Seperated at Birth #2

30 12 2008


Andre Royo AKA Bubbles from Greatest Ever TV Show The Wire and late tap-dancing legend Gregory Hines… uncanny!

Gregory Hines

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

29 12 2008




I’m a fan of Hunter S. Thompson’s writing but to be honest I’ve always found his alliance of loyal devotees a little overbearing. This 2 hour documentary is made for them. Narrated by Johnny Depp, celebrity endorser of the ‘Hunter S. Thompson was God’ club, the film largely skirts over the details of Thompson’s formative years and family life, and indeed his actual life’s work – his writing – preferring, like his followers, to concentrate on the juicy details of his excessively hedonistic lifestyle. The drugs, the drinking, the guns and the girls – they all get the red carpet treatment. There are a few moments of realism when Thompson’s ex-wife, Sandi, reflects on how difficult it was trying to bring up their son, Juan, in a house that by all accounts was closer to a circus than a home but by and large it doesn’t do much to bring the viewer any closer to knowing who Hunter S. Thompson really was. Don’t get me wrong, the tales of drugs and deprivation are all very amusing and huge approbation has to be given to Thompson for engrossing himself so wholly in his work. But if you want to find out about the unique style of gonzo journalism that revolutionised political and social reporting and made it accessible to a whole new subset of the population then my advice is to buy the books and experience it for yourself.

Gonzo is like a patchwork quilt of various home videos, talking heads, interviews and archived footage which has all been sewn together in a very arty fashion, if somewhat erratically. The sequences of events seem to be a bit sketchy and jump from one crazy tale to the next, rushing over anything that hints at the possibility that there might have been a little more sustenance to the man and his life’s work than the parody of himself that he ultimately transmogrified into. The film has enough good clips and anecdotes to give most Hunter S. Thompson fans a semi but beyond  that it’s a little vacuous and lacks the depth I would have hoped for from director Alex Gibney after such groundbreaking documentaries as Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. If you are intrigued by the lifestyle that Dr. Gonzo led, watch Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas starring Johnny Depp and the brilliant Benicio del Torro instead, it’s far more entertaining.

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson is showing in the IFI until January 15th ’09. Schedule available  here. 



Eartha Kitt: 1927 – 2008

29 12 2008

It seemed somehow fitting that the ledgendary diva passed away on Christmas Day, when countless homes across the globe were no doubt listening to her purr through the lines of the original Santa Baby. Orson Welles famously describes Ms Kitt  as “the most exciting woman in the world” and Im sure that many would agree with him. I was going to post a clip of Santa Baby, but then I came across this wonderful video of C’est Si Bon and it reminded me of those ads for ‘Paris’ (the perfume by Yves Saint Laurent) that used to be on tv in the 80’s, so I decided to post this instead. Eartha Kitt RIP – Enjoy. 

Dinosaur Pile Up

10 12 2008

Brand new radio favourites Dinosaur Pile Up prove to us once again that Rough Trade Records can do no wrong. From those who brought you the likes of The Strokes, The Holdsteady, Arcade Fire and The Libertines comes their latest little gem of a find, Dinosaur Pile Up. Their single, My Rock n Roll, is due for official release this Friday but has been confidently bubbling beneath the surface for a few weeks now, with the occasional radio play from those with the foresight to see that they’re going to be big in 2009.

The single is reminiscent of Sonic Youth’s ‘Dirty’ era… deadpan, monotone intros building up into grimy, deliciously dirty climaxes. In short, it’s a proper rock song and it’s the anticipation that makes it all the sweeter.

The clip isn’t the best – I promise to updated it shortly. A clearer version of the track is up on the bands myspace.