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American: The Bill Hicks Story


"American: The Bill Hicks Story": Libertarian, outlaw, shaman, philosopher, romantic, preacher, genius…Bill Hicks was always something other than a comedian. His death from cancer in 1994 deprived the world of arguably the most iconic and probing voice in American culture of the period, and it's hard to find the words to do him justice. Given the fact Hicks was much more celebrated in the UK than he was at home, it is perhaps fitting that it's British filmmakers Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas who step up to pay him his dues. Cleverly shunning a conventional talking-heads approach, American: The Bill Hicks Story uses an innovative animation technique, some rare and previously unseen performance footage, and testimonies only from the people who knew him best, his family and close friends, to create a deeply perceptive, fittingly honest celebration of the man occasionally known as Goatboy. From his teenage years, when he would have to sneak out of his parents home to appear at the Austin comedy club where he first attracted attention, through to being infamously censored on The Late Show with David Letterman, this is as complete and definitive a biography as there is available. The frequent stand-up clips serve to illustrate why Hicks remains so revered and relevant: he was so funny, so fearless and always right.

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