30 May 2010

I salute you Bill Hicks

American: The Bill Hicks Story – Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas

An unknown release, only showing in certain “indie” cinemas, only for two days. It’s a shamble. Sure it’s a documentary about an American comedian who died many years ago made by his family and showing his birth to his death, but the mans a comedy legend. Without him, many comedians today wouldn’t exist. If you haven’t seen Bill Hicks stand up, please, close this down now, go onto YouTube or whatever video site you use and please watch all of them. It will blow your mind. The guy just pours out hatred but what comes with it, is truth. He’s the most truthful, hard hitting comedian you’ll meet. And he died at the age of 32. It’s a pity. If he was still around today, he’d be world renowned. And what’s marks this release of the film, is that Hicks was more successful in the UK than the US. Why isn’t the release bigger and showing in more places? I saw it on a Wednesday night, in a small cinema, sitting about 30 people. And the screening was fully booked. Surely it shows the audience that has always loved his work and would love to hear more about him?

The documentary follows the life and death of Hicks, using photos from all ages and animating them in scenes the family and friends of Hicks describes. Inserted video footage of Hicks performing live also appears and gives great breaks from learning about him and showing what Hicks was born to do: entertain. From the ups and downs, when he first took drugs to when his slot on David Letterman wasn’t aired, compared to most comedians, Hick’s life isn’t as bad as you think. It’s mostly full of funny moments, showing that Hicks loved to perform, from an early age he had the bug for it. And up to his death, he just wanted to express his opinions and be counted. His early death at the age of 32 is horrifying to think that people won’t be able to see Hicks live, and i myself am truly gutted never to have seen him. He’s always named as one of the best stand up comedians in lists made throughout the world, including ones where comedians name people in the industry who they love, Hicks has always been top or near about.

So check this documentary out somewhere, maybe not in the cinema, but on DVD, because you’ll realise that you’ve missed out on one of the greatest comedians of all time, and the film expresses the true Hicks, in an eye-opening way. Not once was i bored or not interested, it’s a beautifully crafted piece with real heart and passion.


Simon Childs

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