Breakfast with Hunter, like the mans life, ended too soon. That film also followed the writer through a number of episodes over the course of several years.
Animals, Whores and Dialogue is much more tightly focused. It lingers on Thompsons efforts in the course of a single evening to write a column, with side journeys to his sentimental Louisville homecoming and the American literary establishments tribute to him on the 25th anniversary of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Rather than covering a lot of years and ground, the new film allows Ewing to give viewers the sense of what it was like to spend an evening in the kitchen, reading, laughing and arguing.
Unfortunately, there was no gifted documentary filmmaker to follow around Mark Twain. But Wayne Ewing was smart enough to recognize that his Colorado neighbor was an artist of immense and under-appreciated talent. But for the electric typewriter and the attire, there probably wasnt a lot of difference between spending an evening with Twain and an evening with Thompson. Both were brilliant and astute observers of American culture.
Since Thompsons suicide in 2005, his friends and admirers have often mused about what he would have had to say about the events of recent years. Alas, Ewing was not granted access to Thompsons afterlife. But he does bring Thompson back, sitting him down behind the typewriter in the kitchen and putting him to work.
Were lucky to have him back.
This is Ewing's fourth Thompson film. The earlier films are:
Breakfast With Hunter. Ewing started filming Hunter for a television show that never happened back in the early 1980s. This film shows him cavorting with movie stars (primarily Johnny Depp and Bill Murray, the two actors who've portrayed him so brilliantly) and hanging with his friends in Woody Creek.
When I Die. This is a deeply moving film about how Thompson's broken-hearted friends decided to honor him with a huge and outlandish funeral. It's like a documentary about the artist Cristo -- the making of the art becomes the art.
Free Lisl. Thompson's last crusade was to get Lisl Auman freed from an unjust prison sentence. This case is also the subject of Matthew Moseley's excellent new book, Dear Dr. Thompson.
All of these films can be ordered through Ewing's Hunter S. Thompson Films site.[image-3]
William McKeen chairs the University of Floridas Department of Journalism and is the author of several books, including the acclaimed Hunter S. Thompson biography Outlaw Journalist, available in paperback.