Live From SXSW's Screening Room

Woody Harrelson (l) and Ron Mann field audience questions at Friday night's world premiere of <i>Go Further</i>.
Woody Harrelson (l) and Ron Mann field audience questions at Friday night's world premiere of Go Further. (Photo By Michael May)


With Ron Mann, Woody Harrelson, and the cast of Go Further

Friday, March 7, 7pm @ Paramount Theatre One long, strange trip just barely reached its destination at the Paramount on Friday night. Go Further, a documentary by Ron Mann, two years in the making, was finished the day before its world premiere at SXSW, and Mann stumbled on stage looking and sounding exactly like somebody who had been locked in a dark room for days. "I would thank everyone who is here, but my brain is shot, and I can't see with all these lights," he said, squinting beneath his unkempt silver 'fro. Mann thanked a dozen or so subjects and crew members in the audience and mumbled that he hoped he hadn't forgotten anybody. "Jane!" somebody in the audience yelled. Mann looked sheepish: "I was saving her for last ... um, that's my wife."

Mann's bumbling introduction only endeared the audience to him, who were then well-primed for the informal, pranksterish feel of Go Further, which follows Woody Harrelson and cohorts driving along the West Coast in a hemp-fueled bus, spreading the message of "Simple Organic Living" to anyone who would listen. The carnival feel continued after the movie, as the entire cast spilled onstage to much applause. Several audience members wanted to get on the bus, so to speak, and began to appeal to Harrelson's activist spirit with information about their own crusades. It appeared that things were going to veer out of control when a woman from the audience began to cry -- about how the media controls children's minds -- and couldn't find a way to finish succinctly. The goodwill of the audience began to wane, as they impatiently clapped and urged her to sit down. But it was Harrelson to the rescue again: He jumped off the stage and gave the woman a hug, and the freaky good vibes were restored. Nothing like a hug from a celebrity to cure the 21st-century blues.

Go Further screens Friday, March 14, 6:30pm, at the Paramount.

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