Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

While preparing last week's Cowboy Quotable, I found yet another reference to Viggo's amazing ability to convey a huge amount of meaning while appearing to do very little, calling it 'a specialized art, one with few masters'. While this reviewer was talking about Appaloosa, Viggo's minimalist approach blew critics away in The Road, A History of Violence and where this ability probably had its biggest impact, Eastern Promises.

...Holding one's body still in front of a movie camera while also giving the sense of a mind in motion is a specialized art, one with few masters. Paul Newman comes to mind, notably in his later career, as does Robert Duvall, a perennial movie cowboy who will surely wish that Appaloosa had come his way. And now, it would seem, there is Mortensen, who steals this film by doing nothing much more than lean against doorways and bar counters. Like Harris, Mortensen is a great listener, and good listeners--in life and in movies--barely move. That quality is just right for the role of Hitch, whose life hangs on Cole's next word and slightest gesture. It's an old truth, and not just about westerns: When the talking stops, the dying begins.

Chuck Wilson
Village Voice
17 Septmeber 2008

Everett says very little and spends a lot of time just watching the other characters, so Mortensen's performance resides almost entirely in his eyes, which register tiny, unmistakable nuances of surprise, suspicion and amusement.

A O Scott
International Herald Tribune
18 September 2008

Viggo Mortensen is not about the words. He's about being... present. .......

Ray Pride
Movie City News
Review Date: March 4, 2004

Mortensen is wonderful. He's one of the best actors at not doing anything and making you watch him all the more.

Ty Burr talking about Appaloosa
Boston Globe: Take 2
October 2008

He's a master of minimalism - what most actors need a monologue to express, Mortensen can convey in one wordless close-up, from behind sunglasses.

Ryan Gilbey
New Statesman
18 October 2007

In Viggo Mortensen, Hillcoat is working with one of the current cinema's great quiet everymen, and if anyone can make the novel's stolid, unnamed hero empathic and emotionally alive on screen whilst remaining loyal to the novel's aesthetic minimalism, it's this immensely physical, restrained performer.

The Road
Kris Tapley
August 2009

Mr. Mortensen gives him a gaunt grandeur--it doesn't hurt that the actor's face can evoke paintings of Christ without a muscle being moved...

The Road
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
26 November 2009

.....keep your eyes on Mortensen. You could make an entire movie about the way that guy just stands in a room and quietly scans the atmosphere for even the slightest molecular disturbance.

Come to think of it, Eastern Promises may be that movie.

By Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
6 Sept 2007

In a performance of tremendous power and impressive subtlety, Mortensen employs eerie stillness to rivet the audience's attention and send chills down its collective spine.

Soren Anderson
The News Tribune
21 Sept 2007

"Viggo is so minimal and so stoic....There's one scene where Naomi Watts gets on the motorcycle. Viggo is standing by a post and not moving: 'Where'd you get that bike?' I was impressed with how minimal he was; I just bought that he was a Russian hitman."

Dennis Hopper
Variety Awards News
29 November 2007

Mortensen is a glowering marvel, locating a great range of expression in impassivity, his stone face prone to compelling split-second fissures.

Eastern Promises
Indelible Ink
By Adam Nayman
Eye Weekly
30 Aug 2007

He's not an actor counting the motions for a scene, but his eyes are alive, you can see fear and desperation in his face as he acts, you also see a resoluteness to do what has to be done.... It's kinda perfect.

A History of Violance
Ain't it Cool News
28 September 2005

With the smallest of moves, the most understated of plays, he connects us to Tom in ways few actors could

A History of Violence
David Cornelius
1 October 2005

Film is a visual medium; I have been fortunate to begin my career with small roles: often they give you few words and you get used to finding a way to express yourself. Anyway, in my opinion a good performance is a matter of reacting to what happens, or what they say to you, not necessarily with words.

Viggo Mortensen: "I put the alfajores aside"
By Pablo O Scholz - translated by Ollie, Sage and Zooey
21 May 2010

Viggo Mortensen is not about the words. He's about being... present. .......

Ray Pride
Movie City News
Review Date: March 4, 2004

As always, you will find all previous Quotables here in our Webpages.

© Images © Focus Features.

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New Books In The Works At Perceval Press

Source: Perceval Press.
Found By: Sandrob and Dom
Categories: Perceval Press

Thanks to Sandrob and Dom for the heads up.
Perceval Press is preparing a second book of poems by Scott Wannberg, as well as a bilingual Russian/English selection of Georgy Ivanov's poetry, translated and edited by Jerome Katsell and Stanislav Shvabrin. Other projects being prepared for publication in 2011 include a second volume of the Antología De La Nueva Poesía Argentina, a collection of drawings by Sam Messer accompanied by text from Denis Johnson, a book on the work of sculptor Richard Merchant, and a new Buckethead/Viggo musical collaboration titled Reunion. We are at various stages of planning and production with other projects, including a book on painter Minerva Chapman and new work from Sara Solati and Greg Harms.

© Perceval Press. Images © Perceval Press.

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Happy Birthday!!


Images © New Line Productions Inc.

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Your March Reminders

Click on image to enlarge.

© Images © Empire Pictures/Collage by Chrissie.

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Superman Wants Viggo Mortensen as General Zod

Categories: Movies
Rumors are flying about Viggo's next project. This from MovieWeb.
Viggo Mortensen eyed as General Zod
Viggo Mortensen eyed as General Zod.
© 1995-2011 MovieWeb™.
Despite Zack Snyder's insistence that General Zod will not be the villain in his upcoming Superman reboot, the director and producer Christopher Nolan are currently eyeing Viggo Mortensen for that exact role.

Viggo Mortensen is still in negotiations to play the Huntsman in Universal Pictures fairytale retelling Snow White and the Huntsman. If he does not close the deal, he will move directly into Superman. If he does play the Huntsman, the hope is that he will be able to work out his schedule with Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. so that he can do both movies.

At this time, sources close to the actor claim that talks have not commenced and that when it comes to portraying General Zod, Viggo Mortensen is just a "person of interest". The same is true of Kevin Costner, who was recently announced as Pa Kent. While other actors are being considered for both roles, Viggo Mortensen and Kevin Costner are at the top of a very short list.

Zack Snyder is also in the midst of casting Lois Lane and General Zod's right-hand woman Ursa, with Alice Eve, Diane Kruger and Rosamund Pike rumored to be up for that role.

Official casting announcements for Superman are expected soon.

© 1995-2011 MovieWeb™. Images © 1995-2011 MovieWeb™.

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Last edited: 18 March 2017 14:22:21