AMERICAN: THE BILL HICKS STORY






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Publication: The Stranger
Author: West, Lindy
Date published: April 13, 2011

AMERICAN: THE BILL HICKS STORY

This disappointing documentary should really be retitled Hey, Did You Know Dwight Slade Was Friends with Bill Hicks? Because He Totally Was. Hicks-the blistering, medium-shaking, underappreciated genius who died of pancreatic cancer at age 32-deserves to be canonized in a probing, thoughtful documentary. This is not that. It's interesting, of course, to learn a little about Hicks's upbringing, his family, his teenage years, but the film unfolds in such a clunky format (a preponderance of weird, semianimated sequences suggest the filmmakers couldn't get their hands on actual footage) that it feels empty of all insight. It's equally empty of Hicks's actual comedy. Aside from a few old bits here and there, the film is largely just a montage of Hicks's comedy buddies turning their friend's death into an excuse to talk about themselves. I'm sure their grief is sincere-it's just not what I'm watching this movie for. (LINDY WEST), Grand Illusion, Fri 7, 9 pm, Sat-Sun 5, 7, 9 pm, Mon-Tues 7, 9 pm.

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