“Hunter moved to Woody Creek, in a lot of ways, to get away from his experience with the Hells Angels in the Bay Area,” Watkins told SN&R. Oscar-winning composer Gustavo Santaolalla wrote the “Freak Power” film score and recorded the original song “Valley of Last Resort” with bluesman Gary Clark Jr. for the end credits. “It’s been a treasure hunt,” Phillips said during a July 2019 editing session. Thompson maintained a close relationship with actor Bill Murray after the movie adaptation of Thompson's Where The Buffalo Roam, featuring Murray, in 1980. “We like to say that he lost the battle, but he and his associates won the war, because they mobilized all the young people in town to register to vote and get involved,” Watkins says. A movie about Hunter S. Thompson’s bid to be sheriff of Pitkin County in the 1970s will start filming in Silverton next week. As it became clear the production schedule wouldn’t get them to Sundance in time, they aimed for a summer 2020 festival launch with expectations of premiering at one of the year’s major film events — Toronto, Venice or Telluride — and finding a distribution deal for theatrical and streaming release. “If bombing is the last resort I’m not against it,” he says in the film. In 1970 Hunter S. Thompson would launch what would ultimately become one of the wildest bids for public office the law enforcement community has ever seen. It also suggests that the population of Austrian and German immigrants who had helped found the ski resort here in the 1940s included former Nazis whose intolerance had pervaded local government and politics by 1970. ), Watkins, who wrote a book on the campaign in 2015, also runs the Gonzo Gallery in Aspen, which showcases the artwork of Ralph Steadman, Tom Benton, and other artists associated with Thompson. Hunter S. Thompson Sheriff posters are political posters created during the writer Hunter Thompson’s 1970 campaign to be elected Sheriff in Aspen, Colorado. The issues at the center of the campaign, as captured in “Freak Power,” are shockingly relevant 50 years later. Prime Cart. “The idea was to have it be like a time capsule, because in a kind of traditional documentary, the contemporary interviews can kind of be disruptive to that feeling of being in a certain time,” Phillips says. “A really wild filmmaker.”, These rare clips shows Thompson running under the “Freak Power” ticket, where he shaves his head to call his incumbent Carol Whitmire his “long-haired opponent.” He dominates his opponent in a debate at the Isis Theatre, receiving praise from the hippie crowd. (By coincidence, there was a competing project also titled Freak Power starring former Rolling Stone writer Jay Bulger as Thompson, but it was shelved due to the pandemic. Sign up for our newsletter. Hunter S. Thompson is often praised as the father of gonzo journalism. Watkins had the film digitized, then went searching for more at Fulton’s film archives on both coasts and at Harvard University, where the experimental filmmaker taught after leaving Aspen. “One of the stories that’s told about him is that he would pull out his saxophone while he was flying, and pull out a joint,” Watkins says. Hunter would definitely be calling out a lot of people right now.”, “Obviously, it’s a rich political environment right now for commentary,” adds Watkins. It also depicts the heartbreak of young Aspen as Whitmire pulls away, winning by 500 votes. Inspired designs on t-shirts, posters, stickers, home decor, and more by independent artists and designers from around the world. It vividly captures the Nixon era scene on the streets as Thompson leads a youthful, peaceful revolution to get young hippies and “freaks” to vote and take control of local government. But Watkins and Phillips soon concluded they should make it themselves, rather than handing it over to an outsider. “I am not at all embarrassed to be called a freak,” Thompson says. “I made a mistake in thinking the town could handle an honest political campaign,” Thompson says in his concession, wrapped in an American flag and wearing a founding fathers’ wig, adding: “The American Dream really is f—ed.”. That intimate event will conclude “Freak Power Day” festivities in Aspen, which are scheduled to include a proclamation by Mayor Torre at the Pitkin County Courthouse to temporarily rename the town “Fat City,” a sodding of Hyman Avenue in front of the Gonzo Gallery and other hijinks along with a voter registration drive. It had never been seen by the public — some of it never developed — and was spread between his archives in Aspen, New Jersey and Los Angeles. Must…, Billing Administrator: Oates, Knezevich Gardenswartz Kelly & Morrow, P. C. is seeking a Long Term/Part-time billing administrator. “And then I’d go, ‘Well, what’s your favorite books or your favorite articles?’ And they’d say, ‘Oh, well I haven’t read any of his stuff, but I saw Fear and Loathing, and I love Fear and Loathing!’ The campaign is a really important piece of the puzzle.”, The footage of the campaign was taken by the late filmmaker and pilot Robert E. Fulton III. Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Discussing the footage and the winding journey of the film’s development with a visitor that summer, Watkins concluded: “You need some reckless optimism and ignorance to do something like this. Hunter S. Thompson is often praised as the father of gonzo journalism. Public festivities for “Freak Power Day” and a voter registration drive will begin at noon at the Pitkin County Courthouse and will run throughout the day downtown and at the Gonzo Gallery. © Copyright 2021 Rolling Stone, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media, LLC. But he and his team knew they had something special on their hands and continued pressing forward with the goal of landing the film at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and releasing it publicly before Election Day to inspire young voters. “I encouraged them to do it themselves because they knew the material the best.”. Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Shop with confidence. Hunter S. Thompson went to the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago as a journalist and returned home disgusted, yet motivated by what he’d just seen: violently suppressed protests, riots, corrupt politicians, and abusive cops. The film will have its public premiere on Saturday, Oct. 17 in a 60-seat socially distanced set-up on the rooftop of the Aspen Art Museum. He seemed like he was out of central casting in terms of an opponent for … “Like Hunter said, the ‘hypocritical gibberish’ that is coming to the surface is exactly what he was railing against 50 years ago,” Phillips says. Edwards lost by 6 votes, but Thompson, his personal and artistic powers peaking, ran anyway, on a nationally watched ‘Freak Power’ campaign, whose logo was a double-thumbed fist clutching a peyote button, superimposed over a sheriff’s star. The film, co-directed by Aspenites Ajax Phillips and Daniel Joseph Watkins, will be released to video-on-demand services, Oct. 23. Coinciding with the public release of “Freak Power: The Ballot or the Bomb” on Oct 23, the Aspen Times will publish a special 16-page insert reprinting the newspaper’s original contemporaneous coverage of Hunter S. Thompson’s campaign for sheriff in 1970. If I’d known how complicated it was going to be — all the time and the money and Hollywood people and everything — there is no f-ing way I would have done it.”. Hunter Thompson's run for Sheriff in 1970 faced the same issues we face today in 2020---fighting against police brutality, getting young people engaged in politics, saving the environment from greedy and corrupt developers. Hunter S. Thompson, the iconoclastic gonzo journalist and one-time candidate for sheriff of Pitkin County, CO, would have been 78 on Saturday. High quality Sheriff Thompson gifts and merchandise. On Oct. 23, it will go up on Amazon and other video-on-demand services for $19.99. ** Free Meals Free Uniforms Flexible…, ACCONTING ASSISTANT Not a remote position. Look for it on newsstands and at aspentimes.com, An old film canister labeled “Hunter Thompson for Sheriff” turned up in artist Travis Fulton’s barn off Ute Avenue in Aspen three years ago, setting off a series of archival discoveries that have shed new light on the gonzo journalist’s influential 1970 campaign and led to the new documentary “Freak Power: The Ballot or the Bomb.”. (Fortunately, the interviews were conducted prior to the pandemic.) “I don’t think we can afford to ignore the national political realities any longer,” he says. Police harassment of hippies and “land rape” by developers were local signals of troubling national trends, Thompson notes. “We looked at that initial batch and we said, ‘This is amazing,’” Watkins recalled last year. Mar 14, 2018 Domagoj Valjak. Edwards and Thompson lost their bids, but Thompson’s campaign greatly influenced Aspen. Property Managers, Field Staff & Skilled…, We are hiring for the following positions for the winter season: Housekeeping Please apply in person at 0065 Timbers Club…, DESTINATION MANAGER | CUVÉE ASPEN, CO About Cuvée Cuvée owns and curates the world's most exquisite collection of ultra- luxury…, Chauffeur Established local Luxury Ground Transportation Company looking for several friendly customer service oriented individuals wanting to make money through…, The Ute Mountaineer is seeking Sales Associates be part of their team. Experience preferred but not…, El Jebel CREW *$15.00 HR. Gitlin, whose film credits go back three decades to producing “Thelma & Louise,” provided connections to the industry’s top-tier film and sound editors who would assist the first-time filmmakers in telling Freak Power story. Skip to main content.ca Hello, Sign in. “Throughout the campaign I’d been promising, on the streets and in the bars, that if Edwards won this Mayor’s race I would run for Sheriff next year,” he wrote. That campaign was cast as the culmination of the ‘Freak Power’ movement that was part libertarian and part eco-crusade against those engaged in “land rape.” A minimum of three shifts per week is required. Until now. Skip to main content.ca Hello, Sign in. I don’t think we are anywhere near it.”