THE CONFESSIONS OF ROBERT CRUMB
Review by Michael Jacobson
Robert Crumb, Aline Kominsky Crumb
Writer: Robert Crumb
Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo
Video: Full Frame 1.33:1
Studio: Home Vision Entertainment
Length: 55 Minutes
Release Date: February 19, 2002
Crumb achieved fame starting in the late 60s as an underground comic book
artist. His talent was undeniable
and his vision unique…often funny and disturbing at the same time.
He created the memorable “Fritz the Cat” strip, along with other
favorites like Mr. Natural and the Keep on Truckin' series of images.
But perhaps his most popular and most personal character has been
Confessions of Robert Crumb is a personal and intimate look at Crumb through the
eyes of Crumb…he wrote and starred in it, along with his wife, Aline Kominsky
Crumb. And Confessions is a
good title…much like the way he lays bare his soul in some of his comics, he
does so here as well, with disarming candor and no apologies.
a fascinating companion piece to the acclaimed 1994 documentary Crumb.
This film is shorter, and doesn't go so much into his past and
family life (though both are touched on briefly)…rather, Crumb's offering is
to simply show himself the way he is, and let his audience interpret as they see
fit WHY he is the way he is.
film is lovingly peppered with plenty of his artwork from over the years, and
one of the uncanny traits of the picture is how what we see in drawn form almost
always equates with what we are currently seeing of Crumb, or currently hearing
about him. He speaks frankly; he
draws even more so…put his words and pictures together, and the juxtapositions
are almost startlingly revealing.
was instantly intrigued and fascinated by this person called Crumb…so much so,
that I watched the documentary straight through a couple of times in the same
setting just because I wanted to see more.
It's the kind of film that more than makes up for a shorter running
time with plenty of attention to substantial details.
other words, you don't have to be a fan of Robert Crumb to enjoy his Confessions.
You don't have to know anything about the man at all going in to
appreciate his work and the lurid details of his life…all you need is an open
mind and an appreciation for a truly unique and unforgettable character.
a 15 year old BBC documentary, there is nothing spectacular about the original
full frame video presentation. It
looks a bit of its age here and there, but is hardly unwatchable…one gets the
impression very little attention was paid to cinematographic elements when
making the movie, so colors, lights, shadows and other visual details often take
a back seat to Crumb himself. Which
is fine…the real visual treat is his drawings, not his house.
soundtrack is a simple one, with very little panning effects and dynamic range,
but it earns an extra ½ star for the bits of classic music, including a number
from the late great Perry Como and a couple of clips of Crumb himself playing
there's a cool pull out reproduction of Robert Crumb's cover art for this