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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
dir. Terry Gilliam / USA 1998 / 118’
subtitles: Polish only


Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Tobey Maguire, Ellen Barkin, Christina Ricci, Cameron Diaz

Film description

Before the distorted image of Johnny Depp in a fishing cap found its way to the bottom shelves of video rental shops among other dusty videotapes, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas made its way through multiplexes and raucous parties, playing exuberant accessory to alcoholic stupors and narcotic excursions. In a panicked race of disillusionment, the film's characters discover the counterculture’s dream of freedom and fulfilment has dried up. The two protagonists rent the most-American-of-all-cars – a red Cadillac – and set off for that glittering epitome of American dreams – Las Vegas, where they stumble through a series of hallucinatory experiences. Hunter S. Thompson, author of the groundbreaking and renowned novel of the same title, was a child of the 1960s revolution and his book was a reaction to the subsequent stagnation of Nixon’s America. Since Thompson was actively involved in the tide of change that swept America in the late 1960s, he could also give a very personal account of how the initially refreshing wave sank without a trace into the sunburnt ground of the early 1970s. Gilliam succeeds in translating Thompson’s fear and loathing into the language of film; the overwhelming effect is paranoia – not unlike what you might feel if you found yourself in a land you didn’t recognize where no one speaks your language and all your personal effects have been lost. If no one recognised you, would you still recognise yourself?

Prepared by: Stanisław Liguziński

Information about director

Terry Gilliam

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on November 22, 1940, Gilliam was briefly employed by Mad Magazine as a writer/illustrator before he emigrated to England in 1967. Soon after he arrived in the U.K., he began working on Do Not Adjust Your Set, a popular children's TV show, developing his eccentric animated cartoons, which put into motion a hodgepodge of images, including photographs, cutouts from magazines, and famous works of art. In 1969, Gilliam was asked to join the absurdist comedy troupe Monty Python. He began offering his iconoclastic vision to moviegoers with the comedy troupe's first original film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), which he co-directed with fellow Python Terry Jones. Gilliam had his first outing as a solo director with Jabberwocky (1976).

Gilliam's status as auteur has been assured by his strikingly idiosyncratic style, recurrent themes, and insistence on control of all stages of filmmaking. An open hostility towards the studio system has complemented his criticism of mainstream American culture, pragmatically sealed by a thirty-five-year residence in Britain. While he has had to turn to his native country to finance his most recent films, he has continued to denounce Hollywood as an accessory to the 'lie' lived by American society; accordingly, he has declined the direction of many a US box-office hit.


1975 Monty Python i Święty Graal / Monty Python and the Holy Grail (co-dir.)

1977 Jabberwocky

1981 Bandyci czasu / Time Bandits

1983 Karmazynowe Ubezpieczenie Ostateczne / The Crimson Permanent Assurance (short)

1985 Brazil

1988 Przygody Barona Munchhausena / The Adventures of Baron Munchhausen

1991 Fisher King / The Fisher King

1995 12 małp / Twelve Monkeys

1998 Las Vegas Parano / Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

2005 Nieustraszeni bracia Grimm / The Brothers Grimm

2005 Kraina traw / Tideland

2009 Parnassus – człowiek, który oszukał diabła / The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

2010 The Legend of Hallowdega (short)

2011 Świetna rodzina / The Wholly Family (short)


selected animations

1968 Czas na opowieść / Storytime (short)

1968 Animations for We Have Ways of Making You Laugh

1968 Animations for The Marty Feldman Comedy Machine

1968 Świąteczna kartka / The Christmas Card (animation for Do Not Adjust Your Stockings)

1968 Animations for Do Not Adjust Your Set

1969–1974 Animations for TV series Latający Cyrk Monty Pythona / Monty Python’s Flying Circus

1971 Sen o lataniu / The Miracle of Flight (short)

1971 Animations for A teraz coś z zupełnie innej beczki / And Now for Something Completely Different

1979 Animations for Żywot Briana / Monty Python’s Life of Brian

1982 Animations for Monty Python na żywo w Hollywood Bowl / Monty Python Live at Hollywood Bowl

1983 Animations for Sens życia według Monty Pythona / Monty Pythons The Meaning of Life

2006 Animations for Latający Cyrk Monty Pythona – Perełki Monty Pythona: Terry Gilliam / Monty Python’s Flying Circus – Terry Gilliam’s Personal Best

Prepared by: Jagoda Murczyńska


director: Terry Gilliam
screenplay: Terry Gilliam, Tony Grisoni, Tod Davies, Alex Cox, based on a book by Hunter S. Thompson
cinematography: Nicola Pecorini
editing: Lesley Walker
music: Ray Cooper
cast: Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Tobey Maguire, Ellen Barkin, Christina Ricci, Cameron Diaz
producer: Patrick Cassavetti, Laila Nabulsi, Stephen Nemeth, Elliot Lewis Rosenblatt
production: Fear and Loathing LLC, Rhino Films, Shark Productions, Universal Pictures
sales: Universal
source of print: La Cinémathèque de Toulouse
language: English
colouration: colour
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