- 07 May 10
A handy primer for newcomers, American: The Bill Hicks Story is spot on. Recommended.
One can only imagine what Bill Hicks might have said about the Bill Hicks memorial industry. He must have had a sense of messianic status when he visited this part of the world in 1992 (a gig he mentions over the course of this new film) where Hicks mania had already taken hold. But could he have foreseen the books, the DVD reissues, the House of Commons name check, the afterlife crossover into the mainstream? For all this cynicism, British filmmakers Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas have crafted a heartfelt documentary tribute assembled from innovative animation inserts, rare and previously unseen performance footage, and testimonies from ‘the ten people who knew their subject best’. Various family members and friends talk us through the comedy giant’s upbringing as a Southern Baptist, the mushrooms, the drugs, the alcohol, the increasingly vitriolic rants and the final dark ironies of his demise.
Hicks completists may feel they’ve heard it all before but as a handy primer for newcomers, American: The Bill Hicks Story is spot on. Recommended.