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163 comments so far

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  1. Great, funny man, gone too soon!! Must see movie.

  2. What a tragedy to have lost such a great, innovative, funny, inspirational comic as was Bill Hicks! Why do all ‘good die young’? Bill Hicks was BRILLIANT! I am teary eyed and left wondering what could have been, for Bill Hicks was and will always be a GREAT COMEDIAN!!! My heart goes out to his family, for he was (and will always be) a true comic genius!!!! God bless you!!!

  3. As with most things that I care about, this film about the prankster prophet that is Bill Hicks, elicits mixed and somewhat conflicting feelings from me. 1st off, I do really like this dvd set as it has a lot of material that gives many different and often insightful perspectives into The Sane Man’s life, from family, friends & people that worked with him. I found this to be very rewarding for me personally, as I have been a big Bill Hicks fan ever since Tool(Ӕnema) turned me on to yet another dead hero… a little over a decade ago(Jesus titty-fucking K-rist I feel OLD). I have the Bill Hicks Live & Sane Man DVDs, Arizona Bay on CD(& I’m sure I have all of his other albums + Ninja Bachelor Party & lots of misc clips on a HD). So it was refreshing to see some new material & perspectives put together to honor his legacy and introduce a new audience to his sublimely entertaining wisdom.

    However I did wonder if the portrait this film paints of Bill would be lacking crucial substance to someone who is not already familiar with Hicks’ classic material & philosophy. The actual clips of him performing that were shown in the film were so brief that while I knew the material they were referencing/from, it could really leave those vpreviously unfamiliar with the material with an incomplete image of Bill’s brilliant & fairly complex vision. You just can’t get any real kind of grasp of his message(s) from a funny line or two dropped into the narrative, you really need to absorb the layers he was delivering in his acts to understand the full depth of what he was trying to convey. Plus I think the crass spectacle of the mass media indoctrinating the mindless masses with superficial soundbites under the facade of spreading information is one of those things that Bill was so adamantly opposed to, that I wish they’d gone a little farther in the other direction in telling Bill’s story.

    I’d say all-in-all that this documentary with all of the supplementary material is a pretty fantastic look into Bill Hicks’ life & message when you have already absorbed a lot of his material, and understand where he is coming from and what he was doing; but I feel like it would probably not be a good introduction to his complex comedy for those who have not been exposed to and absorbed the greater body of his work.

    I also have to add that I was a little perplexed by the title chosen for this documentary. Branding Bill by his nationality seems like a particularly strange choice to me. I know I am not the only one who is confused by this. Even in the bonus material on the dvd set there is a woman who was in an audience where this documentary was shown, and during a Q & A session with the people who made this documentary she asked why they had chosen this title. The explanation given was something to the effect that Bill represented the ideals upon which the quintessential “American Dream” is based, and had the courage to question the choicess that the American government has made which conflict with or are directly opposed to those fundamental ideals. However that answer seemed a little vague and evasive to me. It seems like the true root of the name probably has more to do with the fact that this American comic who was ahead of his time found more acceptance and recognition in the UK than he did at home. But the thing that bother me is that every time I think of the title of this documentary, it make me think of Bill’s response to a foreign(Australian) crowd when asked if he was proud to be an American? He said: “Um, I don’t know, I didn’t have a lot to do with it. You know, my parents fucked there, that’s about all.” So obviously he did not see any great significance in nationality, I believe his vision was bigger than that and transcended national, and other arbitrary barriers. I believe these were some of the often self-inposed blackaides that he encouraged people to evolve beyond. He told us not to listen to, or be fooled by “The Man’s” puppets; which are still pulling the old “divide & conquer” scam. Think for yourself, question authority!

    All in all I really enjoyed the film and the close look at the inspiring, and all-too-short life of Bill Hicks, through the eyes of those closest to him. Sure I had a few minor issues with it, but all in all I very much appreciate what it had to offer. Plus any criticism I have is intended to be constructive, and to provide food for thought. I think that is fitting since Bill Hicks clearly dedicated his life to more than just entertaining. I believe that his life’s work, at it’s core, was about using his keen wit and comedic gifts to provoke free thought in hos audience, and to push himself to think about things in a new ways. He sought to discover new truths about life & reality and help open others minds to explore and learn/grow as well.

