Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actor: Gaby Hoffman
Director: Tony Stone
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama
In the 11th century, Vikings, Native Americans, and Irish monks collide on the shores of North America in a historical epic adventure of exploration, personal glory, and religious dominance. Abandoned by a Western explorat... more »
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VIKINGS! (but thank god there's no horns)
Tommy D | Newark, NJ | 07/27/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Stoked its finally released on dvd. Saw this at Angelika and it rocked. This is really an excellent film-nothing else like it out right now. The reasons to like Severed Ways are pretty much the same reasons that some of its critics don't get it. Yes, it is a Viking flick that is neither a swashbuckling/love story nor a Monty Python skit. That is a GOOD THING! It picks up on a footnote from a Viking saga and imagines two young Vikings left behind and lost in America. They struggle to survive. They work. They attempt to WALK home and into Viking lore! Its shot in Newfoundland and it's retardedly beautiful. Even some critics were saying it's worth it for that alone...others got bored by this which is totally lazy... Also, this film is a breathe of fresh air. A lot of new films have a huge script about a cool dude crying about his girlfriend in a bar and there are a bunch of telephone calls and then in the end everybody breaks out their guns and heroine. BIG FREAKING DEAL--seen it all before! Rest assured there is none of that garbage in this movie and finally there is a film breaking the mold. You actually get a singular film experience, something to talk about- maybe even argue about. The depiction of natural beauty is not SW's only epic aspect. It also shows the clash of civilizations in a thoughtful way. There are several carefully scripted vignettes in which these vikings talk about, remember and confront both the rise of Christianity in Europe, and their fears of the skraelings(Native Americans) These confrontations become very real when strange monks and skraelings cross their path. You will be caught off guard by the alternately brutal and tenderhearted ways all of these characters behave with each other. Won't spoil it, but it's not what you expect.
Soundtrack: also epic.
It's a meditation on the impossible.
MAKE MORE MOVIES LIKE THIS"
Macho mysticism: America a thousand years ago
Joe Sixpack -- Slipcue.com | ...in Middle America | 07/29/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
Directed by Tony Stone
(Magnolia Films, 2009)
NOTE: Spoilers below
It is amazing to realize that Viking explorers came to North America over a thousand years ago -- fully five hundred years before the Spanish, French and British colonized the continent. This film is set in the era of the Viking expansion, in the year 1007, when a Viking landing party near Newfoundland falls afoul of a band of "skraelings" (Indians), and leaves two men behind when the skraelings attack. The two castaways pull themselves together and decide to hike cross-country to seek the Viking settlement of Vinland; along the way they confront two aspects of the new, future world -- the unknown frontier and a new religion, Christianity, which (in this script, at least) now challenges the "old ways" of the Norse gods of Odin, Thor, et. al.
The movie is an ode to the mythologized Viking spirit which has been seized on by some metalheads as an emblem for their music, but even with this seemingly blunt premise, the film has a surprisingly meditative feel. Although some of the hand-held effects are trying, overall the cinematography is sweeping, evocative and expressive -- the scenes of nature and the endless woods of the Eastern seaboard are continually arresting, and the illusion of these two men being stranded in the 11th Century wilderness is convincing. There is very little dialogue (and all of it is dubbed into Nordic dialect) with most of the story being told visually, with surprising effectiveness. Some sequences seem gratuitous -- most notably Tony Stone's character seen relieving himself in the woods, with Stone actually defecating onscreen; there is also a scene in which a church is burned and the smoldering cross is felled by an axe. It's heavyhanded, but ultimately it fits into the vision of the script. Here we see the first thoughtless marauding of European men into the interior of North America; they are violent, frightened and destructive, but also resourceful and bold, and in search of a new way of life. A film that could have been loud and loutish is instead thoughtful and evocative, with a soundtrack to match, both eerie and subtle, and hardly the chord-crunching metalfest you might imagine.
Viewers (and potential viewers) will be split on this film... I imagine most people will avoid it because of what they assume it will be like, but it is not the crude Conan The Barbarian film they foresee. To be sure, there are elements of this macho swords-and-sandals mythology at play, but on the whole this is a rather effective, believable semi-historical drama about man-versus-nature, and the tragedy of man-versus-man. It's a more mature film than you might imagine, and destined to be a cult favorite for a certain brand of film fans, mainly those creative re-enactment types who value realism and historical narratives. Definitely worth checking out, if you think it's at all something you'd enjoy. (Joe Sixpack, Slipcue film review blog)"
Simply Amazing, Mind_Bending
M. Boyd | 10/30/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This expansive, strange, remote, sensory-ride is the closest thing we will EVER get to seeing what 'America' was before we colonists got here. A cryptically elegant journey that is elliptical and linear, segmented with a weirdly compelling undercurrent showcasing what men derive out of being alone together without female companionship. Each set up visually augments the previous one. If you are knee-deep in Kubrick or Herzog, this is for you. If you're a chunk-head that digs only action retreads, then bail here and leave us the misery of your one-star review.
A so-so Viking movie
D. Gross | Northern USA | 11/07/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is an OK movie chronicling the trials and tribulations of a couple of Viking warriors marooned in the New World. The themes of this film are pertinent, such as the discovery of America, the Conflict of Cultures (European vs Native American), and the rise of Christianity coupled with the decline of paganism. The soundtrack is also pretty decent. Also, the scene of the Viking dude taking a dump in the woods is pretty unforgettable."