Excellent doc on legendary cartoonist Robert Crumb and his unusual obsessions
Curated by The Sadnesses
Total Runtime: 1:40:27
Crumb is a 1994 documentary film about the noted underground cartoonist Robert Crumb (R. Crumb) and his family. Directed by Terry Zwigoff and produced by Lynn O'Donnell, it won widespread acclaim. It was released in the USA on April 28, 1995, having been screened at film festivals the previous year. Jeffery M. Anderson (later critic for the San Francisco Examiner) placed the film on his list of the ten greatest films of all time, labeling it "the greatest documentary ever made."
Crumb is about the experiences and characters of the Crumb family, particularly Robert Crumb's brothers, Maxon and Charles, his wife and children (his sisters declined to be interviewed). Though Zwigoff had the consent of the Crumb brothers, some questioned the ability of the more disturbed brothers to provide that consent.
Robert Crumb initially did not want to make the film, but eventually agreed. There was a rumor, accidentally created by Roger Ebert, that Terry Zwigoff made Crumb cooperate by threatening to shoot himself. Ebert has clarified this in the commentary of the film's recent Criterion Collection re-release. Ebert notes that “it may be true that Zwigoff’s life was saved because he did make the film.”
During the nine years that it took to make the documentary Zwigoff said he was “averaging an income of about $200 a month and living with back pain so intense that I spent three years with a loaded gun on the pillow next to my bed, trying to get up the nerve to kill myself.”