Hunter S. Thompson was an obnoxious asshole who shot himself in the head a few years ago. Apparently in today’s world that’s enough to warrant a documentary be made about you.
To be fair, I didn’t know the man personally and there’s probably more to the man than my above assessment implies. My only exposure to him has been through two ridiculously bad movies, a handful of his articles and essays, innumerable video clips highlighting the man’s supposed wit and appeal, college friends who were just too cool, and this new trailer for Gonzo:The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. Of that menagerie the trailer proves to be the most entertaining and illuminating. The commentary and interviews with other “celebs” of both the political and entertainment variety appear to paint a more intriguing picture of the father of gonzo journalism. ‘Gonzo’ refers to Thompson’s preferred style of reporting wherein the reporter becomes an integral part of the report.
Alex Gibney, who previously turned two other seemingly uninteresting topics into fascinating films, directs the documentary. If he can make white collar corporate crime (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) and political detention and torture (Taxi to the Dark Side) entertaining than he should do wonders for the life and death of a paranoid, addicted, balding, anarchistic, gun-loving, occasionally insightful and intelligent writer like Thompson. Johnny Depp, who played Thompson in Terry Gilliam’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and who paid for his funeral, narrates the film. Would have been nice to see Depp sharing narration duties with Bill Murray, but we’ll have to take what Gibney gives us I guess.
And a quick note to those of you intrigued by the “Do you want to discover a new star?” tags at the beginning and end of the trailer… don’t fall for it. Amy Diamond is not the dirty girl you may have assumed her to be. At least not online.
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