Monday, January 25, 2010

American Gothic: Northfork

Northfork (2003) - Polish
Twin brother filmmakers (Michael directs, Mark acts/produces)' third and last American Dream trilogy (Twin Falls Idaho and Jackpot prior) is a thing of a beauty. Northfork, a small town of the high plains of Montana is about to be flooded with the construction of a new dam in the 50s. Six men in long black coats and fedoras are assigned to remove the remaining households to a 'higher ground': symbolism and metaphor abound (they are rather door-to-door bible salesmen like). Under the care of a grizzled priest (Nick Nolte), an abandoned sick boy believes he is an angel.

With Nolte and James Woods as two main actors whose craggy, beaten faces I consider very American, the Polish brothers create a strange, somber American Gothic that is both fantastical and personal. Only comparable film with a similar theme I can think of is Tarsem's The Fall. But the bros accomplishes something really magical and different with very little. With every frame work of art, the look of the film is stunning:
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