Reader recommendation by “Jackie”


FEATURING: Ron Thompson, Lisa Jane Perksy, Jeffery Lippa

PLOT: Centering on a family of musicians from the 1910s to the 1980s, American Pop takes a psychedelic look at the history and evolution of American music whilst telling a story of its own.

Still from American Pop (1981)
WHY IT SHOULD MAKE THE LIST: American Pop contains many vivid and flashy surreal images. It’s like a trip through psychedelia that encompasses it’s plot and structure beyond measure.

COMMENTS: This film is important not only for its creativity, but it also has a unique take on American culture. Bakshi’s talent is at its peak with this film. His style is fluid and the film’s visuals are stunning.


“Bakshi… continues to push animation techniques to the outer limits more frequently explored by film makers who call themselves avant-garde, but who seldom are. His newest film, ‘American Pop,’ is a dazzling display of talent, nerve, ideas (old and new), passion and a marvelously free sensibility.“–Vincent Canby, The New York Times (contemporaneous)


  1. So Jackie, I think something by Ralph Bakshi will probably make the List, but I have to be honest: I don’t think it will be American Pop. At least a couple of other movies from him have a better shot.

    1. I see what you mean. I picked this because it was like an adult version of Yellow Submarine.” But I have read through the comments and agree that there are quite stranger films than this one (Heavy Traffic), but I guess it’s a start to noticing Bakshi on here. I think this is his best film, that’s why I suggested it, but certainly not the weirdest.

  2. I agree with G. Smalley here. While I think there is room on the list for Bakshi, I think there are other films with a better chance. Heavy Traffic would be my personal pick.

  3. I’m sorry, but I feel like I have to say something. I know the site is trying to get through the utterly massive backlog of reader suggestions, and not every article posted is going to be as in-depth as the List reviews, but this is just unacceptable. When a site like this only updates once a day, I expect at least a little bit of work put into the content. Something that takes a minute to read would’ve been better. I know practically nothing about the film now that I didn’t before, beyond generic praise words.

    Blegh. I hate to sound so negative but I’m just… so disappointed that something this short wound up being the only content posted today. Sorry.

    1. Gargus, I try to post substantial new content every day. The Innocence review was scheduled to post yesterday but the automatic scheduling misfired (which has been a continuing issue with the latest version of WordPress).

      This is a reader submitted review that I tried to fit in as bonus content. The fact that the other review missed its schedule is an unfortunate coincidence.

      Having said that, I appreciate your disappointment, but it’s not like we make a living doing this. There may be days in the future when I personally want to take a day off and there will be no new content. If that happens I will try to give advance warning through the “What’s in the Pipeline” weekly update.

    2. I understand. I’m sorry I wound up expressing my displeasure so strongly. The short content was disappointing, but I don’t have any right to pass judgement on the site because of it. Thank you for the explanation, and sorry for any harshness on my part.

      (I’m going to try to give the film a try as soon as possible.)

    3. No problem, your passion is appreciated, just wanted to set the record straight. (And actually, you helped us, because I just assumed the Innocence review posted as scheduled and didn’t notice it hadn’t until I read the complaint this morning!)

    4. It’s my fault.

      I could’ve put a lot more depth into the suggestion but for the sake of brevity I kept it short. If it gets a list or encapsulated I will certainly expand it but I didn’t even think it’d get published on here. To my surprise it did.

  4. American Pop is a gem but I wouldn’t describe it as weird. Third favorite Bakshi.

    Heavy Traffic is personal and brilliant and a little weird. Second favorite.

    But the crown jewel in the Bakshi canon is Coonskin, which is his best and also his weirdest.

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