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New Zealand International Film Festival

July to November NZ wide | TVNZ

American: The Bill Hicks Story: Film Festival

American: The Bill Hicks Story

UK 2009, 102m
Directors: Matt Harlock, Paul Thomas
Festivals: London 2009; SXSW 2010

"When comedian Bill Hicks was really on - which, toward the end of his far-too-brief 32 years, was nearly all the time - he was on fire; hearing him unload on the Gulf War or the religious right or advertising hacks was like having your ears blistered by a dragon - a brainy, exceedingly funny dragon. And people reveled in it. Especially in Britain, where Hicks was more a rock star than the comedy-club joke jockey he was in his homeland. Directors (and UK natives) Harlock and Thomas get Hicks, the way disciples do a guru, and they want everyone to.

Their film diligently tracks Hicks' evolution from suburban Houston class clown& to thinking man's comic, using film and ingeniously animated archival photos that are like Ken Burns by way of Terry Gilliam. They bring Hicks back to life, his rants still sounding fresh and brilliant. Scorched ears never felt so good." - Robert Faires, Austin Chronicle. "An innovative portrait of the great American comedian. The breadth and quality of the archive is nothing short of astounding." - David Jenkins, Time Out