Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
At least in Los Angeles, the theatrical showings of John Byrum's remarkable Inserts came and went (cough) so fast that nobody had time to be outraged. The reviews made it sound like sordid trash that could only attract men in plastic raincoats.
Granted to say one would immediately come to that same conclusion too. Why has Bridges struggled while others have done well? Is it
Todd Rohal's "The Guatemalan Handshake" is one of the most inventive, most poetic, most disarmingly authentic indies of the last few years . so, of course, you've never had a chance to see it. It's a movie that seems to have dropped out of the sky, inexplicably, like a satellite fragment landing on Main Street. Naturally, it's not a project constructed around a traditional idea of storytelling propulsion . Rohal has whipped his world from the weedy ground up into a fiery, relentless storm of quirk, but he's original enough in his cataract of details to keep us in a constant state of enchanted disorientation. Why was "Napoleon Dynamite," with its relatively stereotypical uber-misfit, a hit, while this 2006 daydream foundered out of sight?
Set in some Forgottentown, Pennsylvania, "The Guatemalan Handshake" encounters characters undramatically, and its narrative gradually coalesces around them: Donald the triangular-electric-car-driving nebbish (Will Oldham); his
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