  4. I’m going to guess that most comments are never read. Or maybe it’s just blind hope on my part that your site should be swamped with feedback from others. Maybe that’s saved for twitterface friends, it doesn’t matter, I just want to say this: It’s now June 30th 2011. I’ve only just now managed to see the movie (yes I say “movie”, not “film”), as it only ever played in the theaters of two cities here in New Zealand, neither of which is Christchurch (not my hometown, but where I live nowadays). Given the literal seismic anomaly unfolding here, it’s been difficult to even find a copy – so I ordered one from out of town. Ive just finished watching and before I have even seen the “extras” I need to thank you. I have been waiting for this film since I first detected its idea (maybe the internet is the 7th sense?) and I even tried to find a way to procure it from overseas, legally I should add, but DVD region zones are still rampant despite the internet, so I couldn’t get the 2 disc set that I’ve seen recently advertised – damn theater control on dvd zones! Have they not heard about the internets?…Many moons later, I have finally seen your film, movie, opinion, interpretation, of Bill Hicks. Thank you, from the bottom of my quake shaken heart. I have struggled with music having been a musical whore most of my creative life and quit after 25 years…if you replace your passion for a job, it’s the thinnest of tightropes and Hicks taught us to jump off that fuckin rope and stand your ground! I wish I could have jumped off that noose before I fell and caught my balls in it!
    But I digress. Thank you for bringing more light to the light that was Bill. Shit, I haven’t even seen the “extras” yet! Gotta go and watch the rest of the disc, but just had to blurt some honest thanks first. Much love and respect from the Shaky Isles.

  5. I aired a bunch of Bill’s clean edits on my Memorial Day show on the WUCX-FM Eclectic Chair. I included photos and links to his site and the trailer. I still need to get a copy of Just A Ride because I think my listeners need to hear him again. I wish this movie was coming near me, but I suppose I’ll try to get the college to buy it for the radio station. We all need to keep his legacy alive so we don’t forget to keep our eyes and ears and hearts wide open!

  6. Loved this movie!
    “The world is like a ride at an amusement park and when you choose to go on it you think it is real because that’s how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills and it’s very brightly coloured and it’s very loud. And it’s fun, for a while. Some people have been on this ride for a while and they begin to question: Is this real or is this just a ride? And other people remember and they come back to us and they say, “Hey! Don’t worry. Don’t be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride.”

  7. This was WELL worth watching! Highly, highly recomended!

    For me this truly was inspirational. I have often thought that those who are our greatest teachers are those who have gone through the deepest and hardest times. Watching this I can tell that there were many, MANY thought provoking insights that came straight from the heart and soul.

    I have recently heard the comment that the most spiritual people are those that don’t use the word “spiritual” like most do. From what I have seen I would have to say that Bill Hicks and I will use the word “is” one of thee most spiritual people I have ever become aware of. His messages, awareness, insights, and understanding break into something of which ALL should have AT LEAST a glimps of!!!

    First time ever watching something on itunes! Best time spent watching something in a while!

  8. Please come back to Chicago!

  9. The whole second half of this film is really, really moving. You captured the journey of a man who found the courage to let down his guard, heal himself, and speak truth to power all at the same time. What other performer would end a huge comedy special with an earnest plea for love and tolerance? This film reminds me of how vigilant we have to be against the lies that tell us in a million tiny ways that we need money and status to be happy.

  10. Great flick. I’m happy somebody finally told Hicks’ story. Thank you.

  11. I had the great honor to see one of his last performances in LA at Igby’s a Santa Monica comedy club that is sadly gone as well. I wish everyone could have seen him live. Bill’s energy and ability to control the crowd was amazing. This film is the closest we will ever get to seeing him live again. I urge every fan to see the film. He will inspire you to take a better look around at what’s happening in the world, and that’s pretty powerful for a man that died in 1993. If I was to sum up how I see his legacy it would be this “Bill Hicks: he never compromised, and he never gave in.”

    ps
    If you work in marketing or advertising kill yourself!

