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Review: Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America

Imagine if Ingmar Bergman had made The Blair Witch Project
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  November 4, 2009
2.0 2.0 Stars

 

Tony Stone’s “love letter to the Vikings’ discovery of the New World, pagan iconography, brute manliness, and simpler times” is set in the simpler (?) time of 1007 AD, and it’s more or less what you’d have if Ingmar Bergman had shot The Blair Witch Project back then. Orn (Stone) and Volnard (Fiore Tedesco) get separated from the rest of their party after a Native American attack, and they do the usual Viking stuff: chopping down trees, building shelters, strangling chickens, pooping (close up) in the woods, killing Irish monks (yes, they too are in Newfoundland).

Volnard does get friendly with one of those monks; Orn, meanwhile, has a dream in which his wife (Gaby Hoffmann) accuses him of lacking brute manliness before he gets drugged and raped by a Native American lovely (Noelle Bailey). What little dialogue Stone provides is barely audible, and subtitles like “We’re toast” and “This fish is killer” are surely meant to be anachronistic, like the largely Norwegian black-metal score (Burzum, Dimmu Borgir, Popol Vuh, etc.).

It all ends with an arrow in the back and then a collapse in the snow à la Warren Beatty in McCabe & Mrs. Miller.

  Topics: Reviews , Culture and Lifestyle, Religion, Ingmar Bergman,  More more >
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