A story unfinished, and a burgeoning pile of laundry are the cause of great concern to a writer, also singled out for persecution by an ensemble of hostile characters. Set against the ... See full summary »
Adam M. Goldstein
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1965 to 1975, the film includes clips of never-before-seen (nor heard) home movies, audiotapes, and passages from unpublished manuscripts.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
Hunter S. Thompson was an often astute commentator of American life, and an always astute commentator of his own mental disintegration, a process driven by his own enthusiastic use of mind-altering drugs; a gun freak who opposed American involvement in Vietnam; and a critic of capitalism who became, pretty much, the living embodiment of his own brand. He also, years after his best work was done, died by shooting himself. This documentary provides insight into his strange journey, which does have a tragic dimension: the values of the life he lived, the adulation he received for living it and the damage it did to him appear in the end inseparable. By the end, he was still celebrated (by new generations of kids who love to get high) but no longer relevant, his final act a desperate (and arguably failed) plea for attention. This documentary tells us much of the story, mostly interestingly, though there are times when it fails to disentangle the process it describes, the overwhelming of man by self-created myth. Still, while it's the prerogative of every generation to feel jaded, I find it hard to imagine another figure like Hunter emerging today, if only because a large part of his quality was that no-one expected him. But the film reminds you of another part as well: he could certainly write.
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