Gibney: Gonzo:Life and Work of Hunter Thompson

For our Danish and Swedish readers, be aware that this film will be shown on SVT1 monday November 30 at 10pm. Here is a re-post of our review from a year ago:

I had hoped for more from this film about a journalist legend that I had heard so much about, read so much about, but never seen a film about. A journalist whose work I had read only a little of, but nevertheless knew about, the one, who gave name to the special hybrid, fascinating kind of reporting that inspired journalists all over the world to leave classical journalism, to fictionalise and talk in first person.

For sure the film has a lot of interesting archive material with Gonzo himself, and includes clips from the film ”Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”, has a wonderful collection of 60’es music on the soundtrack, a great walk down memory lane, but the film is not very inventive in its storytelling that is pretty formatted with continuous cuts with people who knew Gonzo and can tell how fantastic he was. Predictable tv like hell.

So for me the interesting look back is on American history with for instance George McGovern as the president everyone wanted until he casted a fragile vicepresident candidate, a gift to Nixon and his gang of crooks. ”I’ve been a good Read”, Gonzo says himself, and Johny Depp does his best to argue for this in the film, where he reads texts to the camera, but it does not hide a loose repititive construction of a film about a man, who always went for the wild and totally committed. Gonzo died in 2005.

A dvd version is on its way. And the film goes all over in festivals.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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