Weirdness and misogyny this week on The FAM as we present 1987′s The Confessions of Robert Crumb produced by the BBC (which includes the wonderful Arena opening and song. Seriously, I love that intro.) Unlike 1994′s Crumb by Terry Zwigoff (which is seeing a Criterion release this August) Confessions is less concerned with Crumb’s bizarre family and more concerned with the man himself. In that regard it spends much of its time letting Crumb explore and contemplate his objectification of women and self-loathing, preferring to be a catalog of the man’s various fetishes, to merely witness a day in the life of a dirty old man.
Both documentaries illustrate how difficult it can be to separate the artist from their art. A great fan of his work I can’t help but cringe as Crumb displays his current wife to the camera, showing off her musculature as if he were trying to sell the viewer a horse. It is, perhaps, admirable that one would be able to be so honest with the world, willing to expose one’s Id to whoever passes by, and it has certainly worked out well for Robert Crumb. I just can’t help but think that those images made living, breathing flesh are not nearly as entertaining when not on the printed page.