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by punkass

"Funny as, especially if you're a fan of Wild Woodbines."
4 stars

Documentaries, eh? Dry, only for specialists, only worth watching on TV. When all the other channels are broken. And you want to go to sleep. And you never want another girl to talk to you in your life. And you REALLY like the cardigan you saw in that shop window today. Ummm... no. This is really very good indeed.

Among the many and varied treats of living in Sheffield is the little known but probably unique International Documentary Festival. For a week there is a chance to see lots and lots of documentaries and meet the guys who made them. Yeah, I know, calm down.

Still, feeling guilty that I wasn't taking advantage of it, and realising that it had been over a month since I'd been to the cinema, I gathered a group of my best smoking friends and headed to see one of the highlights, Grass.

Grass is about smoking weed. Not about hemp or medicinal usage, which are two seperate and even more unbelievable issues, but rather the argument that one should have the right to choose what one puts into their own body. By mixing lots of stock archive footage, outakes and humorous animations, Mann has created a picture that is not only cinematic but, quite frankly, hilarious.

And that's the bottom line. Hell, I learnt some things, but mainly I had a really good time. I would put this in my top five funniest films I've seen this year. I've always loved watching old anti-drug movies, and this had quite a few I hadn't seen (no mention for The Cool and the Crazy though - gutted). The whole thing is tongue in cheek, quietly presenting a chain smoking Drugs Officer who rails against addicts. The animations are boss too, presented with a comic timing that you wouldn't think a documentary could have. Harrelson also does an amiable job, his drawl linking things nicely.

So overall, this is really a film for smokers by smokers. I wish I could say that others could watch this and realise the ridiculousness of their own position, but their heads are probably too far up their own ass. Warning: Watching this will make you feel like getting 60's Stoned, so do make sure you have enough gear before hand.

Go on, dip into the documentary world. What better film to start with than one that'll have you laughing your arse off. Then you could go and watch 'The Filth and the Fury'. Oh, and it is worth catching it at the cinema, as its creator intended. A solid, if not world changing, film.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=4562&reviewer=215
originally posted: 10/22/00 15:20:45
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  16-Jun-2000 (R)


  02-Nov-2000 (M)

Directed by
  Ron Mann

Written by
  Solomon Vesta

  Woody Harrelson
  Richard Nixon
  Harry S. Robins
  Douglass Smith

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