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Crumb

Crumb

Genders: Comedy, Biography, Documentary

Director: Terry Zwigoff

Writer:

Actors: Robert Crumb, Aline Kominsky, Charles Crumb, Maxon Crumb

Year: 1995
Run time: 119min
IMDB score: 8
Updated: 2 years ago

Movie infomation

Movie name: Crumb

Genders: Comedy, Biography, Documentary

Imdb Score: 8

Runtime: 119min

Released: 28 Apr 1995

Director: Terry Zwigoff

Writer:

Actors: Robert Crumb, Aline Kominsky, Charles Crumb, Maxon Crumb

Company: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Imdb Link

Crumb Available Subtitles

French subtitles Crumb2 years ago
Turkish subtitles Crumb2 years ago
Brazilian Portuguese subtitles Crumb2 years ago
Portuguese subtitles Crumb2 years ago
Spanish subtitles Crumb3 years ago
Serbian subtitles Crumb3 years ago
Greek subtitles Crumb3 years ago
English subtitles Crumb3 years ago

Review

candid

5/10 Crumb takes a deeply personal look at 60's counterculture artist Robert Crumb. The film focuses upon three decades of Crumb's artwork to reconstruct his unhappy childhood, days with Zap Comix in the late 60's, `dark side' period and recent life. Interviews with him, his wife Aline, family and friends reveal the motives behind his astounding creativity. Crumb is sometimes hilarious, often depressing and always entertaining – a rare combination in a documentary film.

During childhood, Crumb and his brothers Charles and Maxon found solace from their tyrannical father in comic books and drawing cartoons. Crumb escaped the mental illness that ended both his brother's careers as artists (Charles was equally as talented), but otherwise had a perfectly miserable childhood and adolescence. Socially awkward, bullied at school and rejected by women, he decided in 1962 (at age 17) to take revenge upon society `by becoming a famous artist'.

In 1966, his chemically inspired `revelations of some seamy side of America's subconscious' caught the eye of a Haight Street publisher in San Francisco and Zap Comix was born. Zap was an outlet for his creative energy, which was rooted in his social difficulties. He was uninterested in money and once turned down a $100,000 contract – a huge sum of money in those days. Although identified with the hippie crowd, he could not relate to their culture: `My main motivation [for drawing] was to get some of that free love action'.

After a few years of fame, he retired from Zap to express the darker side of his nature. His later work frequently contained sadistic and violent themes and was sometimes labeled as pornography by friends and critics alike. Even Crumb isn't sure of his intent: `Maybe I should be locked up and my pencils taken away from me'.

Critic Robert Hughes says that in Crumb's world there are no heroes and `even the victims are comic' – ideas that don't jive with traditional American culture. But Crumb has always considered himself to be an outsider and enjoys the feeling of `being very removed or extremely separated from the rest of humanity and the world in general'. `Words fail me, pictures aren't much better' to describe his disgust with American consumerism. He now lives in France because its culture is `slightly less evil than the United States'.

The film is embarrassingly candid about unhappy details of Crumb's life, such as his brothers' mental illness, experiments with drugs and ambivalent attitudes towards women. Yet it is apparent that there is no misery or violence in this man – it's all on paper. (Rating: A)

2 years ago

Bordering On Sanity

10/10 After reading the couple of negative reviews of "Crumb" on IMDB I re - viewed the movie one more time just to make sure that the many times when I had seen this movie before, on the silver screen and on video, I have not been in a state of delusion. With the movie fresh in my mind I want to put out this message to all the people who have made depreciating statements such as "what is Crumb moaning about, he's famous now", "the Sixties weren't really like that", "it was just two hours of whining, rambling and unjustified complaining" etc. etc.: go back to your Kevin Costner, Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise big budget Oscar winners, and stop smearing dirt on one of the best documentaries ever made. So frigging what if it's shot with a hand - held camera and without studio lighting? "Crumb" is the real thing, it does not need any trickery or gloss. Basically it shows Robert Crumb, the artist famous for "Keep On Truckin'", "Fritz The Cat" (though he does not like to be associated with either of them) and "Mr. Natural", telling the story of his life through his wife and brothers, with a few scenes of him at a vernissage and a comic book store (etc.) thrown in for good measure. Call it a modern - day version of the van Gogh - story, or a look at the darker (or even just the non - Warner - Brothers) side of the flower - power generation, the human condition, the power of art, the battle of the sexes, a case history of mental illness, psychotic families, whatever. The story, and with it the film, is amazing and totally captivating. I have watched it many times and intend to watch it many times over. Give it a miss only if you expect some good, clean, family entertainment, but do so at your loss.

