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The Guatemalan Handshake (2005)

Cast: Cory McAbee, Will Oldham, Will Oldham, more...
Director: Todd Rohal, Todd Rohal
    see all cast/crew...
Genre: Comedies, Drama, Independent, Experimental/Avant-Garde
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In the confusion following a massive power outage, Donald Turnupseed (actor-musician Will Oldham, Old Joy) vanishes, setting in motion a surreal series of unforgettable widescreen surprises: a woman attends her own funeral, a childhood TV legend leaps from a cliff, and a bright orange, wedge-shaped electric car changes hands again and again. Chaotically absurd with an underlying poignancy, these droll vignettes come crashing together in a climactic demolition derby.

GreenCine Member Ratings

The Guatemalan Handshake (2005)
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5.38 (8 votes)
The Guatemalan Handshake (Bonus Disc) (2005)
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8.33 (3 votes)

GreenCine Member Reviews

The Unusual by talltale May 13, 2008 - 7:42 PM PDT
1 out of 2 members found this review helpful
For film fans who demand something different, taking a chance on THE GUATEMALAN HANDSHAKE may prove rewarding. However, there is "different" accompanied by depth, content, character and connection. And then there is simply "different." GH provides the latter. It drove us relatively crazy, proving in the final analysis almost completely frustrating. But, boy, that cover art is something else! It's beautiful, rich, old-fashioned and welcoming. It pulls you in.

The movie, however, is hugely disappointing. It pushes you away. My companion sat there growing angrier by the half hour, finally exclaiming: "Whoever made this movie should not be allowed to make another one!" I tend to be more lenient, and so I watched quietly and waited. I still am. It's not exactly that Mr. Rohal doesn't let us in; with each new character introduced, we keep coming back into his film, eagerly. But he never really connects things with any overall vision. Sure, little connections are made, but they seem paltry against the too-often charmless, tiresome people and random (to put it mildly) events. I believe many viewers will eventually grow tired and annoyed at their inability to connect. There's little to take home, post-viewing. If the unusual alone is enough for you, give The Guatemalan Handshake (wonderful title!) a shot.

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