The Playlist

Sundance Review: Aaron Katz & Martha Stephens’ ‘Land Ho!’ Is A Charming Minor Work

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • January 22, 2014 3:26 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Land Ho!
Disenchanted, though you wouldn’t know it at first, the lively and unruly Mitch is aware that his favorite ex-brother-in-law—the mild mannered Colin—is in the dumps following the demise of his second marriage. Having recently retired from life as a doctor, Mitch drops by to tell Colin he has a surprise: an all-expenses paid trip to Iceland. Colin attempts to politely decline, content with moping around, but Mitch won’t take no for an answer, and much to his chagrin he is soon packing his bags for Reykjavik. Hitting luxury hotels, trendy hot spots, beautiful spas, fancy restaurants, relaxing hot springs and some of the beautiful and exotic sights of Iceland, Mitch and Colin catch up, renew their old friendship and discuss the obstacles they’ve faced in life while trying to make sense of it all. For the introverted Aussie that is Colin, that kind of introspection is not always healthy. For the Kentucky-drawling, skirt-chasing Mitch, it's simply “doobification” time (eg. smoking copious joints).

'Hot Wheels' Gets A Director, David Gordon Green Producing New Movie From 'Cold Weather' Helmer Aaron Katz & More

  • By Ken Guidry
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  • October 18, 2013 11:19 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Martha Stephens ("Pilgrim Song") and Aaron Katz ("Cold Weather"), both graduates from the North Carolina School of Arts, have each cultivated promising film careers for themselves over the past few years (ie. the aforementioned films). Now, they will be co-directing a film they wrote together, a buddy comedy called “Land Ho!” with David Gordon Green (another NCSA alum) hopping on board as an executive producer. The film will star Paul Eenhoorn and Earl Lynn Nelson as ex-brothers-in-law who go on a road trip in Iceland in order to reclaim their youth.

'Marie Antoinette' Producer Ross Katz To Helm 'The Amateur American' Starring Luke Evans

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • March 11, 2011 10:26 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The name Ross Katz might not sound familiar, but you've likely seen some of the films that have his name in the credits. As a producer, he put his weight behind a number of acclaimed films including "In the Bedroom," "Lost In Translation" and "Marie Antoinette." In 2009 he unveiled his debut feature, the acclaimed HBO drama "Taking Chance" with Kevin Bacon, and now the director is gearing up his sophomore effort.

Review: 'Cold Weather' A Winning Micro-Indie Mystery

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • February 3, 2011 3:02 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Mystery is a tricky genre to work in. Although there's an indisputable amount of excitement involved as the protagonist and audience alike piece together the puzzle, once all is solved every associated feeling fizzles, leaving little impact and less to chew on post-viewing. Some directors have worked tirelessly to avoid this sentiment, with examples such as "Picnic at Hanging Rock" and "Cache" playing by some rules but ultimately turning into a different beast at the end of the day. Others, like "Brick," used talky-noir conventions and dropped them in a high school atmosphere. The result was a humorous and refreshing experience, maybe a little silly at times but enjoyable and focused nonetheless. Aaron Katz's "Cold Weather," a masterful combination of micro-indie sensibilities and missing-person mysteries, finds its success by constructing a legitimately tense plot and employing a loose aesthetic that allows atmosphere and charm to sometimes take precedent.

Watch: Trailer For Aaron Katz's Excellent Indie Noir 'Cold Weather'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • January 31, 2011 3:37 AM
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  • 3 Comments
We're at an interesting tipping point in contemporary independent American cinema, one where directors are starting to take the aesthetics and low-key character drama of the mumblecore scene, and marrying them with genre film, and it's producing some of the more original, innovative low-budget works in recent years. From The Duplass Brother's slasher pic "Baghead" and Gareth Edwards' creature flick "Monsters" to Brit Marling's Sundance one-two-punch of "Another Earth" and "The Sound of My Voice," it's a good time for anyone with an interest in the way that genre can be played with onscreen, and one of the best examples to date is Aaron Katz's "Cold Weather."

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