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Breakfast with Hunter (2003)

A documentary on the infamous gonzo journalist, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.




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Credited cast:
Bob Braudis ...
Alex Cox ...
Tod Davies ...
Herself (as Todd Davies)
Morris Dees ...
Himself (voice)
Frank Mankiewicz ...
Eugene McCarthy ...
Himself (as Sen. Eugene McCarthy)
Terry McDonell ...
Himself (as Senator George McGovern)


A documentary on the infamous gonzo journalist, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.

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21 June 2003 (USA)  »

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Referenced in Hunter Goes to Hollywood (2003) See more »


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User Reviews

Insight into the real Gonzo?
18 October 2004 | by (Gainesville, Fl) – See all my reviews

Wayne Ewing's cinema verité portrait of the Doctor of Gonzo Journalism is a keyhole to the everyday life of Hunter S. Thompson. Through years of edited film without any narration or interview from Ewing, this everyday life given to the viewer comes as a bit of a surprise. It is uncommon yet somehow natural. The Thompson I might have predicted is shown throwing a Chivas Regal bottle, spraying people with a fire extinguisher, manhandling blow-up sex dolls, shooting high-powered revolvers, etc. What I didn't expect is the warm interaction between Thompson and his friends. He embraces what might be considered the basket of a flip-flopped American Dream – Hollywood – in his friendships with John Cusack, Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro and Terry Gilliam (not, however, Alex Cox). This juxtaposition reveals a prevalent theme in Breakfast, and perhaps in Hunter himself.

Thompson suggested in the film a rationale for his rambunctious lifestyle when he said he was 'making literature out of what would otherwise be considered craziness.' This is the crux of the film, and the motivation for Hunter. Though he may be essentially crazy, some of the craziness he exudes is forced. For Thompson, it works. With drugs, alcohol, violence, etc. he causes excitement from what would otherwise just be boring. He creates a palette for which to convey his message. He did this in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas through his (Raoul Duke) and his attorney's excessive abuse of drugs to help show the degradation of the American Dream.

But can this explain the wild-side Thompson portrayed in Ewing's film? Is their some focused ambition behind spraying Jan Wenner with a fire extinguisher? – or soaking Depp, Del Toro and himself in alcohol by sending an opened bottle of scotch freely whirling into the air? Maybe, maybe not. He takes control of any situation with such a crazy gesture, but if it's for some greater good, I don't know. Perhaps Thompson is so high on his own adrenaline that his antics are now focused on sole personal amusement. I like to think this is the case when he laughs off throwing a blow-up sex doll in front of a moving car, or when he mischievously notices an unaccompanied fire extinguisher in a hallway.

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One personal note: something I felt missing from Ewing's portrait was Thompson's intended funeral. A massively-constructed Gonzo fist rifling a bullet containing his remains to explode above the Owl Farm mountains and then cover them like a blanket of rouge on a wrinkled America in such a way that would dwarf the resurrection of Jesus Christ seems to me to say something personal about Hunter S. Thompson.

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