Paul Malikkal

Review

Crumb (1994)

Paul Malikkal

Misogynist or feminist?

Misanthrope or satirist?

Sexual deviant or social critic?

Artist or pervert?

Crumb is a good documentary because it offers up all these perspectives on the titular cartoonist. But it's a great one because it privileges all of these perspectives equally, investigating the ethics of art, the fine line between satire and slander, the lingering effects of childhood trauma, and the double-edged sword of loneliness. All this is filtered through the light-hearted, casually misanthropic, and unabashedly oversexed mind of Robert Crumb. And the film follows suit, plunging us into a world of dashed hopes, sexual deviance, and artistic exhilaration. I'm not sure what it says about me, but I'm looking forward to revisiting this strange, if sad, little world for years to come.

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