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Fueled by a raging libido, Wild Turkey, and superhuman doses of drugs, Thompson was a true "free lance, " goring sacred cows with impunity, hilarity, and a steel-eyed conviction for writing wrongs. Focusing on the good doctor's heyday, 1965 to 1975, the film includes clips of never-before-seen (nor heard) home movies, audiotapes, and passages from unpublished manuscripts. Written by
Greetings again from the darkness. Another excellent documentary from Alex Gibney, who has also blessed us with "Taxi to the Dark Side" and "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room". Here, Gibney takes on the fascinating story of Hunter S. Thompson ... he of Gonzo Journalism.
With enough material to support a mini-series, Gibney culls the material down to two hours and provides some insight, but mostly commentary on this uniquely talented writer and observationalist. The highlights include George McGovern heartfelt description of the man and interviews with Thompson's two wives, and "Rolling Stone" editor Jann Wenner. Through their own words and body language, we get a glimpse into the immense respect this man's talent generated. Of course, no punches are pulled on his weaknesses and transgressions.
I couldn't help but chuckle of the irony as Tom Wolfe, resplendent as always in his tailored white suit, explains that Thompson created this character and its uniform/costume and felt the burden of living up to his legendary exploits. He was a captive of his own creation.
While it is difficult to understand how someone with such self-destructive tendencies captured the respect of so many close to him, Thompson is truly an interesting and fascinating topic and was right in the middle of much of the history of the 60's and 70's. Quietly narrated by Thompson's friend, Johnny Depp, the film uses many topical songs selections to accompany moments in time.
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