Vice Squad
Sunday, March 14, 2004
Just Say No Film Fest

The Independent Film Channel held a "Just Say No" movie festival this Saturday, March 13th, by showing movies that prominently featured excessive, I mean really excessive, drug use.

Movies (and substances) featured were: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (pretty much every drug known to man), Requiem for a Dream (heroin/speed), and Another Day in Paradise (heroin/alcohol). All pretty good films in my opinion. None of these movies really glamorize drug use. In fact, they do a pretty good job of showing the seedy underbelly of addiction. However, the movie Fear and Loathing, like the book, is conscious of the political and social climate surrounding a time in America's history when recreational drug use was part of a larger battle against the status quo.

One of my favorite lines from "Fear and Loathing" is taken from the book upon which the movie is based. Thompson is talking about the late 60's/early 70's:

"And that, I think, was the handle -- that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn't need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting -- on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave....So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look west, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark -- that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back."

It's a bummer man. Maybe someday that wave will swell again.

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