April 20, 2017
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Overlooked & Underrated Docs & Features (click on broll or dschwartz for all his posts)
Circle the Wagen: A Four Year Road Trip Across the United States
In the special features menu of this quirky film’s DVD is an interview with filmmaker Ryan Steven Green. Near the end of the talk Green is asked to come up with three words to describe his story of a road trip across the United States in a beat-up, 1972 Volkswagen "bus" named "The Croc".
Understandably, Green struggles a bit to answer his interlocutor’s unexpected question. There’s a cut, a minute or two or more between shots. Who knows what the two said to each other, but Green ultimately comes up with three à propos words: Fun, Warm, and Gritty.
The time it took to answer paid off. Yes, “
Circle the Wagen
” is all three.
Two buddies, Dave and Charley, travel the U.S., along legendary Route 66—closely followed by buddy Green’s RV, crew, and equipment. Given the ancient car and Our Hero, Dave, knowing next-to-nothing about VW busses, there are the requisite delays—some way longer than others.
Dave is a handsome, high-energy, highly intelligent, and talented character who seems like the kind of guy who can do anything—and, as you’ll learn—he does.
Aside from this raw travel adventure, another point the film makes is the national support community of VW owners called
AIRS: Aircooled Interstate Rescue Squad
. Predictably, this squad plays a big role in “Circle the Wagen”. Without their altruistic help the trip and the film may not have been completed—let alone started.
D. Schwartz August 14, 2014