Robyn Hitchcock: Sex, Food, Death ... And Insects (A&E)

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Robyn Hitchcock: Sex, Food, Death ... And Insects

2007, Not Rated

This hour-long documentary, originally aired on the Sundance Channel, allows longtime British singer/songwriter Robyn Hitchcock to show the sources for the eccentric worldview that has led to such truly wonderful, skewed compositions as "If You Were a Priest," "Uncorrected Personality Traits," "The Man With the Lightbulb Head" and everyone's favorite, "My Wife and My Dead Wife." Given an extended chance to explain his processes, Hitchcock reveals himself to be not a weird savant but a thoughtful artist trying hard to stay in touch with his subconscious as a generator of ideas and imagery. It's a touching, insightful portrait, aided by interviews with other musicians who have helped with his recent albums — Venus 3's Peter Buck, Bill Rieflin and Scott McCaughey as well as Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. (Buck's comments comparing his pleasure working with Hitchcock compared to R.E.M. are especially interesting.) It's also nice to see Hitchcock's sunny, lived-in British house. But there's not enough music here to satisfy; the film is edited so tightly that one mostly just gets snippets of the 20-plus songs. A DVD-only extra of him working on four new songs helps, but more is needed. (Steven Rosen) Grade: B-

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