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Severed Ways [Import]

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Actors: Fiore Tedesco, Tony Stone, David Perry, Noelle Bailey, Gaby Hoffmann
  • Directors: Tony Stone
  • Writers: Tony Stone
  • Producers: Tony Stone, Clare Amory, Amy Hobby, David Raymond
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen, Import
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: July 28 2009
  • Run Time: 107 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • ASIN: B0023BZ64Y
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Product Description

Severed Ways

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Thank you, interesting movie making style. Glad you keep this one available.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa0788420) out of 5 stars 61 reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa078f5ac) out of 5 stars "out there" but oddly compelling art film Aug. 15 2009
By Roland E. Zwick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD

As I was saying just the other day, you simply don't see enough good, old-fashioned Viking dramas these days, do you? Then, lo and behold, what should appear but "Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America" to help fill the void and make us all wiser as to just how brutal and savage life could be at the turn of the last millennium (the movie is set in 1007 A.D.). However, let it be noted for the action fans in the audience that "Severed Ways" is, if anything, an "art" Nordic drama, a documentary-style, largely wordless cross between "Quest for Fire" and "The New World" - with even a bit of "The Blair Witch Project" thrown in for good measure (the palsied camerawork is what reminds us most of that film).

Orn and Volnard (don't ask me which is which) are two young Norsemen who have embarked on an expedition to North America with other members of their tribe. When their compatriots are killed in a battle with some natives called Skraelings, the two strapping lads flee to the forest where they hide out, search for food, build a makeshift shelter and fight off packs of ravenous animals. They also encounter a couple of Christian monks and more of those dreaded Skraelings. Heck, there's even a doe-eyed squaw named Abenaki who drugs and kidnaps one of the boys and makes passionate love to him in her thatched wigwam.

I must admit I kind of admire the sheer lunacy of producer/writer/director/editor Tony Stone's vision (he also plays Ork, which makes him pretty much a one-man show on this film). After all, it isn't often one comes across a movie set in the 11th Century that also features a highly eclectic and utterly anachronistic musical soundtrack ranging in style from pseudo-headbanger to ersatz-Rachmaninoff to quasi-Enya to flat-out monster truck rally commercial. Just for the record, however, the actual recording artists include Popul Vuh, Dimmu Borger, Judas Priest, and Burzum, among others. Actually, the score is probably the single most intriguing aspect of the movie.

I`m not sure of the wisdom of having these ancient warriors speaking in subtitled modern slang ("This fish is killer," "We`re toast if we stay here," etc.), since it encourages us to giggle right at the moments when we should be taking the story most seriously.

Nevertheless, the movie does earn itself some points for its complete lack of sentimentality as well as for its refusal to shy away from depicting the harsh, brutal realities of life at that time (one does wonder, though, just how many trees and animals may have been hurt in the making of this film). Yet, even here Stone goes too far at points. Stark realism is one thing, but watching an actor literally emptying his bowels in full view of the camera is quite another. Still, I guess that's one way of ensuring for yourself and your work a permanent place of record in the annals of motion picture history.

"Severed Ways" may be easy to poke fun at, but it's so utterly out-there and loopy - and so doggedly sincere in that loopiness - that you simply can't help but be drawn into it. In all honesty, I'm not entirely sure how I feel about "Severed Ways," but I am sure that I will never forget it.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa078f600) out of 5 stars Seventh Seal soundtrack is Swedish, not Old Norse Sept. 18 2011
By Studienkollegin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
The spoken soundtrack of this movie is in Swedish, not Old Norse. It is recycled from Ingmar Bergman's "The Seventh Seal" and has nothing to do with the subtitles. This is why it does not sync up. Adds some atmosphere and rather amusing if you do understand Swedish.
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa078fa38) out of 5 stars Macho mysticism: America a thousand years ago July 28 2009
By DJ Joe Sixpack - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
"Severed Ways"
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)
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa078fdf8) out of 5 stars Seriously? April 27 2013
By Brenda - Published on Amazon.com
I love watching films that have some historical reference or fact. Even if they're brutal and bloody. I was really looking forward to watching this film. After all I hail from these barbarians. I can normally get through any film. Despite how slow and awkward it goes. The camera work in the beginning, although i can appreciate creativity. I do not appreciate severe repetition ..ok we see the stones moving, next.

Then came the slang. "we're toast if we stay here" ..I had to go read the title again 'The Norse Discovery of America'. ok it's not a comedy..lets stick w/ the reality.

Then there came the s*** in the woods. No literally, s***ting in the woods. That ws as far as I could go. I understand the desire to offend and shock the audience. I understand wanting to express your creative flow because you can. But there has to be some moral compass in which you guide yourself. Yes we get it, we've all s*** in the woods or our ancestor has. There's no reason we need to see it. I simply took it as a sign that it represents what the feeling of the maker of this film thought of his work and I stopped watching.

I'm sure even mentioning it is giving people the desire to see it. But maturity is as maturity does.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa078f9b4) out of 5 stars Lots of things get severed many ways in this film Aug. 8 2009
By Bernie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
The basic story is trying unsuccessfully to tell a tale of two Norsemen lost in North America in 1007. The encounter hostel Indians and seductive Indian women, the Blair Witch, and even a couple of runaway monks. We watch them make fire, eat fish and even a close up of one defecating in the woods.

This film must have been made in 1007 as the producers have not figured out how to handle talkies. The voice overlay, what little there is is not in sync with the picture.

Lots of nice colors and bird sounds. Looks mostly like "Blue Planet" however there are no animals eating animals unless you are counting the two Viking dudes that get "left behind."

How to S*** in the Woods: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art