Crumb ★★★★★

I originally downloaded this as part of "Generation X Black Comedy" week of the 2017 Film School Dropouts challenge, but didn't get around to watching it until this month. This is actually the third or fourth time I've watched this movie over the last two decades, but the very first time sober in the middle of the day -- all the other viewings were midnight screenings while on drugs, back when I was a young man and could pull those things off -- and I was pretty blown away this time by what a fascinating, heartbreaking film this is when you're really sitting there paying attention. Upon 25 years of hindsight, I think it's now fair to call this the most astute portrait of autism ever committed to celluloid, a documentary that starts out as a light comedy before devolving into a drama and then a horror movie, as director Terry Zwigoff digs deeper and deeper to eventually reveal the Cronenbergian Freudian shit-show that turned countercultural cartoonist Robert Crumb and his brothers into the neurotic, barely functional disasters they now are. Riveting like a trainwreck, and it's a shame that Zwigoff has never done a psychologically probing doc like this again, instead using his comics connections from this movie to make such highly regarded fictional adaptations as Ghost World and Art School Confidential.

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