Thu, 20 August 2009
There's art house and then there's art school, and Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America is neither. Tony Stone is the writer/director behind the movie, and I have to be completely honest – I don’t quite understand what his point was. I mean, it’s not like the movie’s incomprehensible. I get it. It’s not hard to follow. Vikings show up on the shores of Greenland, a couple of them get left behind, and . . . heavy metal plays in the background.
Severed Ways isn’t necessarily an experimental movie – there’s a semblance of narrative here. And it’s easy to follow, especially since we have Chapter title cards guiding us through the film. Why we have Chapter marks in the movie itself I don’t quite understand, but in case you’re having trouble following along, or if you a writer/director who’s having a hard time connecting story sequences, I suppose they’re helpful.
I'd like to mention what I liked about the movie. It looks great. The minimalist production design succeeds in making the woods and coast of modern-day
Just turn down the volume. The movie’s gimmick . . . er, soundtrack is made up of songs from Popol Vuh, Judas Priest and Burzum. I understand the connection between Vikings and Norwegian death metal, as tenuous as the connection might be, but to drop Morbid Angel’s 'Desolate Ways' into a movie that the filmmakers are obviously trying to present in a somewhat realistic sense didn’t seem to make sense. Stone takes great care in presenting how real, or as the DVD cover tells us, how “gritty” the Vikings’ reality was, but the inclusion of this music made the movie feel like a long experimental music video.
Whether Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America is a long music video or a gritty historical epic, including a scene in which one of the characters defecates and then wipes himself with the available foliage does nothing to make the movie interesting or worth your time.
Category:general -- posted at: 3:34pm PDT