From Gabe The Director
G. Weisert | New York | 01/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Thank you so much for all the kind words! As you may have noticed, we're running a little short of DVDs at the moment. We should have more this summer ('05) at reasonable prices. We'll also be selling DVDs of the sequel to FWG, "Cow Monkey." In the meantime, if you're in the San Francisco Bay Area, check out James, John, and Dan in their sketch group Kasper Hauser."
On the Road Again, for the First Time...
Reviewer | 02/14/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a film that almost defies description; and it really has to be seen to be appreciated. It's a page out of real life, a portrait of Americana which, like life, is best when experienced first hand. It's "Fishing With Gandhi," a biting bit of satire written by William Birdthistle, James Reichmuth, John Reichmuth and Gabe Weisert, and directed by Gabe Weisert. It's a film that grabs you by the ears and demands attention; about ten minutes into it, you get the feeling that you're sitting in a bar, eavesdropping on the conversation of the guys at the next table. And it's the kind of stuff you've heard every day of your life if you've ventured out your own front door for any period of time, especially in certain quarters of society, like maybe a place called the "Silver Dollar Saloon" or "The Roadhouse Bar and Grill." Because these are regular folks, engaged in the kind of inane prattle that make up a good part of the conversations you're likely to hear in the above mentioned venues, or if you've ever worked in such places as a warehouse, on the dock at the post office, at a concrete factory or in a quarry. But you also get a taste of the flip side of that coin-- and which you find is not all that different-- in those involved with the likes of Investment Banking or simply cultivating a garden. The story, such as it is, follows Danno (Dan Klein), who is hitchhiking from Seattle (where his mother has just married his uncle) to his home somewhere in California. When he hits Oregon, he scores a ride with Gil (John Reichmuth) and Roy (James Reichmuth), two good ol' boys with a pickup truck that breaks down every few miles, which is okay, because it gives them time to talk. Meanwhile, waiting for Danno at home are his roommates, Giles (William Birdthistle) and Stephen (Gabe Weisert), who, thinking Danno is probably on a real downer because of the Seattle thing, plan to cheer him up by throwing a pot luck for him upon his return, complete with streamers, which will give it all a festive look. Now, if only any of them had some friends to invite. And, more importantly, if they only knew when, exactly, Danno would be arriving. It's a complicated time for Giles and Stephen, who so want to do the right thing, while unbeknownst to them Danno is involved with two of the most uncomplicated guys you'll ever run into-- and from whom he'll learn much before he gets home, including what Gil and Roy refer to as the "Fishing With Gandhi." The portrayals of Gil and Roy are so authentic it's almost frightening; and whether you live in Oregon, or Iowa, or Texas or just about anywhere else, the chances are pretty good that you know these guys, or at least know someone who lives next door to them. And as they speak their little philosophies about things like diseases you can pick up from dogs, how many different ways you can die in your sleep (152) or what the best wrestling moves are (complete with a demonstration), you slowly begin to realize that if Beavis and Butthead were real and grown up, they would be Gil and Roy. Think about it. Ever known anyone who lived for that next bottle of beer and never had a conversation that didn't include something about Steelhead fishing or gutting an animal? Well, come on over and spend some time on the road with Gil and Roy. By the way, truck driving IS serious business. Just ask Roy; he's the one who flunked out of truckers school. Switching gears, Weisert cuts to Giles and Stephen, men of a more refined palate, but whom (as we also quickly discern) do not have a clue. About anything. How the world works, how to conduct themselves socially, how to throw a pot luck. So there's two facets of society represented here, either/or to which you will be able to relate, or at least be able to identify. And the way Weisert puts you in the room-- or in the truck-- with these guys, it's like he picked them out, set the camera up in their proximity and just let it roll. it's banal, it's boring-- and it's hysterically real. If you try to analyze it, there's nothing here of real interest, and yet this film is absolutely engrossing; a true character study filled with insights into human nature that are bound to cause some reflection on the part of even the most jaded viewer. "Fishing With Gandhi" is that kind of film. It takes you down the road and says, "Here it is, brother," for better or worse, take it or leave it. It's unique; it's an oddity; it's quirky; and it's definitely not for everyone. But for those who are ready for something completely different and want a challenge and some laughs, this one's worth checking out. It's all a part of the magic of the movies."
"You're Like A Ferris Wheel Of Irony."
Robert I. Hedges | 12/31/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Fishing With Gandhi" is one of the most amazing films I have ever seen. This low budget wonder follows the adventures of Danno, a troubled hitchhiker, and his road trip with perpetual slackers Roy and Gil. Significant plot point revolve around badminton, puppy diseases, and wrestling moves such as the "Brazilian Guillotine" and "Fishing With Gandhi," which Roy and Gil demonstrate with aplomb to hapless Danno.
Believe it or not this film harkens back to "Hamlet", in that Danno is upset that his uncle has taken advantage of his father's recent (possibly suspicious?) death and married his mother, while Roy and Gil are near perfect Rosencrantz and Guildenstern analogs. I know this sounds insane, but I didn't make it up: I found it out from the director's commentary. After I thought about what was said, re-watched the film, and skimmed my copy of "Hamlet", I had no choice but to agree, which added dramatically to the deliciously subtle humor of the film for me.
The cast is letter perfect and small details are done extremely well: I was especially amused by Christina Milano's portrayal of "Bronte", the weird Ophelia of the film who becomes seemingly more demented (as in "Hamlet") as the movie goes on. I especially love her scene where she breaks down into hysterics on recalling a nature documentary in which a water buffalo crosses an alligator infested river. She says that she needs to "helicopter" above the pain. Her companion responds "Can you talk from the helicopter?" Her answer, of course, is "Sure, I'm hovering above the pain right now." Which elicits from her companion the considerate, yet hilarious, line "Do you want to hover by yourself for a while?" Nuanced dialogue like this peppers the film, and makes it an absolute treat to watch in comparison to over-promoted Hollywood productions.
The DVD has a lot of extra features including a wonderful commentary track, extensive outtakes, a director's introduction (which I loved), the theatrical trailer, and a wonderful animated short featuring Roy and Gil in the psychiatrist's office. Their description to the psychiatrist of the medications they are currently taking is priceless.
This movie has a lot of subtlety to it, and is viewable on a number of levels. I recommend watching it as a straight comedy first, then watch for increasing nuance with further viewings. It is truly a film like no other, and I recommend it highly. If you can, try to find a copy of the even rarer Roy and Gil movie, "Cow Monkey", in which they pursue bigfoot.
"Fishing With Gandhi" isn't for everyone, but for the people it's intended for it is a wonderful experience."
Delightful twist of Hamlet
Sandor Swartz | Chatham, IL US | 01/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Apparently none of the other reviewers realized this so far, but this is actually a retelling of Hamlet. No kidding! And the most creative warping of a Shakespeare story I've ever seen, by far. I mean, that Romeo and Juliet with De Caprio was just set in modern times. Scotland PA was that as well as being quite a bit weirder. But this, this is Hamlet twisted with something else entirely, and it's sheer genius. I have reviewed a few things, many of them 5 stars, but I only went out of the way to write reviews for the movies I really liked or found something really detestible about, or otherwise was somehow impressed by (or found the other reviews to be flagrantly lacking or downright wrong), so I do not take this 5 star rating lightly and would apply it to a very small percentage if I were to review everything I've ever seen. Be sure to watch the animated special feature.
They turned a tragedy into a comedy in both senses. It's really very funny and original. So funny, you might just die of crib death."