Film Documents Woody Harrelson Bus Trip

Film Documents Woody Harrelson Bus Trip
Posted by CN Staff on March 10, 2003 at 17:00:13 PT
By Christy Lemire, AP Entertainment Writer
Source: Associated Press
The chronicle of Woody Harrelson's spring 2001 bus trip - reminiscent of Ken Kesey's 1960s journey with the Merry Pranksters - is making its world premiere at the South by Southwest film festival. Director Ron Mann calls it "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test on tofu.""Go Further" follows the former "Cheers" star and Oscar nominee for "The People vs. Larry Flynt" during his environmentally conscious trek from Seattle to Santa Barbara, Calif. It's showing several times during the festival, which ends Saturday.
Harrelson, a Texas native, made the 1,700-mile journey with several friends - including a yoga instructor and a raw food chef - in a bus fueled by hempseed oil. He stopped at college campuses along the way to speak about organic food, solar energy and saving forests and animals on the verge of extinction.Mann, a Canadian filmmaker whose previous works include "Poetry in Motion," about the Beat Generation poets, and "Twist," about dance, knew Harrelson from "Grass," his 1999 documentary about marijuana, which Harrelson narrated.Mann, 44, had become more health conscious, so when he heard of Harrelson's trip, he was intrigued - and wanted to make a film about it.A longtime environmental activist, Harrelson, 41, was arrested in June 1996 and acquitted after planting hempseeds in Kentucky. Later that year, he was arrested with others for climbing the Golden Gate Bridge to protest the cutting of redwoods."He's the real deal," Mann said Monday. "He really walks his talk."While "Go Further" is about Harrelson's journey, the actor functions as a supporting player. We see him riding his bike alongside the bus, talking to curious fans and even teaching an impromptu yoga class to a group of high school kids, but Mann focuses most of the attention on the people Harrelson influences.The most notable person - the film's star, really - is Steve Clarke, a production assistant Harrelson met while making guest appearances on the NBC sitcom "Will & Grace." In the beginning of the film, Clarke is cramming a greasy hamburger and fries in his mouth; by the end, he's shouting on a bullhorn to anyone who will listen, "Say no to corn dogs!""If you buy one avocado will it change the world? I don't know. It might be a utopian idea," Mann said, while dressed in jeans and a sweat shirt made of hemp. (He also ordered soy milk in his coffee, but the Four Seasons hotel didn't have any, so he drank it black.)"It's what you don't buy that can make a difference," he added. "That's an effective boycott: Just say no."Mann hopes his film will be especially resonant in these difficult times, with a declining economy and a looming war."There's a political climate that makes us feel helpless. The message of the film is more hopeful," he said. "It empowers people to take control, feel they can contribute to changing the world."On the Net:South by Southwest Web site: "Go Further" Web site: Source: Associated PressAuthor:  Christy Lemire, AP Entertainment WriterPublished: Monday, March 10, 2003 Copyright: 2003 Associated Press Related Articles & Web Site:Voice Yourself Spirit of 'Merry Prankster' Lives On in Event Ron Mann Chronicles Pot Prohibition
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on March 10, 2003 at 17:06:21 PT
Pictures from Go Further
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