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
Mr Stalling says that he is waiting for a sign from God, when Walter O'Brien visits him at the ark. Walter imparts a tale about when the water has risen, men will come by in a boat to take him and the two Mrs Stallings's to safety. They will not go, because they are waiting for a sign and they will drown. And God will say, I sent you a boat, what more did you want? This story also appears in the The West Wing season one episode "Take This Sabbath Day" and is told by the Karl Malden character, Father Thomas Cavanaugh. See more »
When the six committee members get out of their three cars at the dam, we hear eight doors slam. 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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The stark, cold landscape of Big Sky Country, with its majestic snow-capped mountains juxtaposed to barren plains, is put to poetic use here in this Lynchian fable/slide picture show about death and melancholy from the young and talented Polish Brothers (who previously treated indie movie fans to the bizarre and fascinating "Twin Falls Idaho"--a film about a young woman falling in love with two brothers who happen to be Siamese twins). A little orphan boy is dying, and a town is about to flooded in the name of progress (in the form a damn and hydroelectric power plant). With its eerily pleasing music score, minimalist dialogue and character development, and uncanny fantasy sequences involving some very unique angels, the Polish brothers put their focus on what every good film artist knows a film should be about, the moving pictures...the images, the scenes...paintings of deep beauty captured on celluloid. This is best to be viewed late at night so that the haunting imagery can linger in your mind and wash over you as you drift off into sleep. The fact that all of this was done on a shoe-string budget of less than two million dollars puts Hollywood with their bloated film costs and hollow movies to shame and indicates something grand to come from the Polish brothers in the future.
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