>> Saturday, August 14, 2010
USA/C-91m./Dir: Wayne Ewing/Cast: Hunter S. Thompson (Himself), Anita Thompson (Herself), Warren Zevon (Himself), Sheriff Bob Braudis (Himself), Jennifer Erskine (Herself), Ed Bradley (Himself)
With the 2003 documentary, Breakfast with Hunter, Wayne Ewing shared a small portion of the hundreds of hours of video that he shot of his friend Hunter S. Thompson during the last two decades of the great writer’s life. The film was a patchwork quilt, that allowed fans of the journalist’s prose to eavesdrop on the writer as he relaxed in his Woody Creek home, reminisced with friends and collaborators about some his best writing assignments, and consulted (at times reluctantly) on the movie version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Ewing’s documentary provided a rare glimpse of the real Hunter S. Thompson (warts and all), rather than the self-created caricature and icon of overindulgence, Raoul Duke.
Since Wayne Ewing followed up on Breakfast with Hunter with two documentaries that touched upon Thompson’s world without focusing on the writer himself--When I Die (2005) and Free Lisl: Fear & Loathing in Denver (2006)--it was only natural to assume that the documentarian had used up the best footage of Hunter in his first film. However, Ewing has proven us wrong with the release of a sequel, Animals, Whores, and Dialogue: Breakfast with Hunter Vol. 2, which is just as delightful and illuminating as the 2003 original.
The title of the new film comes from the words of inspiration that Hunter taped to the top of his electric typewriter--ANIMALS * WHORES * DIALOGUE * ELECTRICITY--and the doc is framed around a November 16, 2003 writing session in Hunter’s home, in which he consumes copious quantities of Chivas Regal Scotch, while bouncing ideas off his wife and others in the room. The opportunity to witness one of the greatest writers of the 20th Century hunting and pecking on his typewriter is enough to recommend the movie. However, the sequel is just as loosely constructed as the original; and we quickly leave Owl Farm to enjoy precious footage of Hunter attending parties honoring him and his work, sharing behind-the-scenes stories with interviewers, comparing the relative evils of Richard M. Nixon and George W. Bush, and lighting up visibly when hearing someone read a particularly well-turned phrase from one of his articles.
Like Breakfast With Hunter, Animals, Whores, and Dialogue makes no attempt to provide a biographical background for the clips that it presents, so it is not recommended for viewers who are unfamiliar with Thompson’s life and work. However, for fans of the late, great Dr. Gonzo, Vol. 2 is just as essential viewing as the 2003 original. Let’s hope Wayne Ewing has even more treasures in reserve to give us a Vol. 3.
Drinks Consumed--Chivas Regal Scotch, wine, beer, and champagne
Intoxicating Effects--Pure orneriness
Potent Quotables--ED BRADLEY (a toast): Hunter, after all that fucking Chivas, man, there’s three-quarters of a bottle over there, ya know. And I really wish you were here to drink it. I understand why you did what you did. I miss you.
Video Availability--The DVD of Animals, Whores, and Dialogue: Breakfast With Hunter Vol. 2 and Wayne Ewing’s other HST documentaries can only be purchased directly from the director’s Website, Hunter Thompson Films (http://www.hunterthompsonfilms.com/)
Similarly Sauced Cinema--Wayne Ewing has further explored the gonzo world of Hunter S. Thompson in Breakfast With Hunter (2003), When I Die (2005), and Free Lisle: Fear and Loathing in Denver (2006).
The Gonzo Tapes:The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson