Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
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While two films (WHERE THE BUFFALO ROAM and FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS) were made about his life, it is only now that Hunter reaches the screen in his own words, in his own actions via the newly released documentary GONZO: THE LIFE AND WORK OF DR. HUNTER S. THOMPSON. And what a treat it is to see and hear him speak for himself.
The film looks back at the entire life of this maverick that changed the face of journalism by making it not just about looking at issues from the outside in, but from the inside out. Gonzo journalism often placed the writer into the scene of what was being written about since that writer was actually there. Gonzo journalists write as participants as opposed to voyeurs. And Hunter was a definite participant.
The film begins with his youth covering the usual biopic necessities of what possibly made him choose the direction he did. But it moves forward to his youth when he chose to be a writer and pursue that dream. Not only did he pursue it, he got involved in it.
The first break Hunter found was when he commingled with the motorcycle gang the Hells Angels to find out just what they were all about. The pieces he put together on the gang were wrapped up into a book titled HELLS ANGELS that was considered the quintessential source of information on gangs. A falling out with the gang led to Hunter's moving on to another topic.Read more ›
That's followed by Thompson's experience of the 1968 Democratic Convention, his bid for Sheriff of Aspen on a pro-marijuana platform in 1970, the story behind "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", and his work for "Rolling Stone" magazine, including his coverage of the McGovern-Nixon presidential campaign, which became "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail `72", and finally his suicide in 2005. The film doesn't attempt to be a comprehensive biography. Thompson's years in the Air Force are not even mentioned, for example. I was pleasantly surprised by the array of people who consented to be interviewed: his first wife Sondi Wright (Sandy Thompson at the time), Tom Wolfe, former President Jimmy Carter, George McGovern and Pat Buchanan, "Rolling Stone" co-founder Jan Wenner, Jimmy Buffett, Thompson's frequent collaborator the artist Ralph Steadman, among others.
Alex Gibney is conventional in his approach to his unconventional subject. He doesn't criticize Thompson as much as he might or glorify him as much as fans sometimes do.Read more ›
I haven't read everything HST wrote, but I've read most of it, and I've read a biography or two as well. I was delighted when I heard about this documentary, and I rented it off of Netflix the moment it was listed. And, yes, I'll probably end up buying it for my library of 1960's retrospectives. I'm absolutely fascinated by everything that happened in the US--and the world as well--between 1965 and 1975. It was an amazingly vital and dynamic period of our history, and will probably never again be matched during my life or the life of my children. HST was a major player in several of those realms from that period.
But, on the whole, this documentary seemed a little flat to me. I was vaguely confused from time to time. It seemed lacking in continuity.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Hunter S. Thompson was an amazing journalist. This documentary is amazing and I have probably watched it 100xPublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Good job, but I would like to see Hunter's relationship with his neighbor Floyd, oh darn, I forget his last name. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Oscar Herrman
I am amazed at the workload of revealing things HST put out...when he was, apparently, so often, 'out'. I guess the only way Thompson could be done in was by himself. Rad.Published 15 months ago by rad
A decent documentary .... as a longtime collector of his books, this is a nice addition to my DVD libraryPublished 16 months ago by O. Benet