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Posted By Alex Belth On February 21, 2012 @ 1:10 pm In 20th Century American Art,Art of the Night,Arts and Culture,Comics | Comments Disabled
R Crumb: The Paris Review Interview :
The film about you, Crumb, was the pinnacle of being observed.
But it was also a very sympathetic portrait.
Terry Zwigoff was my friend for twenty years already. Terry is sympathetic and shares some of my interests. Also, he is a 78 collector, a lover of old music and old comics. He is sharp and a good editor, and shares my vision and shares my negativity. He understood me and knew my world pretty well.
Were you happy with how it came out?
Happy is not the right word. I thought he did a good job, but it’s excruciating to watch. It’s a very intimate movie, because I just opened up to him. Opened up my life to him, because he’s my friend. I never thought the film would be a big success. I thought maybe a few people would see it in art theaters. Who knew it would be so widely seen? Who knew that Aline’s mother would see it? Or my relatives in Minnesota? They all hated me after they saw that.
The film showed some pretty graphic cartoon images of sex.
Very bizarre sexual fantasies. I had the compulsion to draw my sex fantasies and foist them on the public.
That was just a working out of something?
Yeah, I guess. When I first started doing it in ’68 or ’69, the people who had loved my work before that, some of them were shocked and alienated by it—especially the women, of course. I lost all the women. I’m not antifeminist. I like strong, independent women, like the matriarchs of Genesis—they ordered the men around. The sex-fantasy thing was a whole other side of myself, and when that started coming out, I could no longer be America’s best-loved hippie cartoonist. Also the racial stuff: the racist images that I used. That also shut a lot of people off about my work. The feminists despised me. I had a couple of defenders among them whose defense of my work was: He’s just being totally honest about the male mentality. He’s revealing the thoughts that most men are walking around harboring about women all the time. I have to agree with that. I just revealed myself.
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