• Our twin releases of Terry Zwigoff’s Louie Bluie and Crumb (the former never before available on DVD) are cause for celebration not only for fans of their idiosyncratic director but also for aficionados of fascinating real-life characters. “Both are incredibly original biographical documents of eccentric artists,” writes Neil Karassik in Eye Weekly. “Both films tackle race, sexuality, and the idiosyncratic lifestyles of their respective subjects with an intimate eye that remains unrivalled. While they often enter dark and loopy territory, each is a mesmerizing representation of an immensely fascinating man.”

    Not that the two pictures are carbon copies of each other: “The loose-limbed Louie Bluie is Zwigoff’s most affectionate film, filled with infectious music and winning anecdotes from its subject, a world-class raconteur,” per Dennis Lim for the LA Times, while Crumb, Zwigoff’s “signature work,” “achieves a harrowing intimacy and complexity, both of which would likely have eluded a fiction filmmaker or a more squeamish documentarian.”

    Many critics are simply enjoying the perverse pleasures of Crumb all over again. “Crumb is seminal among the history of documentaries,” writes Pop Matters’ Sabadino Parker, and it is “engrossing, eye-opening . . . Both a scintillating underground-art history and a harrowing family tragicomedy,” according to the Baltimore Sun’s Michael Sragow. Others are just now discovering the appeal of the long-out-of-circulation Louie Bluie—like DVD Town’s Christopher Long, who calls it “an amazing film that deserves your consideration” and “pure joy from the first frame to the last . . . Its only flaw is that there isn’t enough of it.”

    More from DVD File, Austin 360, and the Express Night Out.

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