  12. Please get this released wider, including Orlando! I didn’t “discover” Bill until after his death, unfortunately. But what I’ve found is that we’ve lost one of our best voices, creative spirits, and one willing to question the staus quo. And he did it with love and humor! What a heartbreak! America needs to give Bill his due and recognize what a ground-breaking comedian he was! God-speed, Bill.

  13. It makes me feel really great and gives me hope for the future of this country that this film has been made. I remember watching bill on the comedy channel when I was in high school back in the early 90′s. It is a shame that he is not around today to comment on the current mess in America and the world, (reality shows, over-exposed celebrities, healthcare, war on terror, and the continuing WAR ON DRUGS etc etc etc). We need this film now more than ever to open our minds and make us think in a much more open minded way. I hope that this film dose him well and brings more people to look at his work. I also hope that the media on all sides of the political spectrum pay close attention to it and talk about it. I want it to really rock the boat. It could not have come along at a more critical time.

  14. Many of us in the stand-up comedy community watched in anger as others robbed Bill’s ideas and in some cases surpassed his fame because of doing just that. This is a necessary and righteous project.

  15. People who hate people can finally come together.

  16. Bill Hicks changed me. Before I listened to him, I was a failure at life. I was perpetually grieving for myself and humanity. Now I see I was never a failure, but just along for the ride. I’m spiritual, and in touch with my existence and those who exist around me.. Karma is real. There is a shared consciousness and human experience. Additionally, the media, government, and madison ave execs are all lying to us. There’s nothing we can do about it, just know that it’s so. I’m not afraid of this world any more, and I’m not afraid to question EVERYTHING. Live up to your potential! Turn of “Cops” and read something. RIP Bill.

  17. Just found this link by accident or divine intervention.

    I had the pleasure of meeting Bill back in the 80′s when I was working in one of the many Houston comedy clubs.

    Always loved his cutting comedy, we sure could use him in these times

  18. Huh? Why not San Francisco?

  19. Can’t wait to see it!!! Been loving Mr. Hicks for a long time. The quintessential entertainer and comedian that not only perceived the truth, but could and did acknowledge its ambiguity and potential absurdity. To say he was ahead of his time would be an egregious understatement. Rock on!!

  20. Dear Bill,
    We love you. Thanks for having the balls to speak your mind. Your insight is priceless.
    By the way whoever runs this site needs to remove the Jay Leno quote from the Famous Fans sections, because Bill Hicks rips that no talent hack a new asshole. In the bit he hopes Leno blows his brains out live on the Tonite Show with an Uzi (Hysterical look for it on you tube as Bill Hicks ripps Jay Leno) because he sold out so bad he resorted to selling Doritios. I can’t speak from Bill, but having heard this bit I do not appreciate that Douchebag Jay Leno praising him on this website.
    Thanks,
    Bill you Rock!

  21. Great to see Bill get this recognition and to tell his story. Houston loved Bill Hicks. We used to go to the Comedy Workshop and the Comedy Workshop Annex to see Bill and all the self proclaimed ” Outlaw Comics” in Houston back in the 1980′s (along with Riley Barber, Jimmy Pineapple and Mike Vance). After making sure we easily complied with the “two drink minimum” to get in, it was always a special evening wherever Bill showed up and delivered his insightful observations and called bullshit on what was happening in the world at the time. I would love to see a film done about the Comedy Workshop as well, since it was such launching pad for such talent such as Bill, Sam Kinison, Steve and Vicky Ferrell, Mike Vance etc.

  22. Far, far away, in a small town, in a cold contrey called Norway, a young girl sheds a tear for her idol. Anytime anyone talks about comedy Bill Hicks words roll threw her mind.

    I have just seen the documentary that was made a few years back, with that comedy chick. Dont remember her name. Anyway, i cant help thinking of all the great material Hicks would have now. Think of all the shit thats happend since he passed.

    He made me think at 17. A friend introdused him to me on youtube.And someone put in to words all the feelings i couldnt express myself. Cause when you think about it, not a lot has changed in the world in theese years.

    Sorry for my bad english. And if I belived in a god and return of Jesus, I would pray that he send Bill back instead.

