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The Cold Lands (2013)

Unrated | | Drama | February 2013 (Germany)
2:22 | Trailer

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When his self-reliant mother dies unexpectedly, Atticus flees deep into the forests surrounding his Catskills home. Wandering the woods in shock, relying on what meager food and shelter he ... See full summary »


Tom Gilroy


Tom Gilroy (screenplay)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview:
Lili Taylor ... Nicole
Silas Yelich ... Atticus Garfield
Maggie Low ... Maggie
Deb Monteith Deb Monteith ... EMT
Barry Kuhar Barry Kuhar ... Hunter #1
Tim Quinn Tim Quinn ... Hunter #2
Liam Fitzgerald Liam Fitzgerald ... Hunter #3
Andrew Van Dusen Andrew Van Dusen ... Man with Gun
Peter Scanavino ... Carter
Peter Rufa Peter Rufa ... Grillman
Nick Sandow ... Foreman
Jonathan Gatt Jonathan Gatt ... Cashier
Trace Henderson Trace Henderson ... Addison
John Ventimiglia ... Jackson


When his self-reliant mother dies unexpectedly, Atticus flees deep into the forests surrounding his Catskills home. Wandering the woods in shock, relying on what meager food and shelter he comes across, Atticus' grasp on reality begins to fray. His nerves worn thin, Atticus latches on when he encounters Carter, a scruffy, pot smoking drifter, who lives out of his car and sells handmade necklaces on the festival circuit. A wary alliance forms, with each dependent on the other, but neither sure he is making the right decision. Written by Production

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Release Date:

February 2013 (Germany) See more »

Filming Locations:

Rensselaerville, New York, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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References Heathers (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

Early Americana
21 February 2017 | by TemporaryOne-1See all my reviews

One key to understanding this movie is to understand the parallel between 1) the inspired spirit of early Americans with their desire to build a whole new world from the ground up with their own two hands, and their absolute foundational belief in personal responsibility and individual freedom and willingness to die for their freedoms (Atticus' mother alludes to all this when she's reading aloud the details of the rent wars, and the *Catskills historical marker at the end of the film re-enforces all this) and 2) the current dispirited spirit of a generation of people who consider the system failed and ultimately opt to walk out of civil society (into the "cold lands" - an existence outside of society, disenfranchised, marginalised....but the same "cold lands" where people once upon a time built an entire nation from the ground up) and live a life of pure individual freedom and off-the-grid like Atticus's mother, like Carter, like all the country-crossing flea market/swap meet vendors.

This film is all about the scattering of this long-fractured spirit, and whether or not there's any hope of a wind strong enough to catch these scatterings and glue them together to rebuild this fractured America.

Carter (Peter Scanavino) was nude because he was naturalistic and uninhibited, he represented the early Americana nude male in a natural landscape Carter appears to have lived off the grid in woodland wilderness for a very long time, possibly a decade or more, people who live like that, especially people born into off-the-grid regions within the Catskills, are living a life of abject poverty with no electricity, sleeping nude and swimming nude are natural, as is outdoor bathing ( Plenty of young people love swimming nude, and plenty of people sleep in the nude, but the film goes beyond that ) Catskills (filming location) = Hudson River School of art = plethora of paintings depicting nude males in natural landscapes (looking at you, Thomas Eakins) Carter laid down in a choreographed manner, modelling his chiselled physique, almost like he stepped out of an Eakins painting Carter at the cliff with the rolling water with the other young men was straight out of "Kindred Spirits" by Asher Brown Durand, young kindred spirits on a cliff spiriting amidst an impenetrable green wilderness backdrop of boundless woodlands and forested mountains Atticus' mother was raising Atticus to mature into that same early Americana naturalist, uninhibited, complete-individual-freedom-and-release frame of mind-and-spirit Carter's nature carted Atticus further towards maturing into that frame of mind-and-spirit

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