‘It is not known precisely where angels dwell - whether in the air, the void, or the planets. It has not been God’s pleasure that we should be informed of their abode.’ Voltaire, The Philosophical Dictionary (1764).

Prairies, industrial progress and metaphysics: it's like some terrible adolescent piece of creative writing. And the Polish Brothers’ film is nothing if it is not pretentious. But somewhere amongst this croaky amalgam of biblical fury, (Nick) Cave-ian theological babble and Eisenhower period revisionism there is buried a grain of brilliance.

It is 1955 and it’s flooding season on the Montana Plains. The town of Northfork is about to be wiped off the map forever to make way for a dam that will help bring ‘electrickery’ to the area. Walter O’Brien (James Woods) and his son Willis (Mark Polish) are among the teams of besuited fathers and sons who have been employed to encourage people to leave their properties. Their reward will be a small piece of real estate to be built alongside the newly built lake. But Northfork is unlike any other town. Renowned for being founded where angel spirits used to roam, the place is now polarised by Christian fundamentalism and an archaic sense of its own worth. The town seems to revolve around the ministry of Father Harlan (Nick Nolte) and his weather-beaten flock. But there is something that connects Harlan with the sickly orphaned boy Irwin (Duel Farnes), who, in turn, is connected to a group of bizarre eccentrics who live in a petrified commune, deep in the valley.

Directed by Michael Polish from a script by his brother Mark, Northfork allegedly completes some kind of trilogy along with their two previous films, Twin Falls Idaho (conjoined twins drama, sort of like Stuck on You played straight) and Jackpot (dreamy road movie). What is probably more important is that their third film together is


a fascinating, bizarre independent that has made its way to the screen thanks to the US cable channel HBO. It can easily stand next to the more arcane work of David Lynch, Cronenberg and, of course, Harmony Korine. lts freshness may be rooted in the possible conjoined influences of Marcel Carné’s La Merveilleuse Visite (1974), Schlesinger’s The Day of the Locust (1974) and Nicholas Roeg’s brilliant Eureka (1982). Ultimately Northfork is underpinned by a juvenile belief that Grant Wood‘s famous painting American Gothic may really be at the heart of the American dream. Ornate, silly and quite wonderful. (Paul Dale)

I GFl. Glasgoi'.’ and Film/louse. Edinburgh from Fri I? Mar. See fth’lltll'tl page 72.



Actor DOUG-RAY SCOTT produces and stars in Highlands thriller One Last Chance. Jay Richardson curls up with him.

Dougray Scott plays Frankie the Fence in One Last Chance

llaying acted 'r‘. and produced the troubled cw”? epic lo Kill a King. l/r'rssion Impossible // star Dougray Scott adirtits that it's sophomore producing stii‘t for Scottish wrtei‘ ai‘d directo.r Stewart Svaasand's new l'lrti. ONO/{18? (,‘lrahce. has been n‘arkedry less Stress.‘u.. lak rig a drag o" hzs ogarefte. Scott

admits: ‘Well. it's a dif‘erent scale. ll()‘.'."‘.().'(3 "ear as hairy. One I as! (Ilia/ice took quite a i.'.'h:1e. but :t ‘\.'.’£‘.S An'ie Batx. "1y partner it Here l'llll‘S Scott's production company; who did most of the work on =t. But I was certainly'yed n raising the finance. (I’ll\.".","l‘t} peopfe along and being passionate about

l eaturvig Kevin McKidd. Jan-ye Sves l'/rll;ui ‘.‘/ants to Kill llin‘self: and law Robertson Small laces . One last Chance ‘()l|()‘.'./S the expiots of three snia’l Highland I()\.‘.’l‘. losers as they kick against the seasoned bricks of the (ILrl'lIl‘g club and the local ci'Ir":i‘a' fraternity. Scott boos .ll) ll‘ a l‘.‘-:."()l ro3e as whee‘er dealer and curling obsessive l rankie the l er‘ce. aporonr ate for a man who understands the ducking and :lzvi'ig of gett:i‘g films r"ade.

‘lndependent filininaking is very difficult in any era. but thankfully there seems to be a lot of talented filmmakers; coining through in Scotland. Stewart Svaasand being one of them. Being Scottish, | always want to do Scottish productions and I get p; ssionate about them. I'm very proud of this one.' I General release from Fri 72 ll‘flt’I/Z See review. page 30.

BIKE R l l lCK TORQUE (15) 84min .0.

In the basin of madness and fallen gossamer wings

We have managed to get our hands on two signed frame cards from Northfork. If you want to win one of these rarities, just send an email marked ‘NORTHFORK’ to by no later than 18 March 2004. Usual List rules apply.

Martin Henderson's pretty boy and self-proclaimed Wild one. goes helmet-to- ll(}l'l‘.(31 WIlll two separate biker gangs. One is black and led by Trey (Ice Cube) and the other is a group of Na/is. lrey's gang wants revenge for the killing of a brother and he is also rather interested in the million bucks' worth of crystal meth hidden in the fuel tanks of a bunch of stolen choppers. While he's at it. he really wouldn't 'l)lll(l ‘.'-/llllllllg back the love of his lady -- bike mechanic Shane (Monet Mama

The plot o" Torn/rue as merely tne chassis unon which is built a series of ridiculously ramped up. stunt—riddled chases. souped-up turtrier stirl b; a sound effects track

that's rowed up to

l and stays there. t's a tough call. choosing the most

r'diculous set piece: there's the opening high-speed race along a desert l‘ighway. complete wth carriera l()ll()\.'-/'.'tg a fuel-riyection through a bike's engine. and the clos ng pursuit across the streets of Les Angeles wrtl‘. Henderson drying the fastest

b:ke 'n the world mm to ?(

X) mph :n ten seconds. courtesy of the iet airliner

€§lltltl1(?:t"$l)tllli around. Best of all. though, is Henderson and Cube's o“~road work

directiy in tor". of. nauthri‘

and 2 iorig the "cot o.‘ n‘oy'ng trai‘. Surprisingly for such a fast and furious flick. the film allows time for a little cliarzicterisation and humour. \"y’e're only talking the odd eccentric detail here l/\(l(l.’l‘ Scott's Mulder esgue l Bl agent intersperses the action ‘.'.’llll some decent one lineisi. but it's enough to keep the brain marginally engaged. Stupid. enjoyable crap. ilvliles l~ielden I General release from Fri :3 Mar. See pie/le‘.‘/.

page .36).

Stunt-riddled chases revved up to 11

‘8 Mar 280-2 THE US? 29