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Past Films

Crumb (1994)

  • Starring: Robert Crumb,
  • Director: Terry Zwigoff
  • Genre(s): Documentary, Biography, Comedy
  • Rating: R
  • Running Time: 119 min.

This new quarterly series showcases the “essential” films everyone should see on the big screen. For each month-long program, we’ll screen five films organized by one of the following themes: directors, actors, genres, and eras/movements.

Essential tickets are $9 for Adults, $8 for Students/Seniors and Members get in Free!

An in-depth look at Robert Crumb—king of underground comic-book artists—and his extraordinarily dysfunctional family.

Terry Zwigoff’s landmark 1995 film is an intimate documentary portrait of the 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 and life, 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. [Criterion]

"One of the most remarkable and haunting documentaries ever made."
- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"A biting exploration of family dysfunction and artistic catharsis."
- Ian Nathan, Empire
"Crumb is one of the most provocative, haunting documentaries of the last decade."
- Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle
"Zwigoff not only presents a complex human being and the range of his art but also guides us through a profound and unsettling consideration of what it means to be an American artist. Essential viewing."
- Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Extraordinary new documentary that turns Robert Crumb's twisted life story into a disturbing, exhilarating work of biographical art."
- Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"Crumb is a rare and powerful documentary that completely absorbs the viewer and leaves an impression so blindingly clear that the afterimage cannot be blinked away even when the theater is far behind."
- James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"When it comes to unflinching, riveting looks at a compulsive artist who can't be other than who he is, nothing comes close to Crumb."
- Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"The film is an extraordinarily complex, well-rounded and multileveled portrait of how Crumb got to be the way he is, as well as a tribute to how he was miraculously able to rise above his dysfunctional roots by putting his demons into his art. "
- William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"It succeeds at showing how one man's psychic wounds contributed to an art that transmutes personal pain into garish visual satire."
- Stephen Holden, The New York Times
"Crumb pulls us in with rich detail, and with what it says, or suggests, about art, drugs, psychology and the subconscious.... Like last year's "Hoop Dreams," this documentary does justice to a great subject. [08 Jun 1995]"
- Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
"A brilliant chronicle of the life and twisted times of a most unlikely bad boy, a skinny, four-eyed, sex-obsessed misanthrope with no weapons to fire back at the society that rejected him save one: The nerd can draw."
- Peter Travers. Rolling Stone