The timing couldn’t be better. As we lurch blindly down yet another unmarked campaign trail, along comes the new funhouse documentary Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (limited release begins 7/4). Before the flip “Indecision 2008” or the Colbert Bump, there was seemingly just Dr. Thompson, that wild journalistic specter madly deconstructing the suspect players vying for the White House in the 1970 and all the attendant pomp.
Directed by Alex Gibney (of the Oscar-winning Taxi to the Dark Side) and narrated by Thompson’s movie version and pal Johnny Depp, Gonzo features newfound footage of the author at work and (more often) at play, along with interviews of those who gingerly crossed his path. Who else merits hosannas from Jimmys Buffett and Carter, George McGovern and Pat Buchanan? Thompson ended his life just three years ago, but watching this film we couldn’t help wondering (selfishly) what he might have filed on McCain vs. Obama. “How low do you have to stoop in this country to be president?” he lamented in 1972. Sadly, only we shall see.
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