The first reel, simply labeled “Hunter Thompson for Sheriff,” was found in a barn in the spring of 2017. It’s largely overshadowed his influential campaign. Thompson would write about this campaign and detail his own goals for sheriff in Rolling Stone — his first byline in the magazine. They concluded “Freak Power” would remain, perhaps fittingly, a truly independent film and grassroots release. “It seems to me the way to cope with power is not to ignore it but to get it,” Thompson says of his aims in the film. 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. “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. What should Pitkin County do to get its COVID-19 numbers under control? In 1970, Hunter S. Thompson ran for sheriff of Pitkin County, Colorado and came within 300 votes of winning! Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage. In 2015, Watkins—a Lawrence native now living in Thompson’s hometown of Aspen—wrote Freak Power: Hunter S. Thompson’s Campaign for Sheriff. He’s like my hero,’” Watkins tells Rolling Stone. Want more Rolling Stone? In 1970 Hunter S. Thompson ran for sheriff of Aspen wanting to ban cars and legalize certain substances. “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. The film cogently explains Thompson’s flamboyant platform to change the name of Aspen to “Fat City,” sod the streets and ban traffic from downtown, control drug sales and forbid non-residents from hunting and fishing. “But it never occurred to me that I would actually have to run, no more than I’d ever seriously believed we could mount to a ‘takeover bid’ in Aspen.”. A movie about Hunter S. Thompson’s bid to be sheriff of Pitkin County in the 1970s will start filming in Silverton next week. Aspen writer Daniel Joseph Watkins chronicled Thompsons years in the region with 2015 book, Freak Power: Hunter S. Thompson’s Campaign for Sheriff. 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. ), 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. So in 2017 when Travis Fulton found that first canister of campaign film his late brother had left behind, Fulton called Watkins to take a look at the footage. Edwards had represented hippies in the first civil rights case in Colorado, where they pressed charges against police in town for harassing them and putting them in jail. 1970s, 2020 election, Hunter S. Thompson, Jann Wenner. The film opens with a scene of young Aspenites pouring into the Isis Theatre in downtown Aspen for the 1970 Thompson-Whitmire debate. Fulton’s daughter helped locate the rest in his basement archive in Connecticut. ** SHIFT MANAGERS *$16.00 HR. In 1970, Thompson ran for sheriff of Pitkin County, Colorado, as part of a group of citizens running for local offices on the "Freak Power" ticket. 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. Hunter S. Thompson, the iconoclastic gonzo journalist and one-time candidate for sheriff of Pitkin County, CO, would have been 78 on Saturday. 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. They had never done any work for him and assume he had the wrong number. Sign up for our newsletter. Documentary offers insider's view of Hunter S. Thompson's 1970 campaign for Aspen sheriff The film, co-directed by Aspenites Ajax Phillips and Daniel Joseph Watkins, will be released to … 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. “That’s when we said, ‘Well, this is enough for a feature film,’” Watkins recalled. Some bookkeeping experience…, White Mountain Snowmobile Tours needs a full-time Mechanic! 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. Hunter S. Thompson Sheriff posters are political posters created during the writer Hunter Thompson’s 1970 campaign to be elected Sheriff in Aspen, Colorado. Scenes of voter suppression and post-Kent State protests are strikingly similar to those playing out today nationally during early voting and at Black Lives Matter demonstrations. The film will help solidify Thompson’s legacy as a serious and wise political thinker. Try. Thompson, having shaved … All orders are custom made and most ship worldwide within 24 hours. “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. (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. 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. This year, he followed it up with a documentary, Freak Power: The Ballot or the Bomb , co-directed with Ajax Phillips (who goes by the artist moniker Ajax W. Axe), currently available on-demand at AppleTV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube and … 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. But Watkins and Phillips soon concluded they should make it themselves, rather than handing it over to an outsider. It’s cut against the dawn of the drop-out ski bum era in Aspen, when hippies fled cities for the Roaring Fork Valley and clashed with the conservative tourism industry establishment epitomized by Whitmire. The issues at the center of the campaign, as captured in “Freak Power,” are shockingly relevant 50 years later. Hunter Thompson was running against Pitkin County Sheriff Carroll Whitmire. Several more canisters of film turned up, most of them with attendant audio tape, which the Aspen team went about syncing. He seemed like he was out of central casting in terms of an opponent for … People scoff in the film at Thompson’s drug decriminalization platform, but viewers will notice some of those proposals have became reality in the 21st century as well. “The point is that we are not at that last resort. We knew what we were doing, we knew that it was an important film, but we had no idea how relevant, and timely, and kind of prescient it became because of all the civil strife that our country’s going through.”, In This Article: His work for the magazine, including 1971’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, solidified Thompson’s brand of Gonzo journalism that became his trademark. If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted. “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. High quality Sheriff Thompson gifts and merchandise. A minimum of three shifts per week is required. 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The platform included promoting the decriminalization of drugs (for personal use only, not trafficking, as he disapproved of profiteering), tearing up the streets and turning them into grassy pedestrian malls, banning any building so tall as to obscure the view of the mountains, disarming all police forces, and renaming Aspen "Fat City" to deter investors. Hunter S. Thompson is often praised as the father of gonzo journalism. 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. In 1970 Hunter S. Thompson ran for sheriff of Aspen wanting to ban cars and legalize certain substances. Prime Cart. Watkins and Phillips bought exclusive rights to Fulton’s footage from his family and earned financial backing from investors — among them Woody Creekers Rob Pew and Susan Taylor — to pursue the project with creative independence. Directed by Robert F. Kennedy III, it told a fictionalized account of the campaign, while Watkins and Phillips’ film is strictly a documentary. Then the coronavirus pandemic hit in March and scrapped most of the year’s festival season. Skip to main content.ca Hello, Sign in. 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. 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. “Nobody has had the year they wanted to have in 2020,” Phillips said this week. Account & Lists Account Returns & Orders. Must…, Billing Administrator: Oates, Knezevich Gardenswartz Kelly & Morrow, P. 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