Saturday, March 14, 2009

Severed Ways


The Norse Discovery of America

American, Tony Stone wrote, directed and edited and acted in “Severed Ways”. This is a film that is set in 1007 A.D. and it begins with two Viking scouts being left behind as they see a beach littered with their dead fellow explorers. The others were killed in a skirmish with "Skrealings," the Viking name for Indians. The focus of the film then becomes the survival and search for a way home that the two explorers now face. The film is subtle yet dark as we follow the pair of Vikings through their new surroundings. The locations vary from suitable to breathtaking as we are treated to a nice array of outcroppings, waterfalls and more. The dialog is minimal and we see much more of the duties and chores that these two go through in the daily life. Lots of wood chopping, building fires, killing animals for food and even wiping their read ends with leaves. Obviously establishing a feel of authenticity was paramount to the makers of the film and I applaud that. There seem to be a somewhat loose commentary on religion as well during the parts where we witness different reactions towards life from the Vikings and from the monks that they encounter towards the middle of the film. The film is very slow at times and that is certainly deliberate because the film is about small aspects of this situation rather than quickly building characters or setting the tone for any particular event. For the most part I think that the approach of the film works although it certainly requires some patience on the part of the viewer. Now the parts filmed by a handheld camera and the heavy metal bits played between scenes really didn't help the film. Despite my position as a metal fan I felt that those parts slightly undermined what Mr. Stone was trying to accomplish. The Viking headbanging scene was particularly way out of place. I think that film moved along well enough and kept my interest. However I think there are some moments where the actors come out of character a little and the film could have been trimmed some. Still I found it to be both interesting and different for a film about Vikings. I certainly see the potential that the filmmaker has as well.



Blogger DPTH International said...

Sounds interesting. I'll have to try and see this. Is it on DVD?

10:22 AM  

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