Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

I just got back from seeing Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson and the documentary was everything I expected. And then some more.

As the title suggests it's a film about Hunter S. Thompson, the inventor of Gonzo journalism and the author of many articles and books, most famously Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas which was later turned into a movie with Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro. Having been originally fascinated by the movie I later decided to read the book and then subsequently also read Rum Island and Hell's Angels. It's hard to put it in words but there's something unique about how Thompson describes whatever story he's telling. And boy, the stories he tells! The great thing about them is that they are this perfect mixture of fact and fiction, combined by the genius that is Hunter S. Thompson. I really recommend reading at least one of his books, they're great reads and it's no surprise that I always ended up reading them while on the road myself.

With regard to the documentary it sheds light on Thompson's life, both through original footage and comments by people who accompanied him in his life-time. One of my favorite episodes, and a part of his life that I had never heard about, was his campaign for sheriff in Aspen, Colorado. The whole thing is just plain hilarious!

In the end the film also shows how Thompson got caught by his own fame and therefore turned into somewhat of a tragic figure himself. However both his suicide and funeral come off as being part of a larger plan and also the logic result of his previous life.

What remains is the realization that Hunter S. Thompson was a great and unique personality with a strong spirit and remarkable writing skills. Definitely the kind of person that the world could have more of...

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