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Monday, January 02, 2006

Review: The Confessions Of Robert Crumb

1987's The Confessions Of Robert Crumb is an odd juxtaposition to the superior 1994 documentary Crumb. Written by Crumb, financed by the BBC and logging in at 55 minutes, it's confessional as usual yet not that revealing since straight the man's too Freudian and on drugs too hallucinogenic. He doesn't hold back or lie about himself but there's something missing. He's both a cipher and the most influential (and prolific) underground artist of all time, which the latter film revealed much to Crumb's regret.

The Crumb Museum is worth a long visit. My sentimental favorite is A Short History Of America while the juvenile in me will always treasure Tommy Toilet. The guy who flushes himself down the toilet is also nice.

You wouldn't think Crumb would agree to dress up and undress to act in skits about himself, but here he does. That can't be cool in anyone's book. He's a successful failure and a loser whose talent makes him a winner. He's fascinating as a man only to a point because in spite of all his talent and eccentricities he's smaller in life than in his work. The Confessions Of Robert Crumb is a diminishing dog and pony show you'd never think he'd participate in, especially as its creator.


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