DVD Severed Ways (DVD 4667883),
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Severed Ways

  • NR
  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • In the 11th century, two Norse warriors are abandoned by their comrades in the wilderness of North America. They embark on a treacherous walk to their homeland, deluding themselves that if they somehow make it back, their journey will be written into the legends of their people. The effort of writer-director-producer-editor-star Tony Stone to make this semi-epic film on a near-zero budget is a worthy celebration of such aspiration in the face of impossible odds.

    The film certainly shows the marks of an ambitious amateur: sparse, dubbed dialogue; relentless, invasive music; and digitized visuals, such as showcase shots of fractionated sunlight and slow-motion snowfall. But the depicted actions of the characters reveal enormous care and preparation by the cast and crew. The narrative features multiple sequences of singular kinetic events (each of which were shot in a single take), as the men laboriously hack down trees and construct a shelter, sharpen spears and use them to fish, and burn a Christian church built by similarly stranded Irish monks. The film may be honored with comparisons to Werner Herzog's AGUIRRE, WRATH OF GOD, another low-budget epic featuring armor-clad men trekking through a wondrous, dangerous wilderness. But whereas Herzog's film demonstrates a devotion to realism and stillness, Stone employs constant stylization to direct the audience's attention rather than allowing viewers to make their own discoveries in his shots. This cinematic habit, along with the heavy metal soundtrack and the sporadic chapter titles, clashes with the unique naturalism of the wilderness survival scenes. However, such flaws are overshadowed by the courageous intentions behind them, making this a memorable film worthy of critical respect.
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  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 159740

  • Credits
    Fiore Tedesco, Tony Stone, David Perry, Gaby Hoffmann, Gaby Hoffman, Gabriella Mary Hoffmann, Noelle Bailey, James Fuentes, Clare Amory, Nathan Corbin, Sean Dooley
  • Critic Reviews
    The real inspiration for this D.I.Y. epic -- part art-cinema oddity, part home-movie extravaganza -- is the real expedition by Thorfinn Karlsefni, an Icelander who planned to settle in the New World."
    New York Times

    "[A]n ambitious imagining of events drawn from the Vinland Sagas, the mythic story of the Norse exploration of America..."
    Los Angeles Times

    3.5 stars out of 5 -- "An engrossing curiosity of bludgeoning patience, blunt violence and sly humor..."
    Box Office

0 Stars 0 average rating
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