Gonzo: The Life and Times of Hunter S Thompson

Dr Hunter S Thompson was a writer, reporter, sports journalist, NRA member, hippy, protester and walking symbol of excess until he committed suicide in 2005. This film focuses on Dr Hunter's life from 1965 – 1975 and includes vintage footage of Hunter and his friends and family.

Hunter was a truly unique individual who rose to fame as a journalist in the 1960's. Hunter had a talent that reached way beyond the sports articles that he was supposed to be covering; he became a satirical commentator as well as a participant of the psychedelic peace movement. His books have been made into films and he has been depicted on screen by Bill Murray in 'Where the Buffalo Roam' (1980) and more recently Johnny Depp in 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' (1998), Depp is currently filming another of Hunters books 'The Rum Diary' which is due for release in 2010.

I really enjoyed this film, but I can't work out if it's because I got to spend time in the madcap company of Hunter or if the actual film itself was informative. I was already a fan of Dr Thompson, I have read his books and watched the films but I didn't actually know much about his personal life except his love for drugs, excess and his premature death.

This film helped flesh out the man and his motivations as a journalist when he started out to his death. It also explains how the artist – Ralph Steadman, developed his instantly recognisable style. This film is also a cautionary tale, as Hunter became a victim of his own success, trapped by his own fame, unable to escape from the Gonzo lifestyle that his admirers expected.

Overall it's a good view, either for fans of Dr Thompson, or for the curious it also leaves you feeling that the world is a sadder place for not having a personality like Hunter in it.

Director: Alex Gibney

Read more at: Nerve Curve


Gonzo: The Life and Times of Hunter S Thompson

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