It took his death in 1994 to make people really realize that Bill Hicks was among the decade’s most unique voices in social criticism. Ostensibly a stand-up comic, Hicks was a fierce critic of marketing and advertising (“you do a commercial, you’re off the artistic roll call forever”), and of pop culture trends. But his screeds weren’t merely loud rants, as he would also dive into exploratory monologues about the nature of existence and fulfillment.

Hicks is the subject of a documentary (American: The Bill Hicks Story) but now a dramatized biopic may finally be coming together, with Russell Crowe at the helm. The actor is reportedly set to make his feature directorial debut with a film about Hicks, which could shoot next year. Read More »

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‘American: The Bill Hicks Story’ Trailer

We’ve just passed the seventeenth anniversary of the death of Bill Hicks, and in memoriam I’d like to present the trailer for American: The Bill Hicks Story. This documentary chronicles the life of one of America’s most unlikely comedic stars — Bill Hicks wasn’t so much a stand-up comic as a commentator and cultural critic. He pushed stand-up to the point almost of metaphysical inquiry, but could also rant in a way that would teach even the craziest street-corner preacher a thing or two. Watch the trailer after the break. Read More »

I wasn’t planning to write about Gallery1988′s first annual “Is This Thing On” art show as it really has little connection to movies or television (or so I thought… the above piece featuring Judd Apatow mashed-up with the infamous Star Trek Tribbles episode is a fine example of this). The show, co-sponsored by FunnyOrDie, features over 100 artists, each creating pieces that are portraits of their favorite funny people, both beloved comics of yesteryear and emerging superstars.

The line up of comedians depicted include: Chris Farley, Will Ferrel, Richard Pryor, Don Rickles, Paul Reubens,Tim & Eric, Nick Kroll, Demetri Martin, Chris Rock, Whitney Cummings, Jon Lovitz, Sam Kinison, Bill Murray, Woody Allen, Colin Quinn, Bill Hicks, Howard Stern, Judd Apatow, Chris Hardwick, Marc Maron, Scott Auckerman, David Spade, Andy Dick, Lenny Bruce, Adam Sandler, Amy Sedaris, Lisa Lampanelli, David Cross, Andy Kaufman, Christopher Guest, Mr. Show, Rob Corddry and Children’s Hospital, Gilbert Gottfried, Jeffrey Ross, Bill Cosby, Bobcat Goldthwait, Tracy Morgan, Roseanne, Patton Oswalt, Dave Attell, David Wain and Wet Hot American Summer, Will Forte, John Candy, Lilly Tomlin, Phil Hartman, John Belushi, Mel Brooks and Young Frankenstein, Chevy Chase, Louis CK, Norm MacDonald, Flight of the Conchords, Jim Carrey, Reggie Watts, Steve Martin, Larry David, Rodney Dangerfield, Mitch Hedberg, Ellen DeGenerous, Margaret Cho, Steven Wright, Conan O’Brien, David Letterman, Richard Lewis, George Carlin, UCB Theater LA, Upright Citizen Brigade (TV show), Human Giant, Sasha Baron Cohen, Gallagher, Dana Carvey, Jon Stewart and The Daily Show, Danny McBride, Carrot Top, Greg Giraldo, Donald Glover, Zach Galifiankis, Charlene Yi, Andrew “Dice” Clay, Chris Elliot, Jon Lovitz, Artie Lange, Doug Benson, Redd Foxx, Ben Stiller, Ricky Gervais, Dave Chapelle, Chelsea Handler, Aziz Ansari, Eddie Murphy, SF Sketchfest, Cheech & Chong, Sarah Silverman, Stella, Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams, Brian Posehn, Charlie Murphy and Kids In The Hall.
The show is ongoing until January 29th 2011 in the Melrose Gallery 1988 location. Hirt the jump to see some of my favorite pieces of art from the exhibition.

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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Russell Crowe in Bill Hicks Biopic?

Russell Crowe revealed to the Sydney Morning Herald, that he might be playing Bill Hicks in an upcoming biopic, which is progressing from “treatment to draft stage with Kiwi writer by Mark Staufer.”

Hicks was a successful stand-up/rant comedian in the late 1980′s/early 1990′s, once voted “Hot Standup Comic by Rolling Stone Magazine, and listed at #19 on Comedy Central’s 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time. Hicks battled drug and alcohol abuse before dying from pancreatic cancer at 32-years-old. Talk of a biopic began in 2004 at Paramount Pictures, but the project never got off the ground. For those who haven’t experienced Hicks’ comedy, check out his NSFW bit on marketing after the jump.

Thanks to FlicksNews for passing this along.

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