An intimate portrait of the controversial cartoonist and his traumatized family.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Crumb ...
Himself
Aline Kominsky ...
Herself (as Aline Crumb)
Charles Crumb ...
Himself
Maxon Crumb ...
Himself
Robert Hughes ...
Himself
Martin Muller ...
Himself
Don Donahue ...
Himself
Dana Morgan ...
Herself (as Dana Crumb)
Trina Robbins ...
Herself
Spain Rodriguez ...
Himself
Bill Griffith ...
Himself
Deirdre English ...
Herself
Peggy Orenstein ...
Herself
Beatrice Crumb ...
Herself
Kathy Goodell ...
Herself
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Storyline

This movie chronicles the life and times of R. Crumb. Robert Crumb is the cartoonist/artist who drew Keep On Truckin', Fritz the Cat, and played a major pioneering role in the genesis of underground comix. Through interviews with his mother, two brothers, wife, and ex-girlfriends, as well as selections from his vast quantity of graphic art, we are treated to a darkly comic ride through one man's subconscious mind. As stream-of-consciousness images incessantly flow forth from the tip of his pen, biting social satire is revealed, often along with a disturbing and haunting vision of Crumb's own betes noires and inadequacies. As his acid-trip induced images flicker across our own retinas, we gain a little insight into this complex and highly creative individual. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Weird sex · Obsession · Comic books


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic sex-related cartoons, and for language | See all certifications »

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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 April 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Крамб  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Gross:

$3,174,695 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Picked by Entertainment Weekly magazine as one of the "50 Greatest Independent Films" in a special supplement devoted to independent films that was only distributed to subscribers in November 1997. See more »

Goofs

"San Francisco" is misspelled in the closing titles. The caption reads: "Max Crumb still lives in San Francicsco". See more »

Quotes

Robert Crumb: I always kind of envied your life in a way, cos my life has become so hectic and...
Charles Crumb: Why, because I was so detached from the human race? Is that one of the reasons why you envy me?
Robert Crumb: You got this cloistered environment with your books.
Charles Crumb: Believe me, it's nothing to envy.
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Connections

References Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall (1948) See more »

Soundtracks

Comic Montage Stomp
Composed by David Boeddinghaus
Performed by David Boeddinghaus & Craig Ventresco
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User Reviews

 
disturbing, compelling
20 November 2002 | by See all my reviews

I was drawn to this flick as I channel surfed on IFC. Once you start watching, you cannot take your eyes away, like watching a train wreck. This is one very strange person, and one is ready to consign him to the loony bin until you meet the rest of the family, whereupon Robert comes up looking like the very picture of sunny sanity. His brothers Max and George are so clearly unbalanced (and mom's wrapping isn't very tightly tied either), and in mental pain, that it is disturbing to listen to their tortured self-analyses; yet, like some sort of horrible natural disaster unfolding before your eyes, you feel compelled to watch. The home in which George lives with his mother is a showcase of squalor. The revelations of their horrible childhoods with a sadistic and bullying father and an amphetamine-crazed mother, are further horrors in this macabre family story. The refusal of the 2 sisters to be interviewed for the story is an omission that speaks loudly, in view of the revelations of the twisted sexual fantasies of all three brothers; one cannot help wondering what the sisters would have had to say.

Aside from Crumb's apparent weirdness, right down to his off-the-wall physical appearance and sartorial habits, his comments on American culture - its materialism and its aesthetic barbarism - are dead on. One notes with interest the photography collection Crumb show us of power lines, telephone poles, traffic signals, and the other arcana of the ugly technological "background view" of our culture - to which we have become inured - which he uses as a reference for his work, because who could imagine such stuff?

Robert Crumb - or at least the impression one takes of him from this movie - is an ambiguously enigmatic character, driven by darkly bizarre inner sexual demons, yet with a weird sort of innocence and compelling aesthetic vision that isolates him from American culture. We are not surprised, at the end, when he decamps himself and his family off to a village in southern France. We are also not surprised to learn that George committed suicide shortly after the completion of the project.

The movie itself is coldly dispassionate, making no commentary or judgement on these people, but letting everything and everyone speak for himself. The result is a disturbing yet compelling portrait of a troubled artist and the personal and family history that shaped him.


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