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puce Breakfast with Hunter
Wayne Ewing  sortie février 2004

I’ve watched this DVD three times in 49 Hours now. Y’know, once as it is. Then with the extras. Then with commentary..(Commentary by Director/producer; Wayne Ewing and partly, by the star of the show himself, who leaves half way through it)…

And…well. It is a lovely, exceedingly-watchable film. Goes down smooth but satisfying. No fat on it...if anything it leaves me wanting more. This film lingers in the palate of your heart and mind long after it’s over.

And yet it’s such an straightforward and unadorned piece. The camera work reminds me of the photographer William Eggleston, in a way. Not visually but in the sense that it’s almost as if the photographer isn’t there. We are watching via the mirror in the Trailer, via the empty bottles in Hunter’s kitchen, we are the clock face above the fireplace in Johnny Depp’s castle.

And speaking of décor, what I’ve just noticed is that the background to the mainman of this picture hardly seems to change…the location, the geography..…. The sets…

Wherever Hunter S Thompson is, it’s like..It hardly matters, as he is the Sun of the room, all else orbiting around him. So if he’s in a Film trailer with Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Torro and Harry Dean Stanton.. (‘You look like a ghost’ remarks the latter perfectly, commenting on a lonely looking Polaroid of HST)…

Wherever we are, the background hardly changes…hardly matters..Hunter is his own environment. He has become so much himself that wherever he is, it is he. I reckon.

The effect of this is exactly what the title of this quietly masterful, subtle and enduring film implies: After watching it, you do feel as if you have had breakfast with hunter. I mean, breakfast with anyone is a pretty intimate experience. And be glad you get to do it with Hunter Stockton Thompson through this film, ‘cos in everyday life, it’d probably become an endurance test that only the blessed, strange and robust could acclimatise to.

(E.J. Carroll writes in her flawed by hugely readable Biography of the Good Doctor that breakfast for hunter in the late 80’s consisted of something like; ‘2pm; Dunhill 2:05 Coffee, 2:15:chivas, 2:20, first lines of coke; 2:25; Dunhills, 2:30; Orange juice, 2:35; Dunhill; 2:40; Larger lines of coke; 2:45; Chivas; 3pm Marijuana pipe etc etc)

(As to Hunter’s continuing existence, he advises doctor’s to take him as an example and ‘study his habits, rather than condemn them’).

This is a rare film…Devoid of wanting to please in the crass manner WE’VE BECOME ACUSTOMED TO….by which I mean, in contrast to most of the pre-digested schlock that sewers up our cinemas and our local branches of ‘Blockbusters’. What we have here is subtle and endlessly interesting, almost seemingly without effort. (the edits are so smooth as to be musical) It is complex in its simplicity. By lingering on the hands and faces and conversations of the people here, we get a film that is much more sophisticated in it’s basic intent than all the Matrix movies put together.

One of the things I like about Hunter (aside from his work. To which end I actually think he’s an underrated writer) ….is that Hunter is one of the few dudes still breathing during in my lifetime who has a kind of genius for living…by this I mean he seems to have recognized and made the effort to have lived HIS life.

On one level of this, obviously, the kind of diet/lifestyle in evidence here is not for all. Observe; he has chivas and Ice as a first meal and then grazes on the stuff day long while chain-smoking constantly..(Interesting details for the ‘health’ conscious: A lot of water in the ice and a filter on the fag).. And of course, whatever else the Doctor of Divinity imbibes these days…. (By the way, if you want to see HST do coke, check out the Extras section of the Excellent ‘Criterion’ edition of ‘fear and loathing’).

‘Breakfast..’ is candid but not that candid…(unless that’s not salt in the shaker at the viper room)..And this makes me wonder….Like when one sees old folks in the street..And you think..’When was the last time they had sex..and did they know it was the last time when they did..? One wonders; Does an elderly dope fiend know at the time when he’s done his last line..?)..

Artificial intoxicants aside, it’s real personal joy for me in watching recent footage of HST, to behold someone who has seemingly achieved ‘individuation’-a dude who has become himself so completely.