  23. WE NEED THIS FILM TO BE AVAILABLE IN CALIFORNIA? Bill is still the best American comedian of all time and a staple on what it means to stand up to the hypocrisies of life. It’s not fair that this film has not already been shown nationwide…But obviously it would be to the detriment of the very few in “charge.” Everyone needs to know Bill’s story.

  24. Genius before his time.
    We miss you, now more than ever Bill.

  25. Here in America we need the UK to tell us who are heroes are. That’s how fucked up we are. But, we knew that.

  26. Wow. This is wonderful. Thanks.

  27. i just saw this and i was amazed. i really love the way the story was told and most of all FANTASTIC animation. i loved it so much i had to find you and tell you. really really impressive. it was almost my favorite part.

    and to bills friends and loved ones: you inspired me too.

  28. Bill’s teaching shall never be forgotten. He has inspired myself and many more to continue to challenge the global corporate plutocracy/false authority and he has encouraged us to retrace the prestigious path to utopia. His divine wisdom and talent was one of the greatest gifts to the human race and so this energy shall never rest and will resonate forever, long live Bill Hicks!!!

  29. when the fuck is ‘american’ COMING TO AMERICA! jesus fukin christ already

  30. This movie should be displayed in every cinema in the united states and it should be promoted in a commercial ad perhaps espn/cnn/msnbc/fox/USA TODAY/ THE WASHINGTON POST/ WALLSTREET/ AND BILL HICKS SHOULD BE ON THE COVER OF ROLLING STONE PREMEIRING THE RELEASE OF THIS MOVIE. I KNOW that if I were allowed to promote this movie and had the names and numbers to everyone I need to know from espn to Rolling Stone Magazine, this would crush MTV JACKASS THE MOVIE historical box record money earnings by the millions, and there’s alot of irony to be said about all of that. So I would love to hear why this wouldnt be done????? I live in cincinnati, OH myspace name is coxycool

  31. Amazing and absolutely brilliant. I think that Hicks belongs with Ian Curtis and Robert Solomon. Tragic, in its classical meaning, so in love with life and yet simultaneously so conflicted. Can’t wait to check the film out. Great title, damn right, an American. God bless

  32. I cannot wait for this movie. Bill is the John Lennon of philosophical comedy.

  33. Hey I watched the Bill Hicks Story at the Perth Film Festival! If anyone else was there, I was the guy who passed out in the line after inhaling a massive joint just before the show, it was a stupid idea and I underestimated the potency of the bud. The thing is even though I can’t remember much at that time, I was told everyone was very supportive, even the security guard didn’t mind, in fact he fetched me a bottle of water. Now that is compassion for you! Bill Hicks would have been proud that there was such a supportive and caring crowed celebrating his life.

    I pre ordered the dvd a couple of weeks before the release date, it arrived 7 days ago and in that time I have watched the movie over 4 or 5 times showing it too friends. I will be showing it to my family tomorrow, so they can at least understand where my inspiration in life comes from!

    I would just like to commend Matt Harlock and Paul Thomas for making a wonderful and magnificently made film! By far the best thing to come out in a long long time! Not to mention that the 5 hours of extended footage was just as interesting as the film itself. Thank you very very much guys!

  34. Can’t wait to see the film, please bring it to Salt Lake City, ASAP! In addition to Sundance, we have the Tower Theater-which hosted David Lynch’s latest film-and would, I’m sure, love to show it. There is also a great deal of local, independent minded media that would be happy to promote it… KUER’s Radio West with Doug Fabrizio, X96′s Radio From Hell, and the City Weekly.

    Bill Hicks, Kurt Vonnegut and Mark Twain: The trinity of American wit, humor and morality.

    I missed all of them during the last administration.

  35. I was lucky enough to see this at the Sydney Underground Film Festival last night, and thought it was an excellent summary of the life of someone who I found to be inspirational. This film reminds us why we should always maintain the rage.

    On the off chance you are interested, we’ve reviewed it here:
    http://dvdbits.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/american-the-bill-hicks-story/

  36. My sister and I saw a screening of American: The Bill Hicks Story last night at the Sydney Underground Film Festival. We were both incredibly moved by the portrayal of his life, and were thrilled to see so much footage of him, from his teen years up to his last few months.

