Trailer for the Criterion Collection release of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
It is 1971, and journalist Raoul Duke barrels toward Las Vegas—accompanied by a trunkful of contraband and his slightly unhinged Samoan attorney, Dr. Gonzo—to cover a motorcycle race. What should be a cut-and-dried journalistic assignment quickly descends into a feverish psychedelic odyssey. Director Terry Gilliam and an all-star cast headlined by Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro show no mercy in bringing Hunter S. Thompson’s excoriating dissection of the American way of life to the screen, creating a film both hilarious and savage.
The GOP convention has been a weeklong parade of fear and loathing. And have been in the air. ("The answer to 1984 is 1776," Jones shouted at a rally.) This official embrace of suspicion and distrust is unprecedented—and dangerous. "I am your voice," Trump thundered during his dour acceptance speech. The GOP delegates cheered in response. Trump was right. With the support of millions of Republican voters and the acquiescence of GOP elites, he has given voice to darker impulses and has altered the American political landscape. It is his most consequential construction project yet.
The sixties are dead and the seventies don’t look like they’ll be near as much fun, echoes the wistful message of cult favorite Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998). (one of my personal favorite directors) might have been the ideal choice to film this unfilmable story by Hunter S. Thompson (one of my personal favorite writers). If you haven’t read the book (first published in novel form in 1972), correct this immediately, but if you have read it you would know just how impossible it seems to put on film. Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream is a fractured quasi-autobiographical account of a drug-addled excursion to casino central. It is also a lament for the loss of the innocence and purity of the sixties counterculture while simultaneously an ironic discovery of how perverted and hollow the American Dream had become. There are isolated events and meandering amusing tales woven throughout the story, but nothing really strikes one as being particularly cinematic. The only real feature uniting the book’s passages are the two main characters—Raoul Duke (aka Thompson) and his attorney Dr. Gonzo (aka Oscar Acosta).
Then: Christina Ricci played Lucy, a young girl Gonzo brings to the hotel. Previously, Ricci was known for her roles as a child actress, starring in the 'Addams Family' films and 'Now and Then,' and she had appeared in 'The Ice Storm' with 'Fear and Loathing' co-star Tobey Maguire.