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Sad News from Perceval Press

We at Viggo-Works feel this loss acutely as well.

Georg Guðni: 1.1.1961 - 18.6.2011

© Perceval Press.
Dear Georg,

I've just learned that you suddenly left us yesterday, as summer in the North was arriving in earnest. This news leaves me shocked and saddened, as it must your wife Sigrún, your children, the rest of your family, and your many friends and admirers in Iceland and around the world. You have inspired us with your painting, your clarity of thought, gentleness, steadfastness and good humour. Perhaps like many of those who know you, I selfishly grieve over losing the physical proximity of your unique personal qualities and way of living. As someone who admires your painting process and results, I selfishly resent being deprived of the work you leave unfinished, and the many fine pictures to follow. As time advances and settles these strong first reactions into good memories, I hope to be able to consistently follow your good example: to watch, listen, and feel fully through all the days and nights I'm fortunate to spend on this earth. Thank you for your life and your friendship.


Valley Song

Dandelions, a dazzling mass!
Dimpled berries in the meadow!
Ditches deep in cotton grass!
Dandelions, a golden mass!
In your midst I ache to pass
all my years of sun and shadow!
Dandelions, a dazzling mass!
Dimpled berries in the meadow!

Dashing waters, faithful friends,
foaming over stony ledges
deep in dark sequestered glens!
Dashing waters, ancient friends!
Gushing gulleys! elfin dens,
girt with rock along the edges!
Dashing waters, faithful friends,
foaming over stony ledges!

Cloudy river, brisk and bright,
brawling down from mountain passes,
currents crinkling in the light!
Cloudy river, green and bright!
Here contentment nears its height,
here among your flowers and grasses!
Cloudy river, brisk and bright,
brawling down from mountain passes!

Crested summits crowned with snow!
Cliffs that hug the mountain's shoulder!
Keep the country safe below,
crested summits white with snow,
guarding it from gales that blow
grimly as the year turns colder!
Crested summits crowned with snow!
Cliffs that hug the mountain's shoulder!

Summer valley, blissful, blest,
brimmed with sunlight now and ever,
slowly sweeping east to west!
Summer valley, gorgeous, blest!
Childhood's idyll, age's rest
after years of long endeavor!
Summer valley, blissful, blest,
brimmed with sunlight now and ever!


Fífilbrekka! gróin grund!
grösug hlíð með berjalautum!
flóatetur! fífusund!
fífilbrekka! smáragrund!
yður hjá ég alla stund
uni best í sæld og þrautum;
fífilbrekka! gróin grund!
grösug hlíð með berjalautum!

Gljúfrabúi, gamli foss!
gilið mitt í klettaþröngum!
góða skarð með grasahnoss!
gljúfrabúi, hvítur foss!
verið hefur vel með oss,
verða mun það enn þá löngum;
gljúfrabúi, gamli foss!
gilið mitt í klettaþröngum!

Bunulækur blár og tær!
bakkafögur á í hvammi!
sólarylur, blíður blær,
bunulækur fagurtær!
yndið vekja ykkur nær
allra best í dalnum frammi;
bunulækur blár og tær!
bakkafögur á í hvammi!

Hnjúkafjöllin himinblá!
hamragarðar! hvítir tindar!
heyjavöllin horfið á
hnjúkafjöllin hvít og blá!
skýlið öllu helg og há!
hlífið dal, er geysa vindar!
Hnjúkafjöllin himinblá!
hamragarðar! hvítir tindar!

Sæludalur! sveitin best!
sólin á þig geislum helli!
snemma risin seint þá sest;
sæludalur! prýðin best!
þín er grundin gæðaflest,
gleðin æsku, hvíldin elli!
Sæludalur! sveitin best!
sólin á þig geislum helli!

--Jónas Hallgrímsson, 1844
(English translation by Dick Ringler, 2002)

© Perceval Press.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Books, books, books. Viggo's personal and professional life is just full of them. He writes prose and poetry, runs a publishing company, and has appeared in 5 book adaptions. He was praised for his 'bookish' portrayal of Halder in Good by several critics, amongst suggestions that he was playing against type, but Viggo is bookish. The range of material he reads for each role is quite astonishing, sometimes even proving crucial for a production. His research is a school he will never stop attending. Not content to just read books he also has the urge to create them, not just for himself but for others who would never otherwise be published. If we ever needed a fitting symbol for the shield of this modern Sir Perceval, it would be an open book.

'Viggo himself is a man possessed of both great creative integrity and strong, lucid political conviction. That he has used the fruits of his success as an actor to found Perceval is an extremely rare sort of endeavor but absolutely true to the man himself. There's a paradoxical quality to Viggo - he's a fiercely individual entity with an enviable creative output, but he simultaneously possesses a strong sense of community responsibility. I think Perceval is just one manifestation of that drive to illuminate work by others that might go unnoticed. It's a very, very positive quality, in my opinion.'

