Posts tagged ‘gonzo’

September 10, 2010

The Beat Generation, Gonzo Journalism, and Crap Writing

Over at Charles Montgomery’s Korean Literature in Translation website, there is a small discussion on “weird” or “strange” writing. He was discussing a Korean novel that – whilst not entirely awful – seemed only to be strange for the sake of strangeness. I commented that this is something I see a lot as an editor, particularly as an editor of a Beat Generation-themed literary journal.

read more »

Advertisements
July 23, 2010

Hunter S. Thompson & The Lizards

I’ll admit that I’m hardly the first person to notice this, but I don’t generally keep up with the latest movie news unless it’s a project particularly close to my heart. But I couldn’t help raise an eyebrow at the trailer for Johnny Depp’s latest effort: as the voice of a lizard in Rango (2011).

Watch the following video and pay particular attention around 1:47 mins.

read more »

May 13, 2010

Movie News: Hunter S. Thompson & Jack Kerouac Hit the Big Screen in 2010

The Rum Diary is one movie that literature fans have been awaiting for some time. Johnny Depp will be reprising his role as Hunter S. Thompson (well, actually Paul Kemp) and is joined by Amber Heard in the role of Chenault.

The movie seems to have been in the works forever, but all is developing nicely and we should see it on screen this year. News is notoriously sparse and unreliable, but for all the best updates, please check HSTbooks.org.

**

Hunter S. Thompson fans (ie all the people at Beatdom) will be delighted to know that after waiting years for The Rum Diary to be made, another Thompson story is on its way to the big screen.

“Prisoner of Denver” was an article Thompson co-wrote for the June 2004 issue of Vanity Fair. It concerned the plight of one Lisl Auman, who was wrongfully incarcerated after the murder of a police officer. Thompson launched a crusade for her release, but killed himself a month before her conviction was overturned.

The Motion Picture Corporation of America has bought the rights to the story, and has asked writers to produce a screenplay revolving around Thompson and co-author Mark Seal as “a gonzo Woodward and Bernstein.”

**

Perhaps of most interest to Beat fans is the supposed reincarnation of the whole On the Road movie trip. For what seems like forever (certainly going back to before I was even born) they’ve been talking about making Kerouac’s classic into a film.

Now it seems the project is all set to go, with Francis Ford Coppola (who has been linked to the project for years) producing, and Motorcycle Diaries director Walter Sales directing. Spider-man’s Kirsten Dunst and Twilight’s Kristen Stewart both starring.

Filming will begin later this year, with Salles simultaneously shooting a documentary about Jack Kerouac, titled, In Search of On the Road.

**

This year you might also like to take a look at William S. Burroughs: A Man Within. It made its world premiere at the 2010 Slamdance Film Festival, and is now trying to work its way into the public consciousness.

Please help support this movie by visiting their website: http://www.burroughsthemovie.com/

February 20, 2010

On the 5th Anniversary of the Death of Hunter S. Thompson

On February 20, 2005, Hunter S. Thompson shot himself and ended thirty-five years of Gonzo journalism. There never was another Gonzo journalist and there never will be. It was a one man genre. And likewise, there will never be another HST. He was utterly unique. In fact, “unique” is perhaps too weak a word… He was a freak, an atavistic freak.

His literary influences were numerous, yet he was always an original. Thompson grew up worshipping Fitzgerald and Hemingway, and yet ended up being something totally different – Gonzo. He lived in weird times, and his style of writing develop in response to his surroundings – living through the 1950s, 60s & 70s; a turbulent era to say the least.

Most people know him from his work over only a short period of time. The development and maturation of Gonzo, from “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved” to Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72. Yet to fully respect the man one must look back further, beyond HST as a drug-fiend, to HST as a dedicated, scrupulous journalist. Prior to his Hell’s Angels fame, Thompson worked as hard as anyone in the game, and while that effort appeared later, it never fully reappeared.

Fame changed Hunter S. Thompson. Drugs changed him, too. Some say he created a caricature and felt compelled to live up to it… and that he became trapped in himself. Reading The Proud Highway drives home just how different Thompson was in his later years. He was not perfect. He came to feel later in life that he’d never reached his potential, and that his work was not respected as serious literary work.

So on this anniversary of his death, let’s celebrate his life and work not by wearing bright shirts, floppy hats and cigarette holders, or by getting messed up and speaking like Johnny Depp… Let’s remember Hunter S. Thompson as a serious writer; an important journalist who earned his place in history through hard work and devotion to the truth.