18 items from 2014
Safe to say that 2015 should be the roll out year for this directorial debut. Some got an early peak at this summer’s Rooftop film series and then it received some cool parting gifts from the Us in Progress in Wroclaw, Poland. Matt Sobel, a Filmmaker Magazine Top 25 New Faces of ’14 personality made his debut feature in his own backyard of Nebraska. Starring Logan Miller, Robin Weigert (Stacie Passon’s Concussion), Josh Hamilton and Richard Schif, Take Me to the River sounds like the uncharted waters type of discomfort drama that’ll make some folks queasy. Sign me up.
Gist: This is about a California teen (Logan Miller) who plans to come out at his family reunion in Nebraska. But when a bloodstain on his younger cousin’s dress makes him an unwitting suspect in her possible abuse, the weekend takes a very different turn…
Production Co./Producers: Matt Sobel. »
- Eric Lavallee
Earl Lynn Nelson: The audience wonder why our heads are down in the water - we kept our heads down in the water because we were freezing our rear ends off. Odd couple comedy Land Ho! marks the first collaboration between Quiet City director Aaron Katz and Martha Stephens (Pilgrim Song). It's an offbeat charmer that stars Stephens regular Earl Lynn Nelson and Aussie actor Paul Eenhoorn as two old friends who go on an adventure to Iceland. Nelson's good ol' boy Mitch has a foul-mouthed Kentucky wit that bounces off the drier humour offered up by Eenhoorn's character Colin. The film is less about big revelations than the finer points of friendship and it celebrates the liberation that can come with growing old. Nelson, who is a plastic surgeon by trade, has a long-standing relationship with Stephens - her mum is his first cousin - and in the »
- Amber Wilkinson
Filmmakers Aaron Katz and Martha Stephens, who have teamed up for Land Ho!, have individually premiered all of their previous features at SXSW Film Festival. They're each known for films where characters are deep in exploration -- about themselves but also perhaps, a mystery (Cold Weather, Passenger Pigeons) or even a landscape (Brooklyn in Quiet City, Kentucky in Pilgrim Song). In Land Ho! (which premiered at Sundance this year), the same type of exploration takes place -- this time in Iceland -- with two primary characters who are gentlemen in their retirement years. It's a change for Katz, whose characters are usually in their late teens/early twenties.
No matter what the age of the characters, however, Stephens and Katz sustain the audience's interest in the type of story that sounds terribly slow and dull when explained in print, but is very rewarding as it unfolds onscreen. Two retired brothers-in-law, »
- Jette Kernion
The wonderfully freewheeling, peripatetic road movie Land Ho!, spanning the vast, rich Icelandic landscape, marks the first collaboration between two talented independent filmmakers: Martha Stephens (Passenger Pigeons, Pilgrim Song) and Aaron Katz (Dance Party USA, Quiet City, Cold Weather). Together, they have created a beautiful and quietly charming film, one not afraid of being small, in the sense of letting the naturalistic performances and atmosphere impress themselves on the audience, and not shoehorning in false melodrama or forced comedy. And although the buddy comedy road trip movie is a genre that is thoroughly well-worn at this point, Land Ho! is blissfully free of cliché and hackneyed retreads. Set to be released this summer, the film will serve as perfect counter-programming to whatever superhero movie is...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Land Ho!, co-written and co-directed by Aaron Katz and Martha Stephens, is an odd-couple two-hander like Katz’s previous Cold Weather and Quiet City, and a progressively rural odyssey like Stephens’ Pilgrim Song, accented by the hues of regional color familiar from both directors’ palettes. But given the film’s Icelandic setting, perhaps another frame of reference is also called for. In interviews, the filmmakers frequently discuss the remoteness of the Icelandic landscape, its incongruity with the day-to-day lives of their characters, and, above all, its mysterious and “otherworldly” beauty. In Iceland, where I currently live, this view is not necessarily reflective […] »
- Mark Asch
Word spread at Sundance in January that "Land Ho!" was a sleeper hit, and sure enough, it was soon scooped up by Sony Pictures Classics, which will unleash the comedy on audiences July 11. (It's at 83 on the Tomatometer.) Check out the video below to see why it's a load of fun. The two writer-directors, Martha Stephens ("Pilgrim Song") and Aaron Katz ("Cold Weather"), cast Australian actor Paul Eenhoorn and plastic surgeon non-pro Earl Lynn Nelson to enact the story of two ex-brothers-in-law and friends who reunite on an exotic trip to Iceland. The movie is both raucous adventure and sweetly intimate bromance. And the dynamics at work are obvious from the video interview below, which starts with quiet-spoken Eenhoorn and is utterly taken over by bigger-than-life Nelson. Trailer is also below. »
