1987) [ReUP 2017]

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The Confessions of Robert Crumb (1987) [ReUP 2017]

The Confessions of Robert Crumb (1987)
DVD5 | VIDEO_TS | NTSC 4:3 | 00:54:56 | 2,69 Gb
Audio: English AC3 2.0 @ 192 Kbps | Subtitles: None
Genre: Documentary

Writer: Robert Crumb
Stars: Robert Armstrong, Aline Kominsky Crumb, Robert Crumb

Recently immortalized in a feature film from Terry Zwigoff, this documentary – the only officially sanctioned film about his life – reveals the life of underground comic pioneer Robert Crumb. Crumb used comic books as a confessional for the perverse fantasies and visions that formed in reaction to a hostile world. As a child, Crumb avidly read and began to create comic books with his brothers-and ever since-his style has continued to evolve. He emerged among the hippies at Haight and Ashbury streets in San Francisco, and Crumb continues as an iconoclast who's loved, hated, feared and misunderstood by an ever growing number of readers. The Confessions of Robert Crumb tells the story of the incredible artistry that shocks and satirizes every strata and dark hole of society.


The Confessions of Robert Crumb (1987) [ReUP 2017]

For those that don't know, Robert Crumb is a famous/infamous underground comic artist, whose surreal and risqué visions lead to a huge popularity in the late sixties counterculture. It was a popularity he would actually push away by revealing even darker personal content into his comics including his obsessions with women and disgust with both the counterculture and modern America. Subsequently, he would have an artistic breakdown, have a bad time dealing with Hollywood, and eventually, settle down into family life, while becoming a cemented cult figure and American artist. You could call him an acidic version of Norman Rockwell.

The Confessions of Robert Crumb (1987) [ReUP 2017]

At first, when reviewing BBC documentary The Confessions of Robert Crumb, I thought I wouldn't even mention Terry Zwigoff's great 1994 documentary Crumb, but early on in my viewing I found it would be impossible. Aside from the two basically have the same subject and grainy 16mm look, they both take different approaches to Robert Crumbs life- The Confessions of Robert Crumb in a scaled down tv doc (but British tv so its a little riskier/in depth), and Crumb in a longer form, focusing on his family background. They both share some information, of course, including stuff like R Crumb basically recounting the same name dropping anecdote of how Janis Joplin told him to grow some long hair, get some beads, and a good shirt so he could tale advantage of the free love movement better. So, they are actually great companion pieces to each other, one being a good long form doc and the other being a Cliff Notes version of the man.

The Confessions of Robert Crumb (1987) [ReUP 2017]

What is most interesting is that, in Zwigoff's film Crumb was a somewhat unwilling participant in the documentary process, but for the BBC, just a few years earlier, Crumb is actually a player, constructing scenes in addition to the doc interviews reflecting about his life. Considering his cautious, guarded nature with Zwigoff, it is amazing to look at Crumb as a willing participant, gamely acting in scenes, including Crumb in a doctors lab coat with a model of his ideal woman, pointing out the features he likes, staring at his wife's aerobics class like a Peeping Tom, Crumb trying to be a modern painter with an easel and beret on the side of a highway, and in the bathtub with his wife while she shaves her legs.

The Confessions of Robert Crumb (1987) [ReUP 2017]

So, as long as Crumb is in control, he doesn't mind the camera on him. This does present a problem, because Zwigoff had to dig and pull Crumb kicking and screaming to get the man to reveal, whereas in The Confessions of Robert Crumb, Crumb is in control, so he's only going of let you know what he wants. Ultimately, this makes Zwigoff's film more revelatory because the subject isn't puppeteering the film. Still, Confessions gives great glimpses at his life, touching on things Zwigoff's doc didn't, like Crumb's 1973 breakdown and the brief time when the reclusive Crumb actually went to comic conventions in the mid-late 80's. So, for Crumb fans, its probably a must to own this doc, but it doesn't quite have the same universal dysfunctional appeal that Zwigoff's doc had.

The Confessions of Robert Crumb (1987) [ReUP 2017]

Although similar in some ways to Terry Zwigoff's harrowing documentary CRUMB, this BBC documentary about the famous American underground cartoonist is a lot easier to take, finding Crumb in a reflective, self-deprecating mood as he potters around his farmhouse discussing his obsessions, his likes and dislikes, his life and his art. A thoroughly fascinating look at a unique personality, from the days when the BBC cared to make great documentaries.
IMDB Reviewer

The Confessions of Robert Crumb (1987) [ReUP 2017]

For those who know much about underground cartoon giant R. Crumb, the "confessions" advertised in this tape's title will be, actually, old news. However, for the many who were completely or only dimly aware of R. Crumb before they may have viewed Terry Zwigoff's great film CRUMB, these CONFESSIONS will provide for a fuller picture of Crumb the family man and sympathetic human being. While Zwigoff's film focused on Crumb as product of a particular (and dysfunctional) family, this one-hour program, written by Crumb himself, is more concerned with Crumb the individual and artist. We also see more of Crumb's wife Aline, a unique and eccentric personality and cartoonist in her own right, and we see the comfortable and cooperative relationship she and her husband share. The film is quite entertaining, with little acted-out scenarios interspersed with the more straightforward interview segments. While both this film and CRUMB are outstanding and gripping as individual viewing experiences, one is advised to see both of them to gain a more three-dimensional view of the enigmatic R.Crumb. Highest recommendation!
Cusromer Review, amazon.com

The Confessions of Robert Crumb (1987) [ReUP 2017]

Special Features: None

Many Thanks to Original uploader.