Comedian Lenny Bruce struck a subversive chord in an era of change in America. After getting his start as a conventional stand-up comic, Bruce's increasingly iconoclastic act transformed ...
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Comedian Lenny Bruce struck a subversive chord in an era of change in America. After getting his start as a conventional stand-up comic, Bruce's increasingly iconoclastic act transformed him into a leading figure of the 1960s counterculture. This is his story.
That Lenny Bruce represents one of the most important cultural figures in the twentieth century can be verified by a scan of the "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band" cover art. Lenny's there, honored by the Beatles as one of their chief inspirations. Modern-day-comedy, from Richard Pryor to Bill Hicks to any episode of "South Park" would be unimaginable if Bruce had not first blazed the trail. His bitter attacks on hypocritical moralism, segregation, and sexual double-standards were as far ahead of his comic contemporaries as James Joyce was ahead of his fellow novelists. This documentary is the best film on Lenny, even besting the excellent Dustin Hoffman biopic, which failed to capture Bruce's incredible wit. Robert DeNiro's voice-over provides a nice counterpoint to the comedy footage and the interviews are revealing. The editing is seamless, enhancing the intimate cinematography. Hopefully, this will soon be released on DVD.
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