In the Mix - Movie

Overweight Chicago street musician Wesley Willis is a cult icon. Schizophrenic and prone to manic outbursts, Willis immerses himself in the healing power of his art—namely, urban drawings and hilarious rants backed by generic Casio keyboard riffs. Over the years, he has been embraced by punk/indie communities nationwide for his hardcore realism and humor (“You are a rocking hyena … you can really rock Saddam Hussein’s ass” from the tune “Alanis Morissette”).

This documentary offers a detailed look at Willis’ life on the streets, in Kinko’s typing songs, and touring the nation (it includes a 22-minute interview with famed producer Steve Albini). None of the documentary ever seems exploitive of Willis; it’s actually a charming testimony to “outsider art.”

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