Transatlantic Gonzo
in Terry Gilliam
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Twelve Monkeys marks the commercial high point of Terry Gilliam's association with American studios. Commenting on the genesis of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S. Thompson gives the account of what Gonzo journalism should be in its purist form. Gilliam's own cinematic practice regularly involves experimentation, failed, frenzied and successful, but Thompson's honest assessment of the completed text's shortcomings hints at the difficulties of recreating his literary experiment on screen. The anarchic verve of Thompson's attack bears the most obvious affinity with the tone, form and imagery of Gilliam's major and most personal film of the 1980s, Brazil. Raoul Duke had appeared in Thompson's Hell's Angels, and the idea that he existed seemed confirmed by the article titled 'Police Chief: The Indispensable Magazine of Law Enforcement' published under Duke's byline in Scanlan's Monthly.


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