Is Harvey Pekar God? - A review

From: iDRMRSR <>
Newsgroups: alt.slack
Date: Fri, Aug 29, 2003 11:11 PM

Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Bob, Connie, Moroni, Cthulu, Hastur, Thoth, and the
One Whose Name Shall Not Be Uttered! Jesus Harold Christ on a greased
POGO stick!

I just got out of seeing American Splendor at the Cheddar-Pee Theater
near here. I think it was one of the best freaking movies I have ever
damn seen.

I don't know what it is about that guy or his totally insignificant
life, but I actually damn near cried at the end. I haven't shed a tear
in a movie except when I saw Mercury Rising (about the Autistic kid)
over a decade ago, and the time before that, when Bambi got killed back
in 1954.

Oh, I suppose the dude was simply a cranky underground cartoonist that
nobody could get along with in real life. But the story they wove
around this common loser was so warm and subtle and cozy, and the
completely anticlimactic ending was tender enough to get a hard ass like
me burbling just like an old lady. What a piece of fillum-making. I
don't care if it's true, I don't care if it's all some kind of left
wingish puffery.

The story just touches so many of the things you've experienced day to
day in your own life somehow. No deep sorrows, really, no great
triumphs, just a life that wavers only slightly from ordinary here and
there. And in that tiny amount of oscillation, decades go by and the
really tender side of humanity shines through like a warm glow. Harvey
emerges as a great hero, though of nothing particularly notable except
perhaps for his persistence to hug that center line of existence where
nothing remarkable takes place whatsoever.

You just gotta see this one to believe it. Kinda reminds me of the
movie Crumb by David Lynch, or the Man in the Moon about Andy Kaufman.
But the big difference is that Crumb and Andy were like totally well
known and actually had an incredibly clear talent in some way or
another. Pekar doesn't, yet in that lack, like somehow totally

The film is made right here in Byootiful Cleveland. I'd especially hope
that folks like IMBJR could eventually get to see this flick just to see
the very town that could have generated a person like Pekar and his
neighborhood buddies. They do a superb job visually of making this town
look like the armpit of the rustbelt (which it is).

I especially liked the look of Pekar's apartment, crammed with 78 RPM
and LP vinyl records on sagging steel shelves occupying two thirds of
his living space. Shit, I grew up in a house like that. That's so
totally Cleveland, it's real, it resonates. And they have the balls to
shoot some of the scenes in winter with the snow falling.

Yee hee, I'd sure like some Briddish and Euro SubG's to see Cleveland
like that, sitting in its underwear, farting, and scratching at its
crotch (under the shorts yet). Be interesting to get their reaction.
Perfect art direction to provide a backdrop to Pekar's life story.

I think almost any SubG would enjoy this flick. I sure did.


Up one level
Back to document index

Original file name: Is Harvey Pekar God? - A review - converted on Saturday, 25 September 2004, 02:05

This page was created using TextToHTML. TextToHTML is a free software for Macintosh and is (c) 1995,1996 by Kris Coppieters