This very sense of being has obviously spread through Owl farm too..Like all great homes it appears as an extension of the person who made it…Full of God and details, relics, skulls, talismans, clippings, bottles, furs, 80’s telex and phone machines, beautiful lamps, Guns and books, a huge Log fire, Knives and bones, broad half shuttered windows, numerous pictures and Polaroid’s, faded and otherwise..(If you have a ‘zoom’ on your DVD you can explore at length and in detail-and for once, in having the setting of Owl farm at Woody creek captured digitally, this usually extraneous feature is useful).

Indeed, you hear Hunter talking in 1996 about having just rediscovered the actual audiotape of his and Oscar’s now mythic journey to Las Vegas in a bedroom drawer…after 25 years??

What other goodies would we find if allowed to roam, stoned, speeding or tipsy through the compound..?
Well…You get a real idea of what could be unearthed, given the chance, from this film.
Like the best art this picture triggers your imagination, works with you, cajoles you, stokes you up…

Pivotal and classic scene: Film director Alex Cox. A guy whose face, incidentally, I’ve always liked but which seems horribly wrong in this setting, for some reason…
Anyway, Alex is supposed to direct ‘Fear and loathing in Las Vegas’. It’s the Mid 90’s.he arrives in a pretentious black cape with Co-writer Todd..(Also in Black cape, smock, Beret et al-It seems they have come dressed as Jack the ripper’s dentists or some such..).. We see Hunter cooking joyfully, Garlic butter melting gorgeously on fat sausages in a pan. Outside the kitchen window there are mountains through heavy snowfall..…The genial host has music playing….a log fire roars in the hearth….How’s that for a welcome?

(Alas-Turns out Alex and Todd are- (as am I), Vegetarians. So. In which case. Why do they allow Hunter, in chef mode, to talk them through the Sausage cooking ritual only to then refuse ‘em)??

A wrong start indeed. Anyhoo. Alex and Todd become fixated on an idea they have for the Fear and loathing film that involves DR Gonzo being swept about on a cartoon wave.

HST is almost instantly and violently opposed to this idea, making comic light as it does, of one of the most fundamental and timeless pieces of his writing, period.
(The ‘waterline’ Speech).

And yet Cox refuses to back down, indeed seems to want to provoke Hunter, going so far as to invade his personal space, while becoming almost condescending and patronizing of the author. It’s a perverse and odd manner Alex has here. Insulted and wounded, HST loses his temper and the gruesome twosome flees into the night, Black cloaks flapping Crow-like, as the Doctor rages tactfully into his agent’s answer machine. (Speaking of animation, as the argument built, I almost expected Alex and Todd to morph into giant animated Ravens before flying away cawing into the snowy night).

It’s a great piece of cinema, a genuinely disturbing scene and excruciating to watch. You will chew your fist in embarrassment and delight.

This is indeed, the high ‘Watermark; scene of the movie, it’s highest dynamic, also illustrating the myth of hunter. Even when insulted in his own home he remains reasonable and in control. In fact, It’s almost a disappointment not see him bring out a handy cattle-prod and manipulate Cox’s unique facial features into even more complex arrangement than as is.

What more do you want? We get other writers in conversation with HST, friends over reading from ‘Screwjack’ (Don Johnson beckoning madly for a drink as he recites the poetic ‘bestiality’ piece from said book)…. there are even Dolphin’s in here somewhere..

We meet Juan, Hunter’s son, who comes across as an almost Zen like chap, radiating peace and nobility. In some sense I imagine him older than his dad. If Hunter is, as he believes, to be reincarnated, he will surely be reborn as his own son.


I’ve said enough. You get the idea. I liked this film, it made me happy.



If you’ve never even read any of hunter S Thompson’s books but believe that poetry, music, magic, work, beauty, horror and fun can run together in any one life at any given moment -then buy this film.