2 years ago

An astonishing look at relativity

5/10 What makes Crumb such an intriguing documentary isn't the fact that man looked at through the camera is admirable or interesting or laudable, although one could make the argument that R. Crumb is all of those things. No, what makes Crumb such a great film is the way it shows the twisted nature of Crumb against the backdrop of his nearly psychotic family. Compared to the world, R. Crumb is a sexual deviant, a lunatic genius, and a perfect candidate to be taken away in a plain white van. Compared to his family, R. Crumb is completely and utterly normal. It's this juxtaposition that makes Crumb work over all two hours the movie needs to take its course.

2 years ago

Heartbreaking and funny as hell

10/10 What are the odds that an artist can survive family violence, mental illness, sexual rejection, and Big Mac culture? As far as this film can make clear, three members of the Crumb family had strong artistic temperaments and significant talent. Only one, Robert, made it out alive, and his life and work are defined by resistance to what should have been a sad fate.

To many, this documentary may be depressing, offensive to women, or just too damn ugly to sit through, but it made me as happy as anything I've ever seen on screen. Art's ability to reveal truth and promote survival is evident in every frame. I admire R. Crumb's courage to speak unpopular truths, to draw what gets him off, and to ferret out the art he loves at considerable expense and trouble (he's a blues maven; one of my favorite scenes, where's he's sitting on his floor absorbed by aching music, is echoed in Ghost World, when Enid takes home Seymour's record and gets lost in her favorite song). And like Ghost World, ratty, real American culture is railed at hilariously: another favorite scene involves R. on a park bench, disgustedly commenting on the ugliness of everything around him: logo-emblazoned clothes, graceless music, ugly plastic everything.

By the end of it all, I respected and liked him Crumb enormously. I'd take his scary-woman worship over the banal musings of a dime-store philosopher any day. And Terry Zwigoff deserves much praise for being able to pull it off (especially as a first-time filmmaker who had very little idea what he was doing). From high art and family pathos to a lovely animal appreciation of big round female asses, this is far more a "roller-coaster, I laughed/I cried" film than most others so touted.

2 years ago

Strange and interesting study of a warped genius

5/10 Robert Crumb must have had a bellyful of people calling him a genius, but that's exactly what he is. Having grown up a bullied, miserable child - and an anachronism almost from the start, with his interests in pop culture ephemera and old-time music - in a dysfunctional family (his father was an overbearing tyrant, his mother an amphetamine addict, his older brother so obsessed with comics that he forces his siblings to draw them), Crumb escaped this drudgery by fleeing to Cleveland, where he first became a staff artist for a greetings card company, then one of their most innovative and prolific designers, before relocating to San Fransisco. His initial impetus was to "get some of that free love stuff", but his pen ran away with his thoughts and he wound up virtually launching the underground comics movement. Between 1968 and 1993, Crumb produced some of the funniest, most outrageous, licentious and flat-out brilliant comic book work of all time, and this film is an invaluable insight into the man behind the madness and the mayhem. Turns out Crumb, despite his bizarre appearance (he's stick thin, wears Coke-bottle spectacles and dresses like a character actor from a 1930s comedy) and sexual deviance (he likes nothing more than hefty haunches and big, strong legs in a woman), is something of an everyman - he's married, dotes on his understanding wife and gifted daughter, and feels just as alienated from the 'evils' of modern living as the rest of us sensitive intellectuals! At first glance, of course, Crumb is as weird as they come, but the sight of the aforementioned older brother Charles (a reclusive crank who rarely leaves his squalid bedroom, let alone the house) and younger brother Maxon (a haunted, bedraggled amateur mystic, given to sitting on beds of nails and begging on the street with a wooden bowl) throws the relative sanity of Robert into stark relief. One gets the impression that if Robert had not escaped, he'd have wound up suffering just as much as Charles and Maxon, possibly even more. This isn't easy viewing and the subjects are undeniably resistable, but it does offer a unique and enlightening glimpse into the reality of the old cliche about genius and madness walking hand-in-hand. Recommended.

2 years ago