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American: The Bill Hicks Story

Director:  Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas
Year Released:  2009
Rating:  1.5

Affectionate documentary about the late, great comedian/social commentator Bill Hicks, who succumbed to cancer at the ridiculous age of 32, but left behind a decade and a half of amazing stand-up (he started when he was only a teen). The aesthetic - moving photographs and CGI and glitched-out home movies - is absolutely hideous and, what's worse, visually distracting, and it's no surprise that the best moments are basically the clips of Hicks' stand-up (which, coincidentally, can be found other places). Those that knew him - family, friends - can attest to his monumental drive and devotion to his craft, but anyone that's seen him perform knows how perceptive and enlightened he could be: a thinking man's comedian. As a rabid music fan, I can only agree with his advice for all musicians: "Play from the fucking heart!"

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