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Adam M. Goldstein
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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1965 to 1975, the film includes clips of never-before-seen (nor heard) home movies, audiotapes, and passages from unpublished manuscripts.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
Hunter S. Thompson was a supremely funny man but, alas, was a deeply unhappy one. Thompson's political positions could have hardly been more different from my own. Nevertheless, I admired his work because he was such an original and so entertaining. I did so mainly because I knew better than to ever take him seriously. Unfortunately, Thompson never learned to not take himself too seriously and that failing led to his self destructiveness and, ultimately to his suicide.
Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson is a mostly loving look at Thompson through the eyes of many of his friends and the politicians he wrote about. It shows a man with a profoundly dichotomous nature: creativeness and wit on its positive side but dark, self destructive depression on the other. It created the richly entertaining Gonzo journalist who those of us who admired his work so enjoyed but also planted the seeds for his depression and death.
Near the end of the film, Thompson's first wife, Sondi, takes issue with those who characterize Thompson's suicide as "heroic." I think she has a point. Thompson had largely fallen from the public eye some years before he killed himself in 2005 at the age of 67. In a note delivered to his wife four days before his death, which was described by both his family and the police as a suicide note, Thompson wrote, under the title "Football Season is Over":
"No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax This won't hurt."
That about sums it up.
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