In this adaptation of the Thomas Mann novel, avant-garde composer Gustave Aschenbach (loosely based on Gustav Mahler) travels to a Venetian seaside resort in search of repose after a period... See full summary »
In a near-empty Northfork orphanage, Father Harlan gently tends to Irwin, an eight-year-old who lies between a dream state and death. As orphanage caretaker Harlan reads aloud about Northfork's years-ago forced evacuation to make way for a hydro-electric dam, Irwin's imagination takes flight. While a team of six men evacuate the last remaining citizens of the town, Irwin, too, invents a cast of characters to prepare himself for his own evacuation. (the above states the caretaker - who is actually the priest - is reading about a years-ago evacuation. In the movie, the evacuation is taking place as the boy lays dying!) Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Jigger can be heard pumping a shotgun between shots, but when we approach, we find he has a double-barrelled shotgun, which makes virtually no noise during reloading. See more »
[reading a letter]
To the loving O'Brien family. It has been brought to our attention that the remains of a Mrs. Patricia O'Brien have yet to be excavated. Please make arrangements immediately.
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Northfork is not an inscrutable mess. Whether you wish to view the more fanciful scenes as literal or the product of a dying boy's imagination, one strong theme connects all the stories. Change happens. Each sub-story revolves around a profound change. The little boy is dying. The town is being evacuated. The movie illustrates how we get dragged along by changes we are powerless to stop. We should ideally make the best of them and accept whatever heartache they cause. Some look forward towards a new freedom (the little boy) and some obstinately refuse to accept them (the ark family). And Walter has to learn the lesson that there are some changes we think are over and done with that must be relived (reburying his wife). Just because we think we've buried a chapter in life under the ground doesn't make it so. This is shown so clearly by the conversations between Walter and his son Willis. I say that if you really want to know what the movie is about watch the scene that begins in the outhouse. And pay special attention to the Willis's speech about caring for his car. Its a beautiful movie that gains meaning for me every time I watch it.
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