March 27, 2011 3:07 AM   Subscribe

Fear and Loathing on the Road to Hollywood is a largely forgotten documentary about Hunter S. Thompson (previously).
posted by twoleftfeet (28 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
Possibly forgotten because most people who gave a shit about Hunter S. Thompson are no longer in their early 20s
posted by the noob at 3:25 AM on March 27, 2011

I wish Hunter S. Thompson were largely forgotten. Always irritating. Always self-absorbed and self-indulgent.
posted by Yakuman at 4:03 AM on March 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

You could smoke on airplanes.... I can give up the Internet in exchange for smoking, drugs, and free love. Someone build a time machine stat.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:05 AM on March 27, 2011 [2 favorites]

Speaking as someone who subscribed to the idea that HST was some baby boomer relic whose ideas were largely outdated and irrelevant, imagine my surprise when I actually sat down and, you know, actually read his stuff and found in retrospect that he was largely right about the direction America's media and politics would take. Like it or not, we are living in his future.
posted by KingEdRa at 4:06 AM on March 27, 2011 [37 favorites]

Thanks for this, 2leftft.
posted by a non e mouse at 4:27 AM on March 27, 2011

Like it or not, we are living in his future.

...with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark -- that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.

And it's been rolling back for a long, long time.

*paddles outside, looking for the next big break*
posted by loquacious at 4:31 AM on March 27, 2011 [7 favorites]

Also, about 37:00 in you can see a very young Bill Murray.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:15 AM on March 27, 2011

Football season is over.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:25 AM on March 27, 2011 [2 favorites]

As someone fast approaching my early-twenties, this interests me greatly and it is how I will spend my morning. Thank you for this. (I've been gobbling up all of the other Hunter documentaries I could find).
posted by ejfox at 7:49 AM on March 27, 2011

I find so many topics timely while taking my art business class at college. One of them would seem to be "make sure your legacy is intact before you pass away" (or at least "make sure your legacy is managed by the right people") and that nothing kills the art of an artist faster than celebrity.
posted by Calzephyr at 8:01 AM on March 27, 2011

This was a really fascinating snapshot of his life in the late 70s. I think a lot of people envied his lifestyle but never had the talent or the balls to do it themselves. The documentary shows him much more vulnerable than I would have imagined.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:27 AM on March 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

I think this doc is on the Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Criterion edition.

Choice moment: Hunter proves his experience with DWI by using the latching mechanism of his car door to open a beer bottle before driving on the highway. After looking both ways for the police, of course.

Lots of stuff relating to his funeral arrangement wishes can be found within as well.
posted by thecjm at 9:37 AM on March 27, 2011

Oh, wow. So this is where Thompson voiced his plans for his funeral for the first time, a funeral which was finally carried out by the insistence of Johnny Depp.
posted by hippybear at 9:55 AM on March 27, 2011

I saw this thing a long time ago and it bugged me big time. Not Thompson himself who, as usual, just is what he is. No, it's the Brit journalists tagging along with their piles of gear, trying to somehow capture gonzo as it captures whatever it is that gonzo captures, but mostly just destroying the possibility of anything "true" happening because, as Thompson himself comments at about the 10 minute point, as soon as you bring cameras into a situation (particularly lunky 1970s era 16mm gear), that situation isn't real anymore, it's just a bunch of people wandering around pretending they might be capturing something real. And so on, a strange loop of McLuhanesque absurdity.

As I recall (I've only watched to the 10 minute point thus far), the whole thing just falls apart worse and worse as it goes on, Thompson and Ralph Steadman actually ditching the camera crew at times, like two cool kids in high school ditching the pack of nerd wannabes. It's like something out of Monty Python, but sad, because you can see that Thompson's fame and notoriety have pretty much destroyed his ability to get a decent story anymore, or even have a "real" experience.
posted by philip-random at 11:07 AM on March 27, 2011 [4 favorites]

... and then he goes on to say exactly what I just said at the 13:00 minute point. "I'm no longer necessary. I'm in the way. It would be much better if I died."

