As shocking yet haunting as a Diane Arbus photograph, disturbing because it is so unmistakably human, "Crumb" makes it difficult to look away. Though Terry Zwigoff's 1995 documentary begins as an examination of the art and career of the celebrated cartoonist R. (for Robert) Crumb, it is considerably more than that. Because it provides an intimate view of Crumb's singular background, it ends up dealing with larger, more complex issues, from the impact of family in shaping personality to the concept of the artist as a messenger to society from a scathing personal hell. Considered the key figure in the underground comic movement, Crumb has been called "the Breughel of the last half of the 20th Century" by Time magazine art critic Robert Hughes." (TMC early Wednesday at 2:20 a.m.)
Other four-star films airing this week:
The Graduate / TMC, Sunday, 3:05 p.m.
Anna / Bravo, Sunday, 7:05 p.m.; Monday, midnight and noon; Saturday, noon.
Dr. Strangelove or; How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb / Cinemax, Sunday, 8 p.m.
All the King's Men / A&E, early Tuesday, 1 a.m.
Anatomy of a Murder / TMC, Wednesday, 2:45 p.m.
The Birds / TNT, Saturday, 9:10 p.m.