Sarah and I watched the movie NorthFork over the weekend. It was sold to audiences as a story of a town about to be innundated by the lake created behind a new dam. A group of state workers were charged with getting the people out of the town and on to higher ground, even if the residents did not want to leave of their own accord.

The movie’s actual plot can be found by reading on.

The actual plot of Northfork is very different. Rather than portray a relatively conventional series of cause and effect actions, the movie veers sharply into religious and surrealistic territory, almost from the opening credits.

Angels, devils, and government agents somewhere in between dominate the list of characters. Surrealistic images and beasts dominate the visual landscape. Rather than occuring serially, events happen at random. Even when events do happen, they happen at such a slow pace that reading the newspaper while watching the movie is not only possible, it is advisable.

The opening of the dam is almost completely irrelevant to the story. Tearing down an apartment building or tearing down houses to build a freeway would have provided the same framework to the movie.

All of this makes “Northfork” a movie that is best experienced while asleep or while under general anestheia.