Call Me Lucky (2015)

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Call Me Lucky: Directed by Bobcat Goldthwait. With Barry Crimmins, Jack Gallagher, Martin Olson, Steve Sweeney. Barry Crimmins is pissed. His hellfire brand of comedy has rained verbal lightning bolts on American audiences and politicians for decades, yet you’ve probably never heard of him. But once you’ve experienced Bobcat Goldthwait’s brilliant character portrait of him and heard Crimmins’s secret, you will never forget him. From his unmistakable bullish frame came a scathingly ribald stand-up style that took early audiences by force. Through stark, smart observation and judo-like turns of phrase, Crimmins’s rapid-fire comedy was a war on ignorance and complacency in ’80s America at the height of an ill-considered foreign policy. Crimmins discusses another side of his character, revealing in detail a dark and painful past that inspired his life-changing campaign of activism in the hope of saving others from a similar experience. Interviews with comics like Margaret Cho and Marc Maron illustrate Crimmins’s love affair with comedy and his role in discovering and supporting the development of many of today’s stars. As a venerated member of America’s comic community, Crimmins could be your newest national treasure. Just don’t tell him that.

“At the risk of sounding cynical, the fact that this was made before Barry Crimminsu0026#39; death makes the testimonies more credible, in a way. People are celebrating and stating the importance of this man, and itu0026#39;s not because heu0026#39;s passed away and because you u0026quot;haveu0026quot; to be respectful to the dead. Of course not all interviewees in documentaries about the dead are lying or embellishing, but itu0026#39;s something thatu0026#39;s often on my mind when I watch them.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eAnyway, this is a very good documentary with one possible downside: I felt a little strange about Crimminsu0026#39; abuse as a child being a plot twist of sorts, at least at first. It seemed a little tacky to build suspense to this u0026quot;revelationu0026quot; through showing snippets of interviews with his sister. In the end it works, and it does lend the second half of the film a sense of power and emotion, but maybe other survivors of abuse would want to know the documentary is going to cover that stuff beforehand. I think itu0026#39;s a good approach for viewers who arenu0026#39;t victims of childhood abuse, to jolt their systems and make it more impactful, but there is a chance this sudden shift at the halfway point could prove difficult and too confrontational for people who have survived abuse and donu0026#39;t know itu0026#39;s coming within the documentary.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eIn this case, the somewhat comparable halfway plot shift in Goldthwaitu0026#39;s excellent Worldu0026#39;s Greatest Dad probably works a bit better, thanks to the story being fictional.”


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