Circle The Wagen (from the filmmaker who brought us “Between the Upper Lip and Nasal Passageway)
★★★★★ 5 Stars
Director: Ryan Steven Green
Writers: Charlie Pecoraro
Synopsis: CIRCLE THE WAGEN is a feature-length buddy/road-trip/docu-dramedy on the vintage Volkswagen subculture in America––that close-knit community for whom the joy of driving is the joy of living. It follows Dave, an idealistic adventurer and automotive ne’er-do-well, on his journey down Route 66 in a ‘72 bus won on eBay for $787. Through countless backfires, blowouts, and breakdowns the heart of the vintage VW community is revealed as they attempt to save “The Croc” from the scrap heap and rally her beleaguered owner on to California.
Ryan Steven Green once again captivates his audience with his latest film and instant classic Circle The Wagen. He takes the viewer on a timeless road-trip adventure, telling a story the only way he can tell it -weaving together expansive sweeps of landscape, close-up interviews, stop-action segues, and a genuine “buy the ticket, take the ride, and oh, by the way, don’t forget to buckle up!” approach.
The documentary is a look at both the VW subculture in the United States–the glue that adheres the trip together–and at two friends with a special chemistry, working in tandem to see their ultimate mission through: getting “The Croc,” a rusting, baby blue 1972 VW Bus across the country.
Green and his camera follow Dave Torstenson on a Sisyphean romp down Route 66 accompanied by his good friend Charlie, who serves as part enabler and part comic relief. We learn that Dave’s life up until this point has, much like The Croc, had many false starts. It seems both Dave and the bus need each other to break this cycle and eventually complete the circle.
Circle the Wagen is more of a journey than a typical road-trip. On the surface, it’s a tale of two pals on opposite ends of the country who recruit a network of classic VW enthusiasts to aid them along the way. But if you look a little deeper… what at first feels like a modern throwback to “On the Road” with a AAA membership, quickly downshifts into a lighthearted version of Siddhartha… that is, if Hesse opted for the Choose Your Own Adventure medium and had it edited by Buster Keaton roadside while waiting for a tow.
Dave, Charlie and Ryan entered the VW World through a different door than most, a door that’s shiny and new. A door that one may have to duck under to gain access, but with a welcome mat none the less. All it took to unlock it was a certain key and a passion for life!
To sum up this film as only someone who typically writes product reviews on moustache wax and shaving soap can, this documentary, much like a good shave, left me feeling beatific, inspired and satisfied.
Also: Check Out Our Recent Interview With Ryan Steven Green Here
Capistrano VW, July 13th & 14th, 7:45pm and 10:15pm
Tickets are FREE and can be reserved here: capovw.com/circlethewagen
Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles,
Downtown Independent, Thursday July 18th, 7pm
Tickets can be purchased here: dffla.com/
Topanga Film Festival
Topanga Library – Open Air Screening – Patio
Saturday July 20th, 8:30pm
Tickets here: eventbrite.com/event/7262830321/eorg
Founding member and contributing writer for “How to Grow a Moustache”, an innovative cutting edge blog dedicated to all things facial fur & wet shaving. His mission: Create facial awareness and use his super powers [read:moustache] for good. Contact Douglas: firstname.lastname@example.org
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