Fear & Loathing in Gonzovision 3 of 3

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1978 BBC DOCUMENTARY: Fear & Loathing in Gonzovision (On The Road To Hollywood)

PART 3 OF 3

"It would be enough for an avid fan to an admirer of (the late) Dr. Hunter S. Thomspon to watch this documentary (if you get the Fear & Loathin in Las Vegas DVD it's a given) to see inside his mind and manners first hand, if you haven't before. The film follows him from his Owl Ranch in Aspen (with even rarer glimpses of his wife and only child) to Las Vegas, and then to Hollywood to meet with screenwriters about the film Where the Buffalo Roam, not to mention hilarious political satire with two of the 'Murrays (Bill and Brian).

But that the film is also fairly well made and experimental (in the good, sturdy 'Gonzo' tradition) is a nice bonus; the filmmakers edit together their footage of Thompson and Steadman on the road, and then into Hollywood (he also meets with John Dean, of all people, and its a fascinating interview by the way), with real clips of Nixon and audio clips of the 'Las Vegas' book. It's all like a great wash of Thompson-mania, with the BBC not getting in the way much at all (aside from being a buffer) with Thomson's brilliance and madness. But its the little points that also make the doc worthwhile; the way he treats his bird on Owl Farm; the attitudes he has as he and Steadman drive from Vegas to Hollywood (funny, but also nerve-wracking in the best possible way); Thompson's true little moments in interviews.

Throughout the doc, the interviewers try to find the 'real' Doctor, but if you can't find it in his works, then you're likely to find it here. But in the end, Thompson is very real in front of the cameras (which he has a mild curious nature with), giving his thoughts on his feelings of politics (Nixon chiefly), drugs, his own career, and his own persona. At the least it should serve as a fine little look into the man on film (albeit with some chemicals in him during it). At the most for the fans, simply put, it's priceless."

--Jack Gattanella


7 comments

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