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Johnny be gonzo

McNair, Brian (2012) Johnny be gonzo. Journalism Practice, 6(4), pp. 581-583.

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Abstract

The legend of Hunter S. Thompsonthe great gonzohas grown deeper and more layered since his death in February 2005 than it was even in his exotic and controversyfilled life. The most recent addition to the mythologyThe Rum Diary(Bruce Robinson, 2011)stars Johnny Depp, possibly Thompson’s greatest fan, and certainly a man dedicated to keeping the man’s memory alive. Not for the first time, Depp brings his A-list status and good looks to playing the Thompson character on the big screen. In Terry Gilliam’s adaptation of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) he played the writer’s alter ego, Raoul Duke. Duke was Thompson, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas a fictionalized account of what is generally accepted to have been a real-life episode. In The Rum Diary he plays Paul Kemp, the young journalist who lands a job as a crime reporter on a struggling Puerto Rican newspaper. Again, the protagonist is a version of Thompson himself, who did indeed spend time in 1960 working for the Puerto Rican press. Both films join Gonzo (Alex Gibney, 2008) to form a trilogy of Depp-infused movies about a journalist some regard as one of the greatest of the twentieth century, and others view as an overrated charlatan who leveraged his one big idea into a four decades-long career brought low by drugs, booze, dysfunctional sex and, finally, Hemingwayesque despair...

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 55175
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: journalism, movies, Hunter Thompson, public perceptions
DOI: 10.1080/17512786.2012.685358
ISSN: 1751-2786
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > JOURNALISM AND PROFESSIONAL WRITING (190300) > Journalism Studies (190301)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Taylor & francis
Deposited On: 29 Nov 2012 13:09
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2013 01:19

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