Time for some grapefruit.
posted by philip-random at 11:12 AM on March 27, 2011

philip-random: wait until you get to the exchange around the 40 minute mark (or thereabouts)... The acknowledgement of the artifice of the situation, and the effect of being observed, and Thompson's growing well-tamed rage... It's a real life moment which made my hair stand on end.
posted by hippybear at 11:19 AM on March 27, 2011

Possibly forgotten because most people who gave a shit about Hunter S. Thompson are no longer in their early 20s.

Why even bother posting this? Internet not glib enough for you today?
posted by regicide is good for you at 1:47 PM on March 27, 2011 [2 favorites]

Give the noob some credit- at least he managed to spell HST's name correctly, with capitalization and everything. That puts Hunter S. Thompson one over Gandhi.
posted by happyroach at 3:00 PM on March 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thanks for this, twoleftfeet!

I found his vulnerability to be kind of endearing. Seeing those moments actually filled in some gaps in my thinking of him. Definitely worth watching for that alone.

"Pressure, yea you've been doing that all week. Who are you interviewing, Duke or Thompson?"
posted by snsranch at 3:32 PM on March 27, 2011

My favorite part is the spontaneous monologue he has in front of the camera after he accidentally spills his drink
…if you want to be a famous American writer, you don't really think of being in the comic strips and being…

[spills drink on the grass]

Oh, or doing things like that? Yes. In front of the camera, and it will be on film won't it? Hmm. The way, uh… The water is without chlorophyll, and the whiskey kills the… what would be the chlorophyll substitute. So every time we make a drink here, we put the ice… the drink in the ice, and then the whole thing into the grass. Giving the ice enough time to absorb the chlorophyll… I have now absorbed enough chlorophyll to get back to the drink. That's why I'm so healthy, folks! I always roll my ice in chlorophyll before I drink whiskey.

Alright, what were we saying?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:54 PM on March 27, 2011

What an asshole he is to that bird.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 4:17 PM on March 27, 2011

Thank you twoleftfeet - I've never seen that and have always loved the guy.
posted by slackdog at 5:16 PM on March 27, 2011

What an asshole he is to that bird.

From the very beginning of the film, Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas:

"He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man."
(Dr. Johnson)
posted by philip-random at 6:57 PM on March 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

A weird trivia note: The cinematographer for this film was Philip Bonham-Carter, the cousin of Helena Bonham-Carter, who has worked with Johnny Depp, who portrayed Hunter S. Thompson.
posted by twoleftfeet at 7:03 PM on March 27, 2011

Hunter was a hero and a horror, angel and demon, fiend and friend. Who he was was so tightly wrapped up in what he had to say that it's hard to imagine his life having gone any other way. For me, at least, he was both an inspiration and a cautionary tale. I wish I'd gotten to meet him.

We're poorer for his absence.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:44 PM on March 27, 2011 [8 favorites]

I've always found it funny that those who vocalize there disdain for HST have yet to read a single piece of his vast writings or only know of him from Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas. Thompson wrote political pieces, sports pieces and more.
I really look forward to watching this after work, thank you. HST is a treasure.
posted by handbanana at 8:28 AM on March 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Ha. Just passed a double thumbed fist holding a peyote button, painted on an old rusted water tank somewhere out on the edge of the bay between Port Costa and Crockett.
posted by oneirodynia at 5:49 PM on March 28, 2011

It's not a great film. However, it is illuminating because it seems to be taken at the point where the myth has caught up with the man, and he knows that he's caught in some kind of existential zugzwang - trapped by his own creation.

Soon after he resigned and let the myth (and the booze) win, but don't let that ever obscure the fact of his shining, uncomfortable brilliance beforehand.
posted by johnny novak at 9:59 PM on March 28, 2011 [3 favorites]

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