Letter: ‘Wrenched’ screening: Come one, come all | AspenTimes.com

Letter: ‘Wrenched’ screening: Come one, come all

The screening of the film “Wrenched” is Thursday evening at the Paepcke Auditorium. You won’t want to miss this one! It starts at 5 p.m. sharp with an introduction by original “monkey wrencher” Dave Foreman.

“Wrenched” is a documentary about Edward Abbey, the American novelist most famous for “The Monkey Wrench Gang” and “Desert Solitaire.” But the film is not just for Abbey fans (although anyone who has read his books is going to love it). It’s for anyone who believes in the importance of protecting wild places.

“Wrenched” is funny, philosophical and informative. There are countless on-screen interviews. Robert Redford, for example, recounts his trip with Abbey along the Outlaw Trail as he was preparing to shoot “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” Tim DeCristopher, a next-generation “monkey wrencher” who was imprisoned for disrupting a public-lands gas-lease auction, speaks about how reading Abbey inspired him to risk his freedom. And of course Foreman (who will introduce the film in person!) is heavily featured.

“Wrenched” brings us back to Abbey’s developing writing career as he was typing by day and performing “night work” in the evenings, cutting down billboards, sabotaging heavy machinery and committing other acts of classic monkey wrenching. Then it moves on to Abbey’s rise to fame as an internationally recognized author and leader and how his literature expresses the attitude of wilderness preservation that so many of us believe but we lack the literary gift to put into words as eloquently as he did.

There is also some fantastic original footage. It’s a real treat to see Abbey’s personality captured on film. Ed loved people as well as the land. He was a warm participant with a wicked, dazzling sense of humor. He based many of his characters on people he knew and loved, some of whom are interviewed in the film. Abbey knew he had to inspire people to save the land we love.

Please join us Thursday. You’ll be so glad you did. Original “monkey wrencher” Foreman will be there to sign books (a great holiday gift!) and take questions afterward. If you’ve ever wondered about the origins of the environmental movement, or you’re even remotely familiar with Abbey’s work, this is a night for you! Tickets are available for purchase at http://www.wildernessworkshop.org/wrenched.

Sloan Shoemaker

Executive director, Wilderness Workshop