Mark and Michael Polish may not be as well-known a fraternal filmmaking pair as Joel and Ethan Coen, but they could out-weird the Coens any day of the week. Their films range from virtually inscrutable (Northfork) to very strange (Twin Falls Idaho) to merely offbeat (The Astronaut Farmer), but it's clear they won't be getting hired to direct the sequel to Alvin and the Chipmunks. So instead, they've formed their own production company, Prohibition Films, and are shooting two new projects back-to-back.

The first is entitled Manure, a title they should reconsider if only to make lazy film critics' jobs a little harder. Starring Billy Bob Thornton, Tea Leoni, and my man Kyle MacLachlan, the movie will explore the world of manure salesmen in 1960's heartland America. Upon reading that I frowned for a moment, but then realized that had you asked me who would be most likely to write and direct a movie about manure salesmen in 1960's heartland America, I would unhesitatingly have said the Polish Brothers.


Manure starts filming next week, aiming to finish around mid-July. At that point the Polishes will immediately go into production on Stay Cool, a "knowing-your-age comedy" (huh?) starring Winona Ryder, Chevy Chase and Sean Astin. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mark Polish (the non-directing brother) will play a substantial acting role in both films.

Among other things, the Polish Brothers' work has a wonderful and genuine anti-authoritarian spirit, most prominently on display in The Astronaut Farmer. They're a seriously underappreciated pair.