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Hunter S. Thompson Film: Gonzo

Sat, 06/07/2008 - 06:39 -- rprice

Official Gonzo Film Site

The man who invented Gonzo journalism is a guy who I've really been meaning to check out on a deeper level for quite some time. I love the film versions of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Where the Buffalo Roam, but I've had little exposure to Thompson's work outside of that.

I actually share a birthday with him - we were born 45 years apart, and he ended up living to be 68.

One of my favorite things about Gonzo Otaku is Flying Dog's Gonzo Porter - a seasonal beer dedicated to Hunter, featuring the artwork of Ralph Steadman (he does all the art for Flying Dog), with a dog-portrait of the author, clutching his signature cigarette holder and wearing sunglasses. Apparently H.S.T. was a friend of the brewers. He is quoted on their site as saying:

"Good People Drink Good Beer"

So far the closest opening for the film is 4th of July in Atlanta, at Midtown Art Cinemas 8 (an eight-screen art-house? Que?)

In other Gonzo trivia, I would classify local Orlando Weekly columnist Billy Manes as a disciple of that style of journalism, if you've never read his weekly back-page column, Blister, you don't know what you're getting in to.

Hopefully I'll have a chance to see the film some time soon, until then, do some LSD, smoke, drink, go for a drive, and don't forget to bring your lawyer with you!


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Not sure if I'd count Manes as a gonzo journalist - possibly influenced by, but he seems to lean on the stream-of-consciousness thing as a way to describe his social life and not to distill the cultural zeitgeist, as Hunter S Thompson did so well (In the same fashion, drunken poet Charles Bukowski spawned many imitators - all good at drinking, none good at poetry).

If you've not read Fear and Loathing then it's worth doing so - it's completely different from the film. While the movie is great, it loses a lot of the book's subtext about documenting the sad end of hippie idealism as the 60s gave way to the 70s - the subtext being what (imho) makes the gonzo style different from just rambling on about stuff.

Very excited about the new film though, wonder if the Enzian would be interested in showing it? Am going to e-mail them, if enough people do the same maybe they'd consider it...

I 2nd that. Hunter S. only lives in the written words. Everything else is a myth that is much lamer than the real thing.

Its the difference between a placebo and actually getting off.

Read: Hell's Angels, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and The Rum Diary. In that order. This will give you the full spectrum of his work in three books.

"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"

R.I.P. Dr. Gonzo.