Written and directed by Aaron Katz and Martha Stephens, Land Ho! centers on two sixtysomethings (Paul Eenhoorn, Earl Lynn Nelson) who set off to Iceland for a bit of bonding and unadulterated fun. Whether it’s partying at a Reykjavik nightclub or traversing the country’s primeval terrain, Mitch (Nelson) and Colin (Eenhoorn) are surrounded by beauty.
For Nelson, taking part in Land Ho! was a family affair. “They wrote the script after they picked us to be (in the film),” said Nelson. “It wasn’t the other way (around). Martha’s mother and I are first cousins. She knows that I’ve been a scoundrel my whole life. She just called me up and asked if I’d want to go to Iceland for a month. I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll go.’ They got Paul (Eenhoorn), and they threw me and Paul together the first weekend. When you see us and I’m vacuuming, that was the first scene in Kentucky.”
Although the opening moment is set in Kentucky, the rest of the 95-minute narrative dives into an entirely different world. Iceland is essentially another character in the drama, and the filmmakers didn’t let a low budget hamper the film’s arresting visual style. Part of that credit goes to their collaboration with cinematographer Andrew Reed, who used two RED cameras during the production. In the following interview, Katz and Stephens talked about their close knit collaboration with Reed and why having more than one set of eyes behind the camera was a creative boon for the film.
Land Ho! opens in New York and Los Angeles today.