The documentary format is most commonly used to give the public at large an opportunity to see something that they have not gotten a good look at, be it the machinations of war or to better appreciate the salesmen who would knock on your door and bother you during dinner. With American: The Bill Hicks Story, the goal is to gain a better appreciation for one of the most influential and important stand-up comedians of the last twenty years.
Hicks’ biting satire against the American government and the growing apathetic culture within the United States poured out of him like a broken water valve. At a time when the stand-up comedy boom was on its way down in the late 1980s based on over-saturation of the same sort of comics doing the same sort of jokes, Hicks was a breath of fresh air, launching attacks against the establishment with a great deal of piss and vigor, to the point where he was censored on David Letterman‘s show. His influence can be felt in the satirical tongue of Stephen Colbert and John Stewart and the manic delivery of early Dennis Leary among many, many others.
The film looks to be a very interesting mix of archival footage of stand-up shows, specials, and animating old photos to tell the story of a true American original. You can see the trailer below courtesy of Apple. The film will get a limited release run on April 8th, 2011 with an eye for a wider release down the line. A list of screenings can be found on the movie’s official site.
Have you ever heard of Bill Hicks? Will you see this movie?
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