David Newsom, Author of "Skip'
Mark Thwaite, March 10 2006

"We take care with each book," he says, slouched against a doorway and looking down. "We try to keep the prices low. We're not operating with a goal in mind. We're not beholden to other people or to large companies. We don't have a plan. We just put out the books we want to. It's a kind of," he pauses searching for the word, "thoughtful anarchy."

Viggo Mortensen on Perceval Press
Little Press Shines With Star Power
Susan Salter Reynolds
Los Angeles Times, 2004

He's a very cerebral man. He turned up with these beautiful old antique books from the time, like Baudelaire, and things that his character would have had. He had a bag of goodies that he brought with him and a hat, a tie and a shoulder holster. I thought, 'this guy is f**king cool.' I was quite intimidated.

Sam Riley talking about The Road
Sullivan on Cinema: Sam Riley
By Chris Sullivan
9 June 2011

After the movie [The Road], Viggo came back up on the stage and answered a few questions. When put on the spot to add on a final word he thought for a second then dug into his bag and brought out his personal copy of THE ROAD. There were what looked like a hundred stick-it notes marking different pages and the spine was cracked and worn. It's obviously seen a lot of use.

To close the event he read a bit from McCarthy's description of the sea-area landscape. That was pretty cool...

Quint at the Telluride Viggo Mortensen tribute
Ain't it Cool News
8 September 2008

"...the book was my constant companion. It's pretty well-worn. The interior life of the characters are so beautifully written, so poetic that it was what I kept going back to."

After "The Road" Viggo Mortensen Looks on the Bright Side: "You Could Always Be Dead"
By Jeffrey Podolsky
Wall Street Journal
17 November 2009

"I read and re-read lots of German authors that someone would have read at the time. Not just German writers, but authors who a literary professor like John Halder might have taught at the time: Proust, Hamsun, American writers. In the movie, you see him in the classroom teaching Proust. I also spent time in Berlin, where I found all the books that you see in John Halder's house and office."

Viggo Mortensen talking about Good
Play It As It Lays
By Philip Berk
April 2009

"Viggo sent me books on Russian criminal tattoos which were filled with not just photos and diagrams but also texts about the meanings of tattoos. He also sent me The Mark of Cain. There's this whole hidden world of symbolism that is immediately fascinating......Tattoos suddenly became an intense metaphor and symbol in the movie."

David Cronenberg
Eastern Promises Production Notes
20 August 2007
Source: Focus Features

"I had seen photos in books in Russia on wrestling, such as the practices of the military. I learned those techniques for defence and attack. My partners knew them too: One was a Georgian who was in the army, the other a former Turkish boxer. In this way we could film the scene without doubles. It's because of that it is made so realistic. Nobody ever let their guard down!"

Viggo Mortensen on the fight scene in Eastern Promises
Viggo Mortensen the Insatiable
Studio Magazine
By Sophie Benamon
November 2007

"You have to take into account,' he says, 'that Viggo is a cultured man and he finds out about the places he is going to shoot. In the case of León I know he has read a large number of books about that ancient realm, he knows its poets, writers, painters, its history and geography, and anything that refers to that land is followed with attention and kept.'

José Luis Pérez on Viggo's interest in León
Reunion with Alatriste in Uclés
Diario de León, by Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno - translated by Paddy
26 June 2005

He was the one who read the most about the Golden Century's history. He sent books and CDs for all his casting colleagues to savour that time - "not to seduce or control what the others did, but to share what I had found out," Mortensen informs.

Viggo Mortensen
The Court of Alatriste
By Rocío García, El País Semanal, 6 August 2006
Translated for V-W by Paddy

We knew we were blessed in having Viggo - who is part-Danish descent - step into the role of Aragorn when he arrived carrying a copy of the Volsunga Saga that he had taken from his bookshelf!

Philippa Boyens
The Making of the Movie Trilogy

He hadn't read 'Lord of the Rings' at all when he came to the project. By the end of it all I think Viggo knew more about Tolkien and his context than anybody else on the whole production. He read absolutely everything there was - every critical book there was to lay hands on. He doesn't do things by halves!

Jude Fisher
Q&A at The Making of Middle-earth Book Signing
The Science Museum, London
November 8, 2003
Published with permission from Ian Smith

'... it was I who suggested to Ridley Scott the use of a poem by D.H. Lawrence for the introduction scene in "GI Jane'. This reference gave my military character another dimension. It made him a lot more original, it was also my way of making him less misogynist! And the book which I give to Demi Moore, in which there is that poem, it was mine, all battered, really old ...'

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen: The Soul of a Warrior
by Juliette Michaud
Studