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Deauville Press Conference

Source: 34th Deauville American Film Festival.
Found By: mums and ewa
Categories: Movie Promotions

Our thanks to both mums and ewa for bringing us the 'Appaloosa' press conference from Deauville via the official Deauville site.

You can view the entire press conference here.

© 34th Deauville American Film Festival - 2008. Images © Wireimage.

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'Appaloosa' Photocall: Deauville

Source: Wireimage
Categories: Movie Promotions

Aaaah! We wondered when the flag would appear.

© Wireimage.

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TIFF: Riding Into Appaloosa with Ed Harris, Renee Zellweger, Viggo Mortensen, and Jeremy Irons

Source: The Deadbolt.
Found By: kaijamin
Our thanks to kaijamin for finding this excellent interview with the cast of 'Appaloosa'.


© New Line Cinema/Warner Brothers.
People have been saying for years that Westerns are dead, but that's not true at all. Although they're not being cranked out of Hollywood en-masse like the High Noon days of Gary Cooper or the True Grit era of John Wayne, Westerns always find their way back to the big screen. The latest Western to ride into town, which goes wide in theaters on October 3, is from the saddle of Ed Harris, who pulls double duty as director and co-star of Appaloosa, with Viggo Mortensen, Renee Zellweger, and Jeremy Irons.

This past week at the Toronto Film Festival, Ed Harris rounded up his creative posse for the official Appaloosa press conference where he was joined by Viggo Mortensen, Renee Zellweger, Jeremy Irons, co-writer Robert Knott, and executive producer Michael London to talk about the story of two friends who arrive in the small town of Appaloosa only to run up against an evil rancher and an unfamiliar young widow.

Somebody wise once said all good Westerns are really love stories between men. Why do you think women in the Western genre are considered a threat to the male relationships in these films?

ED HARRIS: I guess because in terms of the day-to-day life of ­-- especially the main characters in a Western are usually lawmen or else criminals, outlaws of some kind. You know, there's really no room for a woman. In other words there's no real place for her. Where does she fit in, in terms of this kind of rugged country, lawless land? So I guess that's maybe what he meant. In other words these are not domesticated men, necessarily. These are men who are traveling, who are traveling horseback, in this case, itinerant lawmen, really. They don't really have a home. Their home is wherever they are. They've been traveling together for years. A certain bond has developed between the men in terms of trusting one another, relying on one another for their very survival. And so, where does a woman fit into that? Does that make sense?

Can you comment on the female story line and her character? Years ago in Westerns she was either a whore or a schoolmarm. And today, 2008, she doesn't seem to have made any progress, especially when we have a female on the presidential ticket.

HARRIS: I don't think the woman in this film is either a whore or a schoolmarm, I thought she's a very interesting woman.

Let's start over. In the film, Ed's character talks about her, stating that she plays the piano, she's not a whore, talking about who she was and what she meant to him in very simplistic terms.

ZELLWEGER: I think her situation is much more complicated.

HARRIS: He says, "She's this - she dresses fine, she's pretty, she chews her food nice, she plays the piano, but she'll f**k anything that ain't gelded." I don't know what your question is.
© New Line Cinema/Warner Brothers.
First of all, I liked the film...

I'm not arguing with you, I just don't know what you¹re asking.

RENEE ZELLWEGER: I understood your comment about saying that women are portrayed -- ­that she's much more simple. I think in fact she's really complicated because her options are so limited. That she has to resort to things that even I would never consider in terms of how we would define the list of things you do to take care of yourself. In that respect, I think she's so complicated and not simple at all. And in terms of her dynamic with the gentlemen, one of the things that I love so much about it is that, well for me anyway, I always felt for Ally it was an "us" situation. She wasn't, I think, deciding one way or another that this was her unit, her safe place. You and I would look at relationships much more differently. She's creating a family and a safe haven for herself between these two men. Very complicated.

What kind of source material did you read or research to find out what life was like during that time period of 1882?

ROBERT KNOTT: I think like anyone would do when you jump into an era, you read everything you can, which is what we did. We had tons of books on the looks of towns, the look of the territory. And then - plus we obviously had a great novel, Robert Parker's novel, which gave us sort of a license to really have a look at the landscape, and that's what we wanted to do with this film, is open it up and see the country, see the vastness of the country. They did a great job with that - anamorphic setting.

HARRIS: You read a lot of photos, you know, from that era - at least from the 1880's. Keith Walters, who was the prop guy, was really well versed in the weaponry of the time. And of course we've done our own research. And Waldemar Kalinowski was the production designer, did a fantastic job in terms of the look of the town and all the set dressings, set decorations and texture of things. David Robinson, who did costumes, who also worked on Pollack with me, obviously did a ton of research himself. One of the things I do like about the film is it's very detailed. There's a lot to see in there. The more you watch it, the more you'll see how much attention was paid to detail actually in all aspects of the production.
© New Line Cinema/Warner Brothers.
For Jeremy Irons. Did you ever think growing up in England that you'd end up doing a Western? And what do westerns mean to you?

Well, I was, like many kids, brought up watching Westerns; Spaghetti Westerns, John Ford Westerns, John Wayne Westerns, and no I never thought that I'd be in one. I never thought I'd be in the movies. Life for me has been a constant surprise, day by day. One of the joys of this business is when I get surprised by requests. And when Ed asked me to do this, this was a very pleasurable surprise.

Renee, what was it about the project that got you interested?

It was the money. [laughs]

ZELLWEGER: [laughs] You're being modest. It required very little consideration. Ed called, working on little hints. It was exactly the kind of thing, as Jeremy said, that it was just such a nice surprise, exactly the sort of thing I was hoping for, a very raw and quiet experience. It was pretty intense and the environment was gorgeous and challenging. And because these guys worked so hard, the experience was very authentic. It wasn't hard to imagine being this women and living at that time. I mean, these guys are kind of fun sometimes. Especially when they're not riding around on horses and chaps. You know what I mean? [laughs] Chaps and hats...

What about your costumes?

My costumes are gorgeous. And it's too bad you that couldn't actually see the construction of these things because it was intricate. They were exquisitely done. Not something I throw on everyday for comfort or anything but boy were they gorgeous, really.
© New Line Cinema/Warner Brothers.
Viggo and Renee, could you talk about your characters? It does seem to be a love story between two men and a woman here in 19th century terms.

Ah, the "Jules et Jim" of the west or something. [laughs] I don't know, I was given the book by Ed early on before he had written the script, and I really enjoyed working with him on The History of Violence when I read this book. I think, like Ed, like most of us, when you read the script, you just find that it was really well written, especially for a western. Most Westerns - there's been a lot of them made, so a percentage of them from good to bad is pretty low. But I think most Westerns are pretty terrible as far as acting goes, and just art. If western movies could be said to be art.

This one was really well written. I liked the sparseness of it and how well written, the language that they use even though they can be pretty curt, pretty direct. There's a polite sensibility that's mostly gone, I think, that wasn't just in the upper class, but it was predominant Victorian kind of manners in the way that we address each other, even when the circumstances are brutal or very basic. And the relationship with Ed for me, with Virgil Cole, the character he plays, between him and Everett Hitch, my character, I like the fact and I understood that they had been friends so long and worked so well together that there's so much trust. I thought that the reason, as they sort of state in the movie, that they've been friends for so long and it's a successful law enforcement business, was because I mind my own business and he minds his business, and we allow each other to do that.

Dramatically it's really interesting what happens when their characters - when Jeremy's and Renee's, come into play. They have a different way of communicating. I think Bragg is trying to sort of get a handle in that really lovely scene where Jeremy and Ed are sitting cross from each other at a table in the bar, in the saloon, and there's this sort of little feeling out going on. And Brag's trying to figure out his way of speaking, communicating, and he doesn¹t really get very far in that scene (he laughs.) So he's got a lot left to figure out. And when Renee's character comes in, she's quite direct. That's why I was sort of like, "How can you say it's simplistic?" And are you talking generally about Westerns? Better talk about this Western. And it is a Western if you're wondering or thought if it wasn't.

I think she's very interesting and very mysterious. We don't really ever know how much to believe in. We don't know exactly - I'm not sure who Allison French is, still. She says she's something. Ed's character maybe knows a lot more. I mean, being the director he probably knows a lot more most of all. But I found her to be mysterious. And for a women, especially at that time, quite direct and quite determined and pretty brave coming out there on her own and then going after what she wants for whatever those reasons are. So I thought it was a very unusual character. It wasn't the archetype women, is either a whore or a loyal wife or something in a lot of westerns. She's very different. Likewise, I thought Katie, the prostitute played by Ariadna Gil, was very interesting. She's kind of like the conscience, the voice of the town in a way. She's the audience. She's in Appaloosa before any of us get there and she sees things coming. She doesn't seem to have a personal investment in what happens between Virgil and Ally like I do, obviously. It's just a fact that she sees this thing coming and she has a feeling about her character and sort of points it out. It's a small character, but it's an interesting women's character, as well. So I think they're interesting.
© New Line Cinema/Warner Brothers.
HARRIS: Well, Virgil's a pretty interesting fellow to me. You know, I think he really means it when he says that near the end he and Everett are walking and they know Bragg's in town and he's been given a pardon by Chester Arthur, and basically got this murderer in town but there's nothing we can do because he's a free man at the moment. And Everett's contemplating maybe what to do about the situation and talks about the fact that he never really believed in the law so much as being a law man wasn't the best way of being a gun man, that you get paid, you're doing some work that you enjoy and you're not digging the copper or mines or you're not in soldier uniform; basically says the law never really meant that much to him.

And Cole says, "Well, it means a hell of a lot to me. What am I if I don't believe it?" And I think Cole really sees himself as a lawman, as a man who upholds the law. Yes, he makes some of his own laws but there's still a moral code that he's driven by, that he tries to live by. I think that's the thing that gives him purpose in life; and that's the main thing. He really flips over this woman, I mean. The book itself is told from Hitch's point of view. Robert [Knott] and I really want to be kind of faithful to that, and the film is pretty much told from Hitch's point of view. You never see Cole and Ally alone together without Hitch seen. The only time you see Cole alone is one night when he's on the porch, you know, at night for about twenty seconds. Otherwise everything's taking place from where Hitch is witnessing, which...

And this is not really answering your question - but it leaves this relationship between Ally and Cole really up to the imagination. I mean, what do they do together? What do they like? The one thing that you don't see, you don't see them naked humping in bed together, and you don't see the fact that Cole's never been with a woman like this in his life. He talks about it. But you know, bottom line is there's a lot of reasons he doesn't want to let her go, and one of them is nobody's business, you know what I mean? But that's just the way the film's told.
© New Line Cinema/Warner Brothers.
Renee, Ed described your character as a complicated woman, and Viggo just said she's a woman of mystery. How did you see your character of Allison French?

That's the word that I would use. She was a complete mystery to me, even after having read the book, having no idea whether the conclusions that I drew about her were correct. I mean, it could have been anything. One of the first scenes we shot in the film is when Cole asks her if there's a Mr. French, and I went in that morning to shoot and put on that glorious striped gown and thought, "Well, is he?" And I've been asking myself that since we first met, when Ed had the dinner together talking about doing the project. I just wasn't sure of the conclusions. I may have my own story, my own idea what her background might have been. It has to be, in my estimation, pretty severe for her to end up at this place. Well she's got questionable moral guidelines I suppose, or parameters.

... and no money.

I wondered though, you know? I wondered about the dollar. I wondered, "I only have a dollar." All of it was a mystery to me and that was part of it what made it so interesting as well, because I kept waiting for things to reveal themselves as we moved along, and I've never had that experience before. It was really different. Even now you said I might know who I was. I don't think so [laughs], I think I might know the least. I just didn't know what would be most correct. You know, I just wasn't sure. I liked her that way. I couldn't judge her. I couldn't make out her circumstances.

Ed, could you talk about your long relationship with co-screenwriter Robert Knott, meeting him Oklahoma, and what led to your collaboration on this project?

Well, Robert, actually, we met not in Oklahoma. We're both - Robert's originally from Oklahoma, and my folks are. But we didn't really meet until I met Robert when he was helping to install an air conditioning unit on top of the theatre in East Hollywood back in 1990, I think.

KNOTT: Yeah, our theater.

HARRIS: But Robert has written a number of scripts that I have read, that I thought were really well written that hadn't been produced but I knew he was a good writer. I read this novel and I was still working on finishing up, I think, National Treasure or something, and I wanted to kind of get going on it. I talked to Parker, and Parker was really cool about it because he said, "Look you're going to want to write a script on this thing, go for it." He didn't ask us for any option money or anything. He just said, "We'll take care of that once you guys get the script written."

And I showed Bobby the book, I think. I know I did at some point. I said, "Read this thing, see what you think." And he really loved the story. And I said, "You want to write this together?" And he said, "Yeah." And Robert wrote the whole novel out in screenplay form, over two hundred and something pages... And starting January '06 we just went and worked on it. We'd just meet everyday and just start hammering away and realizing what we didn't need, inventing the things we did need, getting to know the characters, doing the research, thinking about aspects of it that were important, trying to whittle it down to the guts of the story and trying to be honest about it.

KNOTT: We had a good time reading the characters back and forth through the process, and what was not said and what was said.

Were there any Westerns in particular that inspired you during the writing, or for any of the characters, or as actors?

Not personally, not performance wise, but we - I watched a bunch of films. A lot of them I had seen before but sort of looked at in a different way. You know, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, High Noon, The Oxbow Incident, My Darling Clementine, you know, all kinds of stuff. Some of Clint's [Eastwood] stuff, The Wild Bunch, some John Ford and Howard Hawks and Anthony Mann. You know, I just really immersed myself in watching films, because one of my intentions was, as a director - was not only to try and be authentic to the period but to be authentic to the genre in terms of its classicism, you know what I mean?

I wasn't trying to modernize anything. I wasn't trying to film it in a way that would make it more exciting for anybody. I just was kind of -- shoot it, let it happen. Plus, I've only directed a couple of movies, so technically I'm not some guy who's going to go whizzing the camera all over the place. I didn't want to do a bunch of close-ups and bam, bam, bam and not know where I was. So we really wanted to shoot kind of wide, let the things take place but still get to know these characters as intimately as possible. It's kind of the way we wrote it, and how I always envisioned it and hopefully the way it turned out.
© New Line Cinema/Warner Brothers.
Did you draw upon any classic performances?

I didn't draw on any particular performances. As much as anything I looked at - I mean I've watched a lot of Westerns over the years and I enjoy them. I think I said earlier I think most of them are terrible, but the ones that are good are really good. High Noon is an interesting one. There's even a moment there, Gary Cooper puts his star down, but that's really because he's disgusted with the town, which I guess John Wayne saw that and got very upset. And likewise my character puts his star down, but that's about something else. That's about friendship, the choice, the sacrifices. It's entirely different. But there are some movies that are really good. You said Anthony Mann, Man of the West, that's an interesting movie with Gary Cooper when he's older. There's a lot of interesting - there are also newer ones like Missouri Breaks was interesting, you know.

HARRIS: One Eyed Jacks is really good film.

MORTENSEN: That's really entertaining. And even very recently there's one that turned out with really nice things about it, that's also - you'll like this one. At the heart of it there's a relationship between two men and then other characters enter into that relationship and that's what Kevin Costner and Robert Duvall played in Open Range. And like our movie, I think that as far as the gun fighting and the shooting, they handle that pretty well too in that it was kind of messy and direct and quick and it wasn't glamorizing the violence. It was just - this is what happens. We'll either live or we won't. This is how it goes.

And you don't always hit, and one of them shoots and all that kind of stuff. But I liked that, as Ed described it, that he was trying to respect the genre so that you do see these great landscapes and all of the design of the clothes and town. It's beautiful to see. And then the trick was for him to put it all together in the editing room so that it just wasn't a slow-paced movie, because that would be ponderous. It actually does have a lot of dramatic tension as you go along. But somehow he keeps up a leisurely pace, harking back to those great old movies.

HARRIS: Before the last question, I just wanted to say one of the reasons that the film was made was because Michael London and Groundswell, the executive producer, had the courage - his company put the money up to make it. We had a hard time to get this thing financed, and Michael's company doesn't make films of this caliber - uh, size...

MICHAEL LONDON: Caliber? [laughs]

HARRIS: [laughs] This size. And I just wanted to validate his presence here today.

Viggo, why do you think you fit in comfortably to these type of period or fantasy movies?

MORTENSEN: I think it's maybe whatever people see. When I started out in my career, I could never play a guy who was - quote, unquote - a bad guy or dangerous or something. But then once you do that once, if people go to see the movie then they want to put you in that. It's a business after all: "Okay, Ed can do that, we'll have him do that." And then the next one, kind of Ed might say, "No, I want to try something else." And as an actor you find a way to get lucky and get that role you might want. But people have seen me in these movies and they've done well and that's the reason, I suppose. I do enjoy period pieces, and I do think storytelling-wise they are food for thought, philosophy or whatever it is - morals.

A lot of times when you've set something in the past,­ recent or distant­ or another place in the world, or another place you're living in now, that you can learn about yourself now in a way that you don't - somebody just wrote it in your face. Well this is your life, cinema verity right now. Sometimes that works, but a lot of times, you can learn a lot and it's fun. Being outdoors, I like being outdoors. I mean, I think we had a lot of fun riding horses and I got to wear your dress [to Renee]. And Jeremy looked to me like he was enjoying playing this, to my way of looking at it, somewhat amoral, but very stylish, very smart guy. And he had like the most amazing suits. I think there's an element of childlike fun in it too, you know. It's a play. Most period pieces, you get out of your clothes and get to do a whole other thing with another world to live in. So that's part of the fun.

Ed, why did you choose Ariadna Gil for the role of Katie?

HARRIS: We met a lot of women for the part of Katie, and I wanted her to have a certain maturity. I don't know, man. I didn't meet her in person. She sent us a DVD of her reading some of the scenes. And what got me was when she smiles she gets this great smile and her eyes kind of like crinkle up and they just light up. And to me it was just - I just thought she was beautiful, and I thought she¹d be great. And she did a really super job. It's like an intuitive instinctive thing, they say, "This is the person." We probably met thirty-five women for this part.
© New Line Cinema/Warner Brothers.
Why did you choose Viggo for the role of your right-hand man?

I don't know, I just had to pick somebody. [laughs] We worked together...

MORTENSEN: Everybody else turned him down. [laughs]

HARRIS: We worked together on The History Of Violence and I really enjoyed working with him. Viggo, I not only have great respect for him as an actor, but as a human being. He's a really decent guy. He's great on the set, treats everybody really respectfully. I just thought he'd be perfect. These are two guys who had to communicate a lot about being who they were and the knowledge of each other without really talking about it. I mean, they talk about stuff, but they don¹t really talk about their inner feelings. They kind of do a little bit in this film but that's not where they live. I wanted the guy who I could ride next to on a horse for ten hours and never say a word and feel totally comfortable, and I figured he'd be the guy. He's the only man I wanted to play the role.

I don't know - if Viggo couldn't have done it, I don't know if I would have made the movie. We got the script written, I showed it to him and said, "Would you commit to doing this?" And he said, "Yes, I will." I said, "Yeah?" And he goes, "Yeah." Basically he gave me his word. He was extremely busy.

You know he's got a publishing company, he's doing other films. We had to push back the filming so we could try to accommodate and squeeze the time in. And it would have been a lot easier for him in his life not to have done this film. But he said he'd do it, and he did it. And he did a great job and I applaud him for that, as well as my other compatriots. These were the people I wanted to do this film. You know, Jeremy, Renee, it's like an intuitive thing. You feel like this is the person to do this. I don't want anybody else to do this part.

© 2008 The Deadbolt. Images © Warner Brothers.

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FIFTH Signed SKOVBO Auction Starts TOMORROW!

Categories: Friends on Board

It's Getting Down To The Wire: Don't Miss This Opportunity Of A Lifetime!


The auction for the next to last copy starts tomorrow. Support 1, 2, 3 ... Hi Baby! and snatch this priceless Viggo momento in the process!

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Roskilde Newsletter #3

Source: Roskilde Kunstforening
Categories: Gallery Shows
© 2005-2008 Roskilde Kunstforening/Chrissiejane.
September 12, 2008

Newsletter #3

Palæfløjen thank you for all your E-mails and proposals, but regret that we do not have the manpower to reply each and every one of them.

Therefore, we address your questions in this newsletter.

Lodgings: we still cannot help people find lodgings. Please refer to the Roskile tourist office at

Directions: how to get to Palæfløjen. Please access the tourist office homepage:åndværkere&UUID=1:67:91f7baf8ec2e3f5c0d6f2d&Act=1.
If the map does not appear, click on 'show map'.

Admission: admission is free and reservations are not necessary

Artwork: some of the artwork will be for sale. A special issue journal, which can be signed by Mr Mortensen, about the exhibition will be available for sale.

Photographing the exhibition: at this point we do not know if using cameras during the exhibition will be allowed. Information will follow.



Roskilde Kunstforening
Stændertorvet 3C
4000 Roskilde

© Roskilde Kunstforening.

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Last edited: 27 July 2014 10:57:01