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

Through the haze of bourbon, drugs, wild impulses and sometimes radical indifference, Hunter S. Thompson wrote about his times — spanning the rise of the Hells Angels in the '50s through his notorious actions and accounts on the campaign trail in 1972 — like few other writers and not only forged his own brand of journalism, but arguably changed the course of elections (greatly enabling the political fortunes of George McGovern and Jimmy Carter). Director Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) not only does justice to Thompson's manic exploits but delivers a full portrait of his inner torment, his more reasoned insights and his impact on the world around him. The assembly of vintage footage, interviews and excerpts of Thompson's writing are as absurd, vibrant and telling as the opening paragraph of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas — about being near Barstow when the drugs start to kick in. His film relies too much on scenes from Terry Gilliam's film version of Fear and Loathing (1998) starring Johnny Depp, but that's a quibble in light of footage of Thompson through the years and interviews with Gary Hart, McGovern, Pat Buchanan, Carter, Tom Wolfe and even Jimmy Buffett. You see Thompson reporting on rumors he started, shooting guns in his yard and even, sadly, finding inspiration in Elton John's "Candle in the Wind." Gonzo screens in the New Orleans Film Festival. Tickets $9 general admission, $8 film society members. — Will Coviello

7 p.m. Tue., Oct. 14

Prytania Theatre, 5339 Prytania St.; www.neworleansfilmfest.com

click to enlarge 2008 MAGNOLIA FILMS
  • 2008 Magnolia Films
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