Friday, January 1, 2016
It took me forever to finally see this documentary (and some prodding from a friend). I have never been big fan of Robert Crumb's work but I had read Fritz the Cat and some of his comics and seen the Ralph Bakshi film over the years.
Te documentary is very good overall. It's more an intimate portrait of Crumb's family than an overview of his art, although there is plenty of depth to his art history in here as well.
Crumb's work is VERY personal. It's also not a little misogynist, racist and violent. How much is sort of an open question. Personally he is a somewhat charming guy with a family so screwed up he is by far the most normal member of it (that we know of - his sisters refused to be interviewed for the film so we know nothing of them). His art outside comics is extremely good. His portraitures in pen and ink are amazing to look at. The film does not shy away from people who find his work repulsive or even dangerous but it does not pass judgement on it and leaves that to you. Me, I found I could look at in many ways. H e could easily be exposing the worst in our subconscious and throwing it in our faces. Or he is an immature douche bag with stunted emotional development and great drawing ability.
Hard to say which is the "real" Robert Crumb.