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But how to freshly document the life of a man who was his own Boswell, whose books and articles slavishly documented his own every tic, whoop and hallucination? A journalist who announced his arrival in American letters by riding with the Hells Angels and in the end choreographed a memorial from the grave that made the Burning Man bacchanal seem chaste?

Few writers have commodified narcissism so completely his participatory style of journalism became its own genre and gives the film its title but still we are invited to sit in the dark of the theater and have a flashback about his flashbacks. When the film opens on July 4, why will people, as Thompson would say, buy the ticket, take the ride?

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