    One of the best aspects was seeing the film with an audience, and hearing everyone around us laughing and applaudding so emphatically – it was almost like being at a comedy club with the man himself onstage, as though he were still with us today.

    We can’t wait until the DVD is available to buy in Australia. Thank you so much for bringing such an important story to screen.

  37. I saw the movie at the Australian premiere last night – what a fantastic tribute to the man who changed my life almost more than any other (only really my father’s “contribution” tops him!). Poignant, funny, insightful, informative, entertaining… I can’t believe this is your first movie guys! A fantastic film – thanks so much for honoring this great man with such a beautifully presented documentary.

  38. Saw it last night at the downtown film festival in LA and loved it! Enjoyed meeting Mary Hicks and Kevin Booth too and am really looking forward to the full release of the film next year, and of course, the ultimate release of the DVD set here in the US. I hope the US package is as good as the UK version sounds like it is.

  39. I AM A HUGE BILL HICKS FAN, …345 pounds! I love him, be a fan and donate to the Bill Hicks Wildlife Foundation in Texas. Bill loved animals and would want fans to help animals. I can’t wait to see this movie! Bill Hicks is my favorite comedian of all time! Joe Rogan is right; Dennis Leary stole Bill’s act verbatim, used it, got famous, got rich and never acknowledged Bill Hicks or paid RESPECT. Bill Hicks was not only an incredible comedian, but an incredible human being! A caring human being who still lives on and helps animals. WE LOVE AND MISS YOU BILL! SEE YOU IN HEAVEN OR HELL ONE DAY! – Brian Johnson

  40. Yould really get on and release this on DVD already, if its one of the best docs in 2010. I LOVE Bill Hicks and I’m sure I wont be seeing it on maui.

  41. i need to see this flim. please start showing it in more places (i.e Canada, east coast).

    merci

  42. Please bring American to the East Coast!!!!! RIP Bill

  43. Great to know about this movie!

    Really looking forward to see it.

    We are from Portugal and absolutely love everything that Bill Hicks has done.

  44. We’d love to see this in Minneapolis, Minnesota. There are plenty of good venues that could host it.

  45. A year ago, a friend recomended this artist to us. Since then we have not stopped whatching his performances from youtube again and again. We are great admirers of his work. We are from Argentina, and wanted to know if by any chance you are going to show the movie in South America. Probably not…Or maybe tell us how we can see the full movie. Few people know about him over here, although we are showing him to whoever crosses our door.

  46. A truely inspiring piece. Bill Hicks is the voice on all of our shoulders telling us to stand up and be counted, to not be beaten down by the passive, conformist world we live in. Watch this film and go make a difference. Be the voice of sanity, just once call people on their bullshit, effect your enviroment for the better and above all make the choice between love and fear.
    Bill Hick is important to the world, he must never be forgotten

  47. How do I buy this? I desperately need it. I own everything that I am able to get my hands on that has anything to do with Bill. I can not go out and watch one of these screenings all over the world because I live in Louisiana. (Enough said.) *Sigh. So someone… anyone, help me out?

    “Hey. Don’t worry. Don’t be afraid- EVER. Because, it’s just a ride.”

  48. BRING THIS MOVIE TO AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    THIS MOVIE WAS MADE TO SHOW BILL’S IDEAS, WHICH ARE DESPERATLY NEEDED IN THIS SHIT-HOLE TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  49. Bill was and is a great hero of mine and it’s still a source of pride to me that he was so appreciated in the UK at a time when he was still struggling to get the kind of recognition in his home country that his genius deserved. I saw the film last night and it totally worked. The technique of using still photos to improvise moving images came off perfectly in a way that was quirky, non-intrusive or overly distracting and seemed totally appropriate. Bill’s story was faithfully and compellingly told and didn’t fall into the obvious trap of fawning hero worship. See the film if you get the chance or, in view of the limited release over here, get the DVD, you won’t be disappointed. RIP Bill.

  50. HE IS LEGEND!
    Essential Viewing for every Bill Hicks fan. Features interviews/narration with family, friends and fellow comedians accompanied with cool animations of events telling his life story. watch it now!

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