Filmmaker Jared Larson's Dad Thinks You Should Get Out More


One of this week’s most notable DVD releases, Todd Rohal’s Über-indie absurdist comedy The Guatemalan Handshake, pretty much flew under everyone’s radar, much to our regret. It’s a relentlessly inventive look at a cast of endearing oddballs in a forgotten corner of Small Town, America; true to the film’s communal spirit, Benten Films’ two-disc DVD comes with a whole mess of short films made by the film’s cast and crew. Our favorite among these is the brief but strangely haunting Fifty States, created by the film’s grip, Jared Larson, and composed entirely of his dad's narrating a speedy montage of snapshots taken all over the country. Director Rohal himself calls it “the closest to a motivational film as I could hope to find.” There is, indeed, something truly magical and inspiring about it — it’s like the family slideshow we wish we could have had. —Bilge Ebiri