GO FURTHER: Documentary produced and directed by Ron Man. Writer, Solomon Vesta. Executive producers, Camera Planet, Robi Blumenstein and Daniel J. Victor. Editor, Robert Kennedy. Cinematography, Robert Fresco. Sound design, Mike Rosnick. Original score, Guido Luciani. Art director, Lynne Dalgleish. Starring Woody Harrelson. Featuring Steve Clark, Joe Hickey, Tom Ballanco, Renee Loux Underkoffler, Jessica Chung, Joe Lewis, Sonia Farrell, Laura Louie and Ken Kesey. With musical performances by Bob Weir, Natalie Merchant, Anthony Kiedis, Michael Franti, Medeski, Martin & Wood, String Chees Incident and Dave Matthews. Sphinx Productions, 2003. NR. 80 minutes.
Life as a road trip with Woody Harrelson, barreling down coastal Highway 101 from Seattle to Los Angeles in the summer time: What a sweet trip! The bus burns hemp oil fuel, and the Merry Hempsters ride bicycles some or part of the time. The point of the trip is to get out the word about healthy living, eating right for the Earth, and supporting organic farming. This is not investigative journalism but a frankly not-balanced view of the environmental issues related to food and health.
Most days on the road, Woody rides his bicycle. Others ride with him, but you get the feeling that not everyone rides every day. You rarely see Woody on the bus, so he must have a private vehicle traveling with the bus. Professional bus driver Joe Lewis seems to be a genial fellow who has hung out with movie folk before and isn’t fazed by much.
Some of the other enviro-activists include Renee Loux Underkofler, who prepares daily meals using raw foods. One concoction involves avocado and chocolate in a blender, for example. Woody eats organic vegetarian or perhaps vegan, it’s never totally clear.
Steve Clark, the tour’s junk foodie, fantasizes eating steak, drinking pop and smoking cigarettes, but he gives up all of them to become a convert to a healthy lifestyle. I found Steve’s style a little crude, particularly with a pretty college student he picks up along the way, seems interested in, then disses when she leaves the bus. What’s that all about?
But basically, on this road trip, the men respect the women and vice versa, which is good. There are many early morning stretches and exercises, led by Jessica Chung, a yoga teacher and dance teacher from Seattle. The group’s morning rituals remind me of the Oregon Country Fair in the old days, when only a small number of craftspeople camped out.
Music is good throughout. Look for your favorites here. I liked Dave Matthews over the final credits, in an acoustic version of One Sweet World.
The best shots of Woody are during his informal talks at college campuses — UO, San Francisco State, UC Berkeley and others. He’s relaxed, informed, articulate and focused. And there’s no doubt he’s a strong believer in the way of life he and the others embrace on this journey. But his private life remains as closed at the end as at the beginning.
A lightweight movie, Go Further features the last interview with the late Ken Kesey, fun with the Pranksters, a downtown Eugene parade, a visit to Kesey’s farm and a talk to students at the UO. Not a waste of time, it’s a taste of a lifestyle that most of us won’t sample. But for those who would, more power to you.