This odd work is a mixture of documentary film about an eccentric cartoonist, spliced into dramatic reliving of his life by actors, mixed in with scenes where both the cartoonist and his family interact with the actors playing them. Very post-modern, but it kinda works. The odd cartoonist is Harvey Pekar, a downbeat, depressed, obsessive curmudgeon, who was an early friend of Robert Crumb (they met at a garage sale collecting old jazz records). Pekar’s memoir of his life as a blue-collar hospital file clerk was illustrated by Crumb as a comic book series, catapulting Pekar into hip coolness. And hence this film. Pekar and his incredibly ultra-geeky friends and family make a very offbeat story.
Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini
2003, 101 min.
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