Film about Foothills’ Poet Gary Snyder coming in May

Gary Snyder

Will Hearst and I have known each other for years, starting when he ran the S.F. Examiner and I worked at The Chronicle. We also got together when he left the Examiner for Kleiner Perkins, the Silicon Valley venture-capital firm.

Here’s a pioneering multimedia clip with Will, circa 1996, when I was Editor at CNET. We liked to meet at San Franciso’s Zuni Cafe to catch up.

Now Will (the grandson of William Randolph Hearst) has a film venture called San Simeon Films that is going to release a documentary on Nevada County’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Poet Gary Snyder in May. Called “The Practice of the Wild,” it is produced by Will and writer and poet Jim Harrison.

I’ve become acquainted with Gary since we moved here, and he’s a class act. Gary, as many of you know, is refreshingly down to earth. We’ve had some thought-provoking conversations.

“This film, borrowing its name from one of Snyder’s most eloquent non-fiction books, revolves around a life-long conversation between Snyder and his fellow poet and novelist Jim Harrison,” according to the film’s Facebook page.

“These two old friends and venerated men of American letters converse while taking a wilderness trek along the central California coast in an area that has been untouched for centuries.

“They debate the pros and cons of everything from Google to Zen koans. The discussions are punctuated by archival materials and commentaries from Snyder friends, observers, and intimates who take us through the ‘Beat’ years, the years of Zen study in Japan up to the present — where Snyder continues to be a powerful spokesperson for ecological sanity and bio-regionalism.”

Here’s a trailer from the documentary, which will be shown at the S.F. Film Festival┬ábut will undoubtedly make its way up here:

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