Criterion Collection reissues R. Crumb documentary with special features

I can't wait to get the newly re-issued Crumb from the Criterion collection. This is my favorite documentary, and I'm looking forward to the special features:

• New, restored high-definition digital transfer
• 2010 audio commentary with Zwigoff
• 2006 with Zwigoff and critic Roger Ebert
• Outtakes and deleted scenes
• Stills gallery
• A booklet featuring an essay by critic Jonathan Rosenbaum

Screen Shot 2010-08-11 At 4.19.04 PmTerry Zwigoff's landmark 1995 film is an intimate documentary portrait of underground artist Robert Crumb, whose unique drawing style and sexually and racially provocative subject matter have made him a household name in popular American art. Zwigoff candidly and colorfully delves into the details of Crumb's incredible career, as well as his past, including his family of reclusive eccentrics, some of the most remarkable people you'll ever see on-screen. At once a profound biographical portrait, a riotous examination of a man's controversial art, and a devastating look at a troubled family, Crumb is a genuine American original.

Crumb (Criterion Collection)


  1. I remember seeing this years ago, and thinking R. Crumb is a survivor. God only knows what went on in that madhouse he grew up in. His two unfortunate brothers didn’t make it. And if I remember right, he has a sister, (or two?) that were not interviewed. The film provides a disturbing look into the early harsh conditions that shaped a brilliant artist. I can see his art as something that helped him cope with the rough hand he was dealt.
    Where Mr. Rosenbaum sees a “family of reclusive eccentrics, some of the most remarkable people you’ll ever see…” I see dysfunction and pain.

    1. I remember watching it and thinking that Crumb’s sisters probably had it even worse than Robert and his brothers considering what life must have been like to be around that many adolescent males with such, ah, unconventional sexual predilections.

      Great documentary, brilliant artist. I recently read Crumb’s illustrated version of the Book of Genesis, it helped make a very archaic and often self-contradictory text much easier to parse.

  2. This is, indeed, the best documentary I’ve ever seen. Extraordinary directing. The best.

  3. I recently came across a BBC documentary on Crumb called ‘Confessions of Robert Crumb’ which gives a vastly different portrait of him. He was way more engaged and .. I don’t know, happy than he was portrayed in Crumb.

    Crumb is still amazing, and I’ll lend my words to agree that it’s my favorite documentary.

  4. The autobiographical comic (aka graphic memoir) by Crumb’s wife, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, is a nice compliment to this film. Events such as the move to France are covered in greater detail and you get to learn more about what happened over their next 10 years of living there.

    It’s also just a fantastic work about a very interesting artist and personality (meaning Crumb’s wife Aline).

  5. Much more daring and interesting would be an inclusion of commentary from Crumb himself. From what I recall of articles I’ve read over the past ten years, Crumb was somewhat critical of his portrayal–in fact, his descriptions made Zwigoff appear to be the somewhat unstable and desperate one, and that Crumb did the documentary in part out of feeling sorry for Zwigoff.

    Of course, this may be post-documentaried (documented? documenteed?) regret from Crumb, but it would be fascinating if his viewpoint and reflections were included in the re-released version (assuming he’d even want to cooperate).

  6. I love R. Crumb and i LOVED this movie but it was the worst possible choice for a first-date movie ever.

  7. Crumb ranks as one of my favorite films in any genre. I rarely spring for my own DVD copy of films, but this edition certainly sounds like it’d be worth having.

    I’d not read anything about Crumb before seeing it the first time and was anticipating more of a examination of his work and its cultural impact. What the movie was ultimately about was ten times more interesting that that. By the time it was through, I’d gone from thinking R. was likely the odd duck of his family to thinking that he was far and away the most well-adjusted and whole!

    Thanks for the tip on the new release!

  8. One messed up family indeed.
    But I did love brother Maxon’s paintings, I think he’s possibly just as talented as Robert.

  9. this movie gave me newfound respect and awe for the wonderful world of string!

    thanks robert crumb!

    thanks terry zwigoff!

    thanks criterion!

    i eagerly await to see what new commentary is made about this and other topics of interest.

  10. It’s an outstanding film and I can’t wait to see the extras. True American eccentrics are so rate these days. We should celebrate them.

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