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Review: Littlerock

Altogether original
By PETER KEOUGH  |  October 5, 2011
3.5 3.5 Stars



Two young Japanese tourists, siblings Rintaro (Rintaro Sawamoto) and Atsuko (Atsuko Okatsuka), get stranded when their car breaks down in the California backwater of the title. Once the car is fixed Rintaro is eager to leave, but his sister Atsuko has taken an interest in this benighted slice of Americana and decides to stick around and get to know its indolent, drug-addled inhabitants, overcoming the barriers of language and culture. LA indie filmmaker Mike Ott's deceptively simple tale sounds a little like Jim Jarmusch's Mystery Train, but it's altogether original, as Ott captures with subtlety, wit, and irony the points of view of both the Japanese visitors and the local yokels, sometimes by something as simple as the choice of whether or not to use subtitles. Plus it includes a hilarious performance by Littlerock resident Cory Zacharia, who pretty much plays himself. His ingenuous ambition to become somebody make him the most alien of them all.

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