- Anne Thompson
If we may avert your eyes from the new trailer for Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar for a moment, you’ll find the first look at one of my favorite Sundance films, Land Ho!. Co-directed by Martha Stephens (Pilgrim Song) and Aaron Katz (Cold Weather), the David Gordon Green-produced road trip finds Paul Eenhoorn (who gave a great performance in last year’s This is […] »
- Jordan Raup
Indie filmmakers Martha Stephens and Aaron Katz have been turning heads separately over the past little while, with their most recent efforts "Pilgrim Song" and "Cold Weather" in particular earning them attention. This past January, the pair unveiled their first co-director collaboration with "Land Ho!" at the Sundance Film Festival, and the response was good. Though we had our quibbles with it, we called the movie "easy to admire and appreciate in its quiet observations and tender form," and now you too can see what those in Park City saw, with the first trailer landing today. Paul Eenhoorn and Early Lynn Nelson lead the movie that follows a brassy former surgeon who convinces his ex-brother-in-law to vacation with him in Iceland. And they aren't just Americans out of place abroad, but out of step with each other, with the pair falling into an odd couple dynamic that allows them to »
- Kevin Jagernauth
The wonderfully freewheeling, peripatetic road movie Land Ho!, spanning the vast, rich Icelandic landscape, marks the first collaboration between two talented independent filmmakers: Martha Stephens (Passenger Pigeons, Pilgrim Song) and Aaron Katz (Dance Party USA, Quiet City, Cold Weather). Together, they have created a beautiful and quietly charming film, one not afraid of being small, in the sense of letting the naturalistic performances and atmosphere impress themselves on the audience, and not shoehorning in false melodrama or forced comedy. And although the buddy comedy road trip movie is a genre that is thoroughly well-worn at this point, Land Ho! is blissfully free of cliché and hackneyed retreads. Set to be released this summer, the film will serve as perfect counter-programming to whatever superhero movie is coming...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
They range in age, amount of screen time, supporting or principle characters, and have previous (television work, stage and or bit parts in Hollywood/Indiewood productions or next to no film experience at all. In essence these folks have a special gift and have essentially broken out. I had the fortune of having a team of four journalists (Caitlin Coder, Jordan M. Smith, Nicholas Bell and myself) covering the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and when you got a small army covering a major fest it ensures that fine performances from a new crop of acting talents don’t go undetected. Michael B. Jordan, Robin Weigert and Miles Teller (who follows up The Speculator Now with a dramatically and physically charged perf in the marvelous Whiplash) were just some of the new faces included on our top list last year.Worthy mnetions that did not break into our Top 10 include Fishing Without Nets‘ Abdikani Muktar, »
- IONCINEMA.com Contributing Writers
Here's the latest Austin and Texas film news.
Austin-based indie electronica band The Octopus Project won the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Musical Score at this year's Sundance Film Festival for their work on fellow Austinites David and Nathan Zellner's Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter (Debbie's review). This true-to-life drama follows a lonely Japanese woman who travels to America in search of the treasure mentioned in the movie Fargo.The Zellner Brothers discussed their inspiration for Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter, which debuted at Sundance, with The Wall Street Journal. Austinite Todd Rohal's Rat Pack Rat (Debbie's dispatch), about a Sammy Davis Jr. impersonator who's hired to visit a Rat Pack fan, won Sundance's Short Film Special Jury Award for Unique Vision. Austin filmmaker Clay Liford (Wuss) produced. In more Sundance Film Festival news, Austin-based filmmaker David Gordon Green continues to express his appreciation for Iceland (Prince Avalanche »
- Jordan Gass-Poore'
You’re never too old to soak in a hot spring, get high on really good weed, or give a marvelous screen performance — or so goes the charming logic of “Land Ho!,” a gently elegiac road comedy about two aging buddies vacationing in Iceland. A bawdy, bittersweet ode to friendship’s lasting joys and life’s inevitable regrets, the film also offers sturdy testament to the rewards of working as a duo, showcasing not only pitch-perfect turns from Paul Eenhoorn and relative newcomer Earl Lynn Nelson, but also a seamless writing-directing collaboration between rising indie helmers Martha Stephens (“Pilgrim Song”) and Aaron Katz (“Cold Weather”). Sony Classics swooped in to acquire worldwide rights at Sundance, confirming this modest winner’s potential to travel far and wide.
