By James Calemine
“There may be flies on you and me, but there are no flies on Jesus.”
Wayne Ewing filmed a documentary about his Colorado neighbor Hunter S. Thompson called Breakfast With Hunter. This gem exists for the serious HST fan. A newcomer might not understand the context of this documentary without having read Thompson’s 13 inimitable books.
Breakfast With Hunter contains classic footage from Thompson’s Woody Creek, Colorado, ranch he calls Owl Farm. Guest appearances include Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Harry Dean Stanton, Terry Gilliam, Laila Nabulsi, John Cusack, and the late Warren Zevon.
Scenes with English artist Ralph Steadman whose paintings accompany many of Thompson’s writings prove interesting. Another scene details Thompson ambushing Rolling Stone mogul Jann Wenner with a fire extinguisher in his posh New York City office. Other footage features HST day in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky (also Depp’s hometown), as well as a stage appearance at Depp’s Viper Room.
The film chronicles the 25th Anniversary of Thompson’s classic book, Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, including early stages for production, filming, and the premiere of the 1998 movie. A confrontation in Thompson’s kitchen erupts with a British writer over the Fear and Loathing script, which personifies Thompson’s spirit.
The DVD contains great supplemental material such as Thompson revealing what exactly happened to his friend, The Brown Buffalo, Oscar Acosta. Most of Breakfast With Hunter was filmed in 1996-1997 during a time when Thompson fought Aspen cops who tried to bust him for drunk driving on the eve of an important local election.
Every frame of this insightful documentary stands as classic footage. Ewing portrays the lighter side to one of America’s greatest writers. Breakfast With Hunter qualifies as first class fun.
Read about my scheduled interview with Thompson in March 2005. Thompson shot himself two weeks before the interview. Find it in Insured Beyond The Grave…