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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

posted by on May 27 at 9:48 AM


This biography of the late, great Hunter S. Thompson is a thoroughly entertaining joyride through the life of a complex character. Fast and furious from the get go, the film examines the many faces of the boundary-pushing journalist: patriot, activist, booze-addled gun freak, muckraker, family man, depressive, iconoclast, visionary, asshole.

Loaded with archival video, photos, and audio, plus smartly edited interviews with his wives, son, editors, and friends, and peppered with Thompson’s own writing, voiced by Johnny Depp, the documentary succeeds because it feels so bloody thorough. The only bothersome device is the overly loud, sentimental music at every key moment.

The crowd at the stifling hot Egyptian seemed pleased with the antiwar, anticorruption, pro-human sentiments that parallel today’s liberal agenda and gave the film a hearty round of applause as the credits rolled. I exited equally inspired and depressed.

Gonzo doesn’t screen again at SIFF but is scheduled to open in Seattle on July 4.

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was there last night - it was an enjoyable documentary. if i didn't love every damn thing HST did, i'm not sure i'd have left with such a strong-positive feeling, but it was really nice to see all of the fragmentary bits put together nicely. i'm still waiting for an even better, authoritative, documentary/tribute to be made for the good doctor but suspect that that effort is still years away from being done right.

Posted by kinkos | May 27, 2008 10:11 AM

i should also add that i think the absolute worst element of the documentary was actually the interview footage with johnny depp. it came off to me as shallow and foolish - completely missing the depth of character that pretty much every other interviewee really helped bring out.

Posted by kinkos | May 27, 2008 10:14 AM

A number of the passholders mentioned the movie as one of the good ones they had seen this year.

And, considering Johnny Depp's success at the box office this past weekend, I doubt he's worried about how his performance in this one film was received.

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 27, 2008 11:07 AM

Another fine film - Love and Honor, a great Samurai movie, coming around July 11th.

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 27, 2008 11:50 AM

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