It begins with a long-overdue reunion between two men who were once related by marriage, as Seattle-based Colin (Eenhoorn) arrives on the Kentucky doorstep of his former brother-in-law, »
- Justin Chang
Road trip movies (and road trips in general) live and die by the likability of the travel companions. Writing and directing team Martha Stephens (Pilgrim Song) and Aaron Katz (Cold Weather) knew that, of course. Their film Land Ho! reunites a pair of 70-something ex-brother-in-laws for a trip around Iceland.
“We wanted to make a comedy that was sort of an ode to comedies that we loved growing up like Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and Uncle Buck and stuff that’s really fun, but we also wanted to incorporate the way that we made movies,” said Stephens.
Cast chemistry is »
- Lindsey Bahr
Sundance coverage continues with Glenn musing on the career of Aaron Katz and his latest, Land Ho!
"Mumblecore", the term given to the influx of super low-budget independent films with a rotating core of creatives, cops a lot of grief these days. I assume it's mostly from people sick of Lena Dunham’s ubiquity (she wrote/directed/starred in the incredible Tiny Furniture) or people just getting sick from the home-spun, handheld aesthetic that beset many of the movement’s features. Personally, I love that we now have the likes of Greta Gerwig, Lynn Shelton (who’s at Sundance again this year with Laggies) and Joe Swanberg amongst others. The brightest star to my eyes, however, is Aaron Katz, the 32-year-old American director who directed the woozy, boozy, teenage coming-of-age drama Dance Party USA and the deliciously cheeky Sherlock riff Cold Weather. He returns with Land Ho!, co-directing alongside Martha Stephens »
- Glenn Dunks
Indie road trip comedies are perhaps the worst cliché of low budget American filmmaking, but "Land Ho!," the story of two aging men on a meandering vacation in Iceland, provides a notable exception. This unassuming, elegantly shot collaboration by directors Aaron Katz ("Cold Weather," "Quiet City") and Martha Stephens ("Pilgrim Song," "Passenger Pigeons") actively avoids any melodramatic confrontations or cheesy subplots. A gentle meditation on growing old and bored, "Land Ho!" never rises to the level of narrative engagement found in the filmmakers' previous efforts, but it doesn't take much to make it sufficiently insightful, carried along by a pair of actors so inherently likable from the outset that "Land Ho!" hardly requires a lot of story to set their adventure in motion. Essentially a two-hander from start to finish, "Land Ho!" opens with the soft spoken Colin (Paul Eenhoorn, star of last year's sleeper hit "This Is Martin Bonner »
- Eric Kohn
Co-directed features aren’t too common in the independent film world, and even less so from already established auteurs. But Land Ho! finds two of the American independent scene’s most promising young directors – Aaron Katz (Cold Weather) and Martha Stephens (Pilgrim Song) – joining forces. A buddy, road trip comedy about a pair of aging ex-brother-in-laws (Paul Eenhoorn of This is Martin Bonner, and Earl Lynn Nelson) on holiday in Iceland, the film is already being hyped as one of the most promising discoveries of this year’s festival. Land Ho! premieres today in Sundance’s Next section. Filmmaker: A full-on directorial […] »
- Dan Schoenbrun
Two ex-brothers-in-law (This Is Martin Bonner’s Paul Eenhoorn and Eastbound & Down’s Earl Lynn Nelson) set off on an Iceland vacation to reclaim their youth; dipping their toes in the Reykjavik nightclub scene, visiting trendy spas, dining at daring restaurants and communing at rugged campsites. What starts as a raucous adventure becomes a journey of self-discovery. Land Ho! is the latest producing project from lyrical indie-film favorite David Gordon Green, directed by Martha Stephens (Pilgrim Song, Passenger Pigeons) and Aaron Katz (Cold Weather, Quiet City). The endearing tale is part 1980s raucous road comedy, part sensitive and charming portrait of aging à la an edgier Strangers in Good Company for men. Interestingly enough, Nelson, who...
- Alison Nastasi
Last fall, word emerged that David Gordon Green was putting his executive producer stamp on "Land Ho!," the new feature film from directors Martha Stephens and Aaron Katz. The pair have been making waves on the indie film scene over the past few years, with their most recent efforts "Pilgrim Song" and "Cold Weather" (respectively), drawing them particular praise and attention. Well, "Land Ho!" finds the directors joining forces and soon they'll be hitting the Sundance Film Festival to unspool their collaboration.Starring Paul Eenhoorn (the breakout star of 2013's terrific indie "This Is Martin Bonner") and Early Lynn Nelson, the film tells the story of a brassy former surgeon who convinces his ex-brother-in-law to vacation with him in Iceland. And what follows is a road trip comedy that finds the older pair hitting Reykjavik nightclubs, trendy spas, adventurous restaurants and rugged campsites. But more than just a collection of hijinks, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
18 items from 2014
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