By now you have probably heard that the filmmaker George Hickenlooper, who co-directed the landmark documentary HEARTS OF DARKNESS, the much appreciated MAYOR OF THE SUNSET STRIP and a number of other features, documentaries and shorts, died on Saturday in Denver at the very young age of 47.
Many of the reports stated that Hickenlooper was in town for the Opening Night screening of his new fiction film, CASINO JACK, at the Denver Film Festival. But that wasn't until this Thursday. He was in Denver this weekend to support and film the last few days of his cousin John Hickenlooper's campaign for Governor.
I met George for the first time several years back at the St. Louis Film Festival. George was from St. Louis, I was too, and on more than one occasion he and I were both called back to film-related events sponsored by Cinema St. Louis.
While I didn’t know George well - we'd mostly converse politely when we'd find ourselves back in Missouri - I ended up spending a good deal of time around him and his cousin John in Denver during the summer of 2008 – and the story I can tell from that experience says something special, I think, about George’s character.