Hunter S. Thompson’s notorious account of his drug-fuelled sprees in Las Vegas with his attorney was thinly veiled as fiction: in Terry Gilliam’s film, Johnny Depp’s portrayal of central character Raoul Duke abandons such pretence in favour of a straight imitation.
Perhaps only a director with Gilliam’s visual flair could have done the book justice. The film is a wild and anarchic ride, filled with vivid imagery and using different palettes and manipulation of the medium itself to distinguish between the effects of the many drugs the duo snort, smoke, swallow, and inhale. (Notes by Kevin Coyne.)
This film is screening as part of Drugs, the second of our three-month season dedicated to excess, presenting examples of how cinema has taken on sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll in Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll.