Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Footage From "Sick," Unreleased Marilyn Manson Video, Directed By Eli Roth & Featuring Lana Del Rey Watch: Footage From "Sick," Unreleased Marilyn Manson Video, Directed By Eli Roth & Featuring Lana Del Rey Christopher Nolan Talks 'Interstellar' Twist And Enigmatic Ending Christopher Nolan Talks 'Interstellar' Twist And Enigmatic Ending Review: 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1' Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Philip Seymour Hoffman, And More Review: 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1' Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Philip Seymour Hoffman, And More Steve McQueen's Next Film Will Be About Paul Robeson Steve McQueen's Next Film Will Be About Paul Robeson Watch: First Trailer For 'The Age Of Adaline' Starring Blake Lively, Ellen Burstyn And Harrison Ford Watch: First Trailer For 'The Age Of Adaline' Starring Blake Lively, Ellen Burstyn And Harrison Ford Listen Up, Christopher Nolan Defends Sound Mix On 'Interstellar' Listen Up, Christopher Nolan Defends Sound Mix On 'Interstellar' Official Soundtrack Details For Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice' Revealed Official Soundtrack Details For Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice' Revealed Casting: Shailene Woodley Joins Oliver Stone's Edward Snowden Pic, 'True Detective' Adds Pair & More Casting: Shailene Woodley Joins Oliver Stone's Edward Snowden Pic, 'True Detective' Adds Pair & More Rare Pics Of James Remar In James Cameron's 'Aliens' Before He Was Fired Rare Pics Of James Remar In James Cameron's 'Aliens' Before He Was Fired Watch: 40-Minute Discovery Channel Special 'The Science Of Interstellar' Narrated By Matthew McConaughey Watch: 40-Minute Discovery Channel Special 'The Science Of Interstellar' Narrated By Matthew McConaughey Listen: 45-Minute Talk With Christopher Nolan, Plus The Big Twist From Steven Spielberg's 'Interstellar' Script And More Listen: 45-Minute Talk With Christopher Nolan, Plus The Big Twist From Steven Spielberg's 'Interstellar' Script And More Review: Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway & More Review: Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway & More 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' Will Conclude With A 45-Minute Battle Sequence 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' Will Conclude With A 45-Minute Battle Sequence Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Exclusive: New Pics From Sundance Comedy 'Land Ho!'; Directors Martha Stephens & Aaron Katz Talk Influences & Iceland

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist January 9, 2014 at 11:01AM

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.
0
Land Ho!

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, the film will investigate themes of aging, loneliness and friendship all against the gorgeous backdrop of Iceland.

It sounds like promising stuff, and we chatted briefly with the filmmakers over email about the film, and Stephens and Katz shared their experiences shooting on location in Iceland, the influence of "Tommy Boy" and "The Trip" and much more. You can read that interview below followed by another new image from the film.

"Land Ho!" plays in the NEXT lineup at the Sundance Film Festival and will premiere in Park City next week.

This film is a roadtrip set in Iceland, and executive producer David Gordon Green's "Prince Avalanche" is a remake of an Icelandic film. Was this a happy coincidence? What is the allure of Iceland cinematically and narratively?
Martha Stephens: It was a total coincidence. Iceland had been on my radar for several years and I was actually about to take a trip there when I was struck with the idea for the film. It wasn’t until a month later that we discovered the connection with David’s film. Iceland is so completely of another world; the landscape is haunting and moody, the countryside has a sense of mystery and magic. It’s visually stunning, so naturally we were drawn there for aesthetic reasons. Our movie is also very much about opposites, so we decided it would be humorous to place this bumbling pair and their juvenile jokes against an ethereal Icelandic backdrop.

Aaron Katz: The other appealing thing about Iceland was the idea that once these two guys get to such an isolated place they're stuck with each other. We think of them as a real odd couple and it made so much sense to put them in an environment that completely cut them off from other people.

What are some of your favorite road trip films and how did they influence the movie? Were there any genre clichés you wanted to avoid?
MS: Throughout production we discussed "Planes, Trains And Automobiles, "Tommy Boy," and "The Trip" quite frequently. We wanted "Land Ho!" to have a fun, breezy tone like both "Planes, Trains And Automobiles" and "Tommy Boy," but also decided to take a more naturalistic approach like "The Trip."  By meshing ideas derived from more conventional Hollywood road trip films with our own sensibilities, I think we successfully avoided genre clichés. 

AK: It also helped that Paul and Earl Lynn brought so much of their unique personalities to their roles. There are plenty of road trip conventions in the movie, but the characters have their own approach to each situation and that's where a lot of the humor comes from.

Were there any specific challenges or surprises you found filming in Iceland?
MS
: Both Aaron and I had grown accustomed to making movies on our own turf, so to speak: Aaron in Portland/New York, myself in various spots of Appalachia. Directing in a foreign country was a challenge in itself because we lacked a sort of home field advantage. We were however very fortunate that Icelanders tended to be open and welcoming of our production. There was something beneficially straightforward about being a pair of outsiders filming a movie about a pair of outsiders. Since the story is told through the eyes of non-natives, perhaps it came across as more honest.

AK: Before we arrived to shoot the movie I had never been to Iceland so, for me, everything was a new experience. Martha had visited a few months previous to scout and we had done extensive scouting remotely, but seeing all of these otherworldly places for the first time when scouting in person was inspiring. It informed every part of the process. Everything was all a result of where we were and keeping our eyes open for the unexpected.

Land Ho!


This article is related to: Sundance Film Festival, Ross Katz, Martha Stephens, Land Ho!, Interviews, Interviews


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates