starring Sigurður Sigurjónsson, Theodór Júlíusson, Charlotte Bøving, Gunnar Jónsson
written and directed by Grímur Hákonarson
by Walter Chaw There's a little of Zacharias Kunuk's Atanarjuat in Grimur Hákonarson's Rams. Something of the formal beauty of La cinquième saison and the deadpan absurdity of Aki Kaurismaki's films as well. It is a story of brothers in conflict. More-functional recluse Gummi (Sigurður Sigurjónsson) and less-functional recluse Kiddi (Theodór Júlíusson) are both hidden away in remote cabins in Iceland, tending to herds of sheep bred from a legendary stag whose lovingly-taxidermied head decorates Gummi's hovel's entryway. The picture opens in tension at a sheepherder's competition, where the prize stock is prodded and judged. And it ends in tension, as the two brothers, who haven't spoken in 40 years, must deal with the loss of everything while, just outside, an allegorical--but literal--storm obliterates the petty concerns of mortal men.