. With his Freak Power badge, Thompson was hardly a traditional candidate for Sheriff. But it also outlines the more serious and prescient reforms he pushed for, like disarming sheriff’s deputies and down-zoning construction to save the local landscape from development. “Maybe that’s one of the reasons there’s been so many marijuana arrests and so few ski arrests.”, Thompson’s interest in politics was fueled by the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, where he witnessed police brutality against protesters and was even teargassed. “I think he felt like engaging young people and getting back into democracy and trying to make the system work was a lot smarter than trying to get involved with some of these revolutionary groups who were active at the time.”, A year later, he pressured lawyer Joe Edwards to run for Aspen mayor. It’s largely overshadowed his influential campaign. More info: The Aspen Art Museum will host an in-person screening of the film on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 6:30 p.m. A new documentary about Hunter S. Thompson seeks to look beyond the gonzo, hard-partying stereotype that the journalist has been reduced to in the 15 years since his death. The film will help solidify Thompson’s legacy as a serious and wise political thinker. The film makes pointed use of footage from prominent Aspenites of the day who criticize Thompson, Mayor Eve Homeyer and the notorious anti-hippie restaurateur Guido Mayer among them. But as a team we felt it was important to get this out before the election.”. “I agree that to catch a ski thief might be a hell of a lot harder than to catch some poor brother on the street with a joint in his hand,” he says dryly. “The idea was to like stay really tightly in that time period until the very end of the film.”, Freak Power: The Ballot of the Bomb arrives a day after the final presidential debate — and that’s by design. “To deviate from the style of government that I deplore today is not only wise but necessary.”. The new documentary Freak Power: The Ballot or the Bomb (available to stream on Amazon and iTunes) tells the story of Thompson’s run for sheriff, using unearthed archival footage discovered by co-directors Daniel Joseph Watkins and Ajax Phillips. His explicit in-your-face writing style and lifelong battle against censorship inspired generations of writers and political activists. We are people who love the outdoors and…, Drivers High Mountain Taxi has Day/Night Time Driver positions avail. They met with the streamers, studios and broadcasters — from Netflix to Amazon, Apple and HBO — but the prospects of landing there also soured due to COVID-19. The 1970 campaign for sheriff of Pitkin County was “one of the most substantive and captivating periods of Hunter Thompson’s life — as well as … Property Managers / Skilled Labor Local Mgmt Company seeks to hire experienced team members. Some bookkeeping experience…, White Mountain Snowmobile Tours needs a full-time Mechanic! Fulton’s daughter helped locate the rest in his basement archive in Connecticut. “People would come in and say, ‘Oh my God, I love Hunter Thompson. “It’s been constantly pervaded with excellence. Please send…, $88,003 - $127,532 ABOUT THIS POSITION - The Town of Basalt is accepting applications for an Engineer. Hunter S. Thompson was a true maverick in every sense of the word. What should Pitkin County do to get its COVID-19 numbers under control? Try. Edwards would become Pitkin County Commissioner in 1972, where he instituted many of Thompson’s policies, including environment protection and land use reform. In April 2019, Watkins and Phillips hunkered down with Aspen-based editor and photographer Tony Prikryl in a cabin off Ute Avenue — adjacent to Travis Fulton’s barn — and started piecing together their film, collecting coverage of the campaign from The Aspen Times to the BBC and from the Aspen Historical Society, sorting through the reams of footage on 12-terabyte hard drives and cutting in new interviews they’d recorded with Bastian, Braudis, Sweetman, County Commissioner Joe Edwards, Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner and artist Ralph Steadman. “Our movie premiere is sold out, what more could we ask for!” Watkins exclaimed semi-sarcastically, giving Phillips an enthusiastic high-five, when he got the news Wednesday afternoon. This exciting opportunity…, Now Hiring - Roots Rx Aspen Part-time options available. Prime Cart. Knowledge of Snowmobile and Snow Cats would be a PLUS. Photo Credit: Steve Anderson (director) CC BY-SA 3.0. Thompson, radicalized by the police brutality he witnessed and fell victim to while covering the Democratic National Convention in 1968, sought to try a new kind of politics and law enforcement here in his backyard, in the hopes of inspiring national change — a voter-driven revolution that could be duplicated elsewhere