NZ International Film Festival 2010: American: The Bill Hicks Story
American: The Bill Hicks Story
Directors: Matt Harlock, Paul Thomas
This incredible journey of one of Americas sharpest social critics is lovingly told via animated photos cut and pasted by story tellers all anxious to give their kindness to a man who all seem to have been deeply impacted by his friendship.
Interspersed with some of his most famous stand up and narrated by his friends and family, the doco starts at his childhood in a well to do Christian household. A family member quips, "People thought we were evangelical. We weren't. We were Baptist. It was worse". He was the much younger third child in a smart and clever family who fell in love with the idea of being a comedian, spawning a 16 year old Hicks to sneak out to the local comedy club for gigs.
His raw humour saw quick success but after a number of setbacks with scripts, he floundered, wandered around, drank, had a massive mushroom trip and started to reignite his passion. As his alcohol consumption increased, his success decreased. It wasn't until a sold out tour of Britain that he reawakened his purpose and the sharpest wit started to emerge.
It was during this period that some of his best work came about, right as he was finding his voice, the genius of Rant in E minor is a snarling cynical indictment of power and authority in a way that demands laughter and thought.
His early passing was a genuine loss, this doco pays homage.
Wednesday 14th July, 8.30pm Rialto
Thursday 22nd July, 8.30pm SkyCity Theatre
Friday 23rd July, 4.15pm, SkyCity Theatre