American: The Bill Hicks Story Reviews
Obviously at the age of sixteen, I was finding out about more adult topics, like politics, history and war. Serious subjects don't necessarily don't mix with stand up comedy, but Bill Hicks managed to combine the two expertly, becoming an inspiration with his anarchistic presence, rebelling against a system he sought to fix.
Hicks' life is put into perspective through animation of images of his personal and stage life (Not that they were ever seperate), with narration from his family and friends. It completely advances what seems like a simple documentary, and creates a rollercoaster of dark, emotional, often hilarious stories and events that shaped the "Little Dark Poet" into one of the most important stand up comedians of all time.
Bill is presented as an American hero, shouting his voice to an audience gripped onto his every word about problems they want to hear. Problems that were relevant to the current culture. Problems that other stand up comedians would never speak about in fear they would lose their job. Bill was fearless, and this made him more popular with audiences.
His life seems to me to be much more of a sad tale. A tragedy to a man who was taken too fast from life. Even when his material seemed bitter and full of anger, Bill did in fact have a love for life, and that is essentially what the documentary is showing. His family and friends loved him for being so honest, caring and most importantly, different.
Bill is one of my many inspirations in life, and rightly so. The film is an access to learn and understand the life of a man who was more than just a stand up comedian. He was a voice of righteousness, for generations then, now and for the future.
An incredible insight to a wonderful man who was cut short from a world he adored and hated at the same time.
American: The Bill Hicks Story is a new favorite when it comes to documentaries, especially biographical documentaries. I loved the approach, with using voice over interviews over top of some great photo animation. The film is fast paced and extremely entertaining, while also being very down to earth, frank, and intelligent. We see Bill Hicks for what he was at different parts of his life as told by the ten people that knew him best from his mother to his siblings to fellow comics and friends. If you're a Bill Hicks fan, this is required viewing, and if you're not(as Bill would say), kill yourself.
Bill Hicks is easily the most interesting stand up comedian that I know of. While today's comics pepper us with the same bullshit, he was able to take that bullshit and throw true meaning into it. There's a part in the film where one of his friends says that at heart he was an activist, and if you listen to what he's saying, there's no denying that fact. He had beliefs and he voiced them through his humor.
The film chronicles Bill's life from an early age when he started really getting into comedy. We see his progression from a clean-cut, no profanity, no drugs and no drinking teenage comedian to his time with drugs and alcohol to his sobriety to his post cancer stage. Through this progression his comedy always changed. At first he was just talking about his parents and school. Then when he got into drugs and alcohol he was more of a shock comedian, and then when he got sober he became, as one interviewee said, "more than just an above average comedian."
Bill Hicks is an easy source for a documentary and American nails his life with brilliant precision. I loved every second of this and highly recommend it to anyone. If you're a fan, watch it. If you've never heard of him; this is a great place to see what he's all about and it should make you into a fan. It's a great tribute, a great film, and just a pleasure to watch.