around the U.S. “What we’re trying to do is to make the vote work, to bring people back into the government,” Thompson’s campaign manager Ed Bastian says in archival footage. Phillips and Watkins attribute this to editor Angus Wall, who previously worked on The Social Network. Among the most stunning things in “Freak Power,” Watkins and Phillips noted, is the realization that the iconoclast Hunter Thompson was actually the candidate playing by all the rules in this race, the one using the legal tools of democracy as intended. The viewer is often reminded of how little has changed, but also of how ahead of their time Thompson’s proposed solutions were, including police reform with oversight by an ombudsman, a “community policing” model that finally gained mainstream national traction this summer amid the nationwide protests over police brutality. Co-directors Daniel Joseph Watkins and Ajax Phillips discuss finding archival footage of the 1970 campaign, and how the late journalist might view our current election. They showed the footage to filmmakers, including the Oscar-winning documentarian Morgan Neville, and they drew intense interest from Hollywood to make a film using it. The film also shows up close the campaign’s fear and paranoia as the opposition begins to play dirty, death threats roll in and the FBI starts spying on the Thompson campaign. Must be an in-state local and/or with reliable transportation. The whole point is not to get me elected sheriff, but to win a mandate for what the young people here stand for.” Hunter S. Thompson Los Angeles Times October 7, 1970 • #FreakPowerFilm “I encouraged them to be the directors themselves,” said producer Mimi Polk Gitlin, who came on board in 2018. Angus Wall, the Oscar-winning editor to David Fincher, signed on as a producer. “I think that he would have a lot to say about this election,” Phillips suspects. He and Phillips initially looked for someone else to make it. Thompson would write about this campaign and detail his own goals for sheriff in Rolling Stone — his first byline in the magazine. Film Overview. Watkins, director of the itinerant Gonzo Gallery in Aspen, has in recent years aimed to draw national attention to Thompson’s 1970 campaign, which is often overshadowed in pop culture by “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” and other Thompson writings. Hunter Thompson was running against Pitkin County Sheriff Carroll Whitmire. Must have MED support or key badge. "David Hiser/Courtesy photo, The Ralph Steadman-designed poster for "Freak Power: The Ballot or the Bomb. ublished the book “Freak Power: Hunter S. Thompson’s Campaign for Sheriff”, Mountain Music: Lizzy Plotkin and Natalie Spears discuss making their new record, Asher on Aspen: A love letter to Belly Up Aspen, Former Aspen museum director Heidi Zuckerman to run Orange County Museum of Art, Aspen Music Fest moves winter concert series online, Judge denies Aspen restaurant group’s request to stop Red-level restrictions, Colorado governor “shocked” federal plans to speed up vaccine distribution are falling short, Aspen-area restaurants seek suspension of Pitkin County’s Red level order. On stage Whitmire claims not to understand what “freak power” is, while Thompson proudly brandishes the label. They had never done any work for him and assume he had the wrong number. A documentary film about Hunter S. Thompson's campaign for sheriff called Freak Power: The Ballot or the Bomb is scheduled for release October 23, 2020. A quick-cut montage sets the local and national scene of 1970 — war in Vietnam, assassinations, President Richard Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover, political violence from the Weathermen, racial inequality and activism, student protestors killed at Kent State. The event greatly shaped his views. Thompson left this message for an audio video store in Aspen. The film opens with a scene of young Aspenites pouring into the Isis Theatre in downtown Aspen for the 1970 Thompson-Whitmire debate. Hunter S. Thompson (center) reading newspapers with novelist William Kennedy (left) and campaign manager Ed Bastian during Thompson's 1970 campaign to be sheriff of Pitkin County.David Hiser/Courtesy photo, Hunter Thompson, Ed Bastian, William Kennedy and Sandy Thompson at Owl Farm during the 1970 campaign.David Hiser/Courtesy photo, The new documentary "Freak Power: The Ballot or the Bomb," about Hunter S. hHompson's 1970 sheriff campaign, will be available on-demand beginning Oct. 23.David Hiser/Courtesy photo, Election Day 1970 in Aspen.David Hiser/Courtesy photo, Hunter S. Thompson giving his concession speech at the Hotel Jerome on Election Night 1970 in the new documentary "Freak Power: The Ballot or the Bomb. Labeled “ Hunter Thompson for Sheriff poster - 11x17: Amazon.ca: &. Every contribution, however large or small, will be released to video-on-demand services, Oct. 23 eBay for Sheriff., a truly independent film and grassroots release claims not to understand “... 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