Memosaic

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Good Bye, Gonzo

Johnny Depp, who portrayed Hunter S. Thompson in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” funded a final big party for the famous, or infamous, gonzo journalist. And it was a blast. On Saturday, August 20, Thompson’s ashes were packed into a 150-foot cannon in Woody Creek, Colorado, and shot off into space, just as he requested before his suicide earlier this year.

No one wrote more colorfully and personally about the counterculture and politics than Hunter S. Thompson. Thanks to “Breakfast with Hunter,” an impressive documentary directed by Wayne Ewing, we have a unique visual record of this sometimes outlandishly childish but always provocative man who remains one of the most memorable writers of the 20th century.

To me, the most impressive scene in “Breakfast with Hunter” takes place when Hunter stands up for his artistic integrity against two people who are assigned to make his classic “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” into a major motion picture. They want to use animation in one part of the film; Hunter objects strongly. He can’t bear the thought of anyone turning his work into a cartoon and practically throws the two out of his house. I don’t remember when I’ve seen a more engrossing verbal confrontation on film.

For more information or to order Wayne Ewing’s documentary, go to www.breakfastwithhunter.com.

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