Thursday, December 16, 2004 – 7:30pm
USA 1994. Director: Terry Zwigoff
This is an important but painful to watch documentary that will likely have at least some viewers protesting “Too Much Information.” Robert Crumb is a now famous underground artist/cartoonist whose achievements include founding ‘Zap Comix’, creating the ‘Keep on Trucking’ logo and the Fritz the Cat character (but not its derivative and world’s first X-rated animated feature), and drawing the Cheap Thrills LP cover. What we also learn from Terry Zwigoff’s unflinching character study, constructed largely via interviews with Crumb and selected family members, is that Robert Crumb is also a misogynist, a misanthrope, preoccupied with sex and offended by virtually all aspects of popular culture and fame. Most disturbing are the details that slowly unfold of his dysfunctional family that involved growing up with a father labeled as a “sadistic bully”, a mother who became an amphetamine addict and his two seriously disturbed brothers. The oldest, Charles, lives as a recluse in their mother’s home and who in the closing credits we learn committed suicide one year following Zwigoff’s interview. The younger Max is a confessed sex offender who daily meditates on a bed of nails (literally) and who is seen on camera orally threading a long linen tape to cleanse his intestines. To Robert Crumb’s credit, the film resonates with his unflinching on camera honesty and his self-deprecating humour. The viewer can’t help but ponder the source of Crumb’s unique creativity and whether it has come at too high a cost. Colur, 35 mm, 119 mins.
The program will include a post-screening discussion with:
Dr. Derryck Smith. Dr. Smith is the Head, Division of Child Psychiatry, Dept of Psychiatry, UBC; and Head, Dept of Psychiatry, Children’s and Women’s Health Centre of BC. Dr. Smith has a special interest in the impact of the nuclear family on personality development.
Evening moderated by:
Dr. Harry Karlinsky Director of Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.
Co-sponsored by the Mood Disorders Association of BC and The Comicshop.