Far North

Save us from Renaissance men. Shepard writes plays, directs them, acts in plays and movies, and now wants to direct movies. Think again, Sam. This opens promisingly, with wonderfully gritty acoustic music from the Red Clay Ramblers on the soundtrack, and Durning slowly losing control of his horse and coming to grief. Cut to a big close-up of the offending beast's dark, mysterious eye. Later, the music turns synthetic and so do the emotions. Citified daughter Lange gets the job of shooting the nag ('While it still knows why' rumbles the hospitalised Durning) and returns to the homestead, somewhere near the Great Lakes. Will she do it? Or will she be prevented by her older sister (Harper) and the sister's fun-loving daughter (Arquette)? What does barmy mother (Wedgeworth) think? Will Sam lose interest in all this women's stuff and concentrate on the boring, boorish double act of Durning and his brother Moffat as they drink their way out of hospital and into the wild woods? The characters wander around emoting and shouting at one another, but saying nothing; and Shepard's cod-Eisensteinian montage effects (jump cuts between women and owls, most notably) belong in a film museum.

By: JMo

Release details

Duration: 89 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Sam Shepard
Screenwriter: Sam Shepard
Cast: Jessica Lange
Charles Durning
Tess Harper
Donald Moffat
Ann Wedgeworth
Patricia Arquette
Nina Draxten
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