Woody Harrelson flees the London police in this clip from Lost in London, a movie that he shot and broadcast live to audiences in theaters last year. Harrelson the actor has always been one to play by his own rules, having bounced back and forth between quirky indie films and mainstream franchise fare for years now. Case in point, he's back on the big screen in Lucasfilm's Solo: A Star Wars Story this week, just in time to coincide with his experimental one-take directorial debut Lost in London becoming available in Digital HD.
Lost in London was inspired by a real life incident in 2002 where Harrelson was arrested by the London police and spent a night in jail, after he broke an ashtray in a taxicab. The film, which Harrelson also wrote and directed, is "an honest look at fame, family, and faith" (as the official synopsis puts it) that begins with Harrelson - as himself - finishing a stage performance in London. In keeping with the meta theme of the movie, Owen Wilson costars as himself and ends up having a "spirited" encounter with Harrelson after his show, which sets the rest of the film's story in motion.
In Screen Rant's exclusive clip from Lost in London, Harrelson attempts to outrun the London police and (comically) hide himself in a children's playground. As this footage illustrates, the entire film was shot in a single uninterrupted take by cinematographer Nigel Willoughby (Downton Abbey) and no doubt required much in the way of preparation to make the whole thing seem spontaneous, yet carefully orchestrated. This is actually one of multiple car and foot chases in the movie, which was shot in twenty four different locations around London over the course of the original broadcast.
Lost in London earned mostly positive reviews from the critics who caught it when it screened in select theaters back in January 2017. The film, which blends elements of a celebrity satire with a Hitchcockian man-on-the-run narrative, was praised for being a noteworthy technical achievement, if also one that's naturally rough around the edges and outright sloppy at times. Harrelson was similarly commended for not going the typical route for actors-turned directors with his first time behind the camera and trying his hand at something decidedly unconventional instead.
It will be interesting to see how the film goes over with people who watch it at home, versus those who saw Lost in London as a live broadcast. Obviously the psychological experience will be different, but it sounds like Harrelson's movie has more on its mind than the average cinematic magic trick does. As for those who prefer their Harrelson (a bit) more on the controlled side: in addition to Solo, the actor has a role in this fall's Venom movie and is reportedly gearing up to finally reprise the Twinkie-loving zombie hunter Tallahassee for the sequel Zombieland 2.
Lost in London is now available to watch in Digital HD.