Media

Kurt Loder on Gonzo

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Rolling Stone's and MTV's Kurt Loder gives two thumbs up to the new documentary about journalist Hunter S. Thompson:

The late Hunter S. Thompson was a dazzling writer who in his days of greatness—from the mid-1960s to the mid-'70s, approximately—misled a lot of younger writers into believing that if they just ingested enough drugs and alcohol, they, too, could write like Hunter S. Thompson. It didn't work that way. In the end, it didn't even work that way for Hunter anymore.

In "Gonzo," Alex Gibney's moving new documentary about Thompson, we meet the man foursquare: not just the brilliant, rampaging star of the "new journalism" of that period, but also the irascible crank, the drunken gun nut, the public menace. Hunter was much-loved by his many admiring cronies, among them Bill Murray, Keith Richards and Johnny Depp (who narrates the film). "On the other hand," says his ex-wife Sandy, "he was absolutely vicious." Such balanced candor is rare in any documentary, and it makes "Gonzo" the most transfixing film about a troubled artist since the 1994 "Crumb."

Sounds well worth watching. More here.

Related: Clay Felker, the impresario behind New York, one of the great wellsprings of New Journalism, died recently.

reason's David Weigel reviews Gonzo here.

Kurt Loder talks with reason.tv about how new technology has made our current age into a golden age of journalism:

NEXT: Philadelphia vs. Ben Franklin's Secret Shame

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  1. The late Hunter S. Thompson was a dazzling writer who in his days of greatness-from the mid-1960s to the mid-’70s, approximately-misled a lot of younger writers into believing that if they just ingested enough drugs and alcohol, they, too, could write like Hunter S. Thompson. It didn’t work that way. In the end, it didn’t even work that way for Hunter anymore.
    THIS.

    In an earlier post I shat over him mostly for the sake of being contradictory, but I admit he’s pretty talented. However the guy needs to be admonished, and pulled out of his grave and beaten several times with a rubber hose, for the thousands of awful imitators he inspired.

  2. One comment before this on a post mentioning HST? Is everyone asleep? Where is all the hate and discontent and idol worship I’ve come to expect when HST is mentioned?

  3. the most transfixing film about a troubled artist since the 1994 “Crumb.”

    Holy shit. Crumb was made 14 years ago?

    Damn, I’m getting old.

  4. It’s embarrassing how few comments there are on this.

  5. JH – HST has no grave. He was cremated and shot out of a cannon.

    He did spawn many awful immitators, including himself in later years. As Loder notes, there was little worth reading after the mid-70s.

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