DVD, Digital Release: Robert Williams: Mr. Bitchin'

DVD & Digital Release Date: July 30, 2013
Price: DVD $19.95
Studio: Cinema Libre


Robert Williams: Mr. Bitchin' sceneThe 2013 documentary Robert Williams: Mr. Bitchin’ provides a lively look at the life and career of the renowned American underground artist and cartoonist Robert Williams, whose counter-culture artwork often features images of naked women, death, destruction, booze and clowns.

In the early 1960s, emerging artist Williams was confronted with trendy abstraction and superficial pop art. Schooled in the Hot Rod Culture of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth and Von Dutch, he emerged as a leader in the Underground Comic revolution along with R. Crumb, contributing regularly to Zap Comix. His antisocial paintings of an alternative reality were marginalized by the art world for decades although he became a hero of sorts for underground artists. His notoriety exploded when his painting Appetite for Destruction was used (and much vilified) as the cover for that 1987 Guns n’ Roses album.

By 2010, the art world could ignore him no longer and he was included in the prestigious Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. But though he has risen to the top of the art world, Williams was and is always considered to be an “outsider.”

Co-directed by Mary C. Reese, Nancye Ferguson, Doug Blake, Stephen Nemeth and Michael LaFetra, Mr. Bitchin’ includes archival footage by friend and famed photographer CR Stecyk and features appearances and testimonials by Suzanne Williams, Debbie Harry, Anthony Kiedis, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, Slash, George DiCaprio, Mat Gleason, Axl Rose, Tony Shafrazi and Artie Shaw.

Screened at Comic Con and The American Cinematheque earlier this summer, the film’s DVD incarnation contains a photo gallery of Williams’ art as a bonus feature.
 

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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.