DVD- A documentary by Wayne Ewing

You can order this documentary directly on the web site here :

Anthony Reynolds         
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# 17 septembre 2017 : A quelques pas de l'automne

Les compagnies de théâtres sont toutes rentrées d'Avignon, les Festivals de musique se raréfient, les jours raccourcissent et on va bientôt passer à l'heure d'hiver. Au milieu de tout cela, voici de quoi aiguiser, comme chaque semaine votre curiosité et oublier les tracas du quotidien.

Du côté de la musique :

"Bury the hatchet" de Jay Jay Johanson que nous avons rencontré cet été pour un nouvel entretien avec notre chouchou suédois
"La nébuleuse" de Lisa Portelli
"Crescent hôtel" de Antoine Bataille
"Circle songs" de Francesco Tristano
"Settlement" de Lodz
"Incorporée EP" de Mina Sang
"Juchu ! EP" de Odds & Ends
"Massage" de The Cats Never Sleep
"The source" de Tony Allen
"Welcome Oxygen" de Will Samson
Présentation du festival Nancy Jazz Pulsation
et toujours :
"Hippopotamus" de Sparks
"Tchaikovski : String quartet N°1, souvenir de Florence" de Novus String Quartet
"Devil on TV" de Balkun Brothers
"Agitato charismatic" de Dissonant Nation
"Armor" de Emmanuel Tugny
"The end of everything EP" de The Off-Keys

Au théâtre :

les nouveautés de la semaine :
"Marco Polo et l'Hirondelle du Khan" au Théâtre La Bruyère
"Et Swan s'inclina poliment" au Théâtre de Belleville
"Amphitryon" au Théâtre de Poche-Montparnasse
"Au but" au Théâtre de Poche-Montparnasse
"Terre Sainte" au Théâtre de l'Opprimé
"La gentillesse" au Théâtre Paris-Villette
"Tristesse Animal noir" au Théâtre L'Atalante
"You-You" au Studio Hébertot
"Bovary" à la Maison ds Métallos
"La Huchette en liberté" au Quartier Latin
"Ecrits d’Art Brut à voix haute" au Centre Culturel Suisse
les reprises :
"Grande" au Centquatre
"La logique des femmes" au Théâtre Les Feux de la Rampe
"Arrête ton char Ben-Hur !" au Théâtre de Dix Heures
"Elodie Poux - Le syndrome du Playmobil" au Théâtre Apollo
"Guillaume Bats - Hors Cadre !" à la Comédie des Boulevards
"Karine Lyachenko - Rebelle(s)" au Théâtre du Marais
"Passage en revue" au Théâtre Les Feux de la Rampe
"Laura Laune - Le diable est une gentille petite fille" au Petit Palais des Glaces
et les autres spectacles de septembre

Expositions :

"Caro/Jeunet" à la Halle Saint Pierre
dernière ligne droite pour "Costumes espagnols - Entre ombre et lumière" à la Maison de Victor Hugo,
et les autres spectacles de septembre

Cinéma avec :

les films de la semaine :
"Faute d'amour" de Andreï Zviaguintsev
"Nos années folles" de André Téchiné
"A ciambra" de Jonas Carpignano
"Kidnap" de Luis Prieto en E-cinema
Ciné en bref avec :
"Otez-moi d'un doute" de Carine Tardieu
"Le prix du succès" de Teddy Lussi-Modeste
"Seven Sisters" de Tommy Wirkola
"Bonne pomme" de Florence Quentin
"Barbara" de Mathieu Amalric
les chroniques des autres sorties de septembre
et les chroniques des sorties d'août

Lecture avec :

"Ecrire liberté, à l'école des migrants" de Lauriane Clément
"Et soudain la liberté" de Evelyne Pisier & Caroline Laurent
"Les primates de Park Avenue" de Wednesday Martin
"Théâtre des dieux" de Matt Suddain
et toujours :
"Gaston Lagaffe : La galerie des gaffes" en hommage à André Franquin
"Hillbilly elégie" de J.D. Vance
"Il nous reste que la violence" de Eric Lange
"La mythologie Viking" de Neil Gaiman
"Mon étincelle" de Ali Zamir
"Pourquoi les oiseaux meurts" de Victor Pouchet

Bonne lecture, bonne culture, et à la semaine prochaine.

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