Saturday, November 22, 2008

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

In 2005, with a single self inflicted gun shot wound, America lost one of its most vocal critics and rugged outlaws of this and the last Century, at the age of 68. Born in 1937, he was Hunter S. Thompson. I became enamored with the man after seeing Johnny Depp's performance as Thompson in the movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. So much so, that I read the book of the same name and became further intrigued.

His prose has a poetic guilding to it that is most unmistakable and seems to take the reader to the far edge of reality and then over and beyond. This remarkable and troubled man lived through some of the most profoundly influential events in American history including the death of Dr. King, death of RFK, the Watergate Scandal, and even 9/11.

Thompson was the inventor of a journalistic style called Gonzo. Gonzo is also the title of the documentary I have just seen which chronicles the life and times of this extreme individual.

This movie is fittingly narrated by Johnny Depp using the words of Hunter S. Thompson himself and features friends and enemies alike recalling the life and wonder of the Rolling Stone journalist/phenomenon.

Hunter was in constant search of something called the American Dream. His political views were in my opinion very extreme, but there was a lot of heart in the words of his philosophy. This man was no stranger to Free Speech. He has my undying respect for being a truly unique individual, whose only real failing was that he could not respect the limits of his own mortality.

Hunter once said that the only people who know the edge are the ones who have gone over it. I think he was right.

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson is or will become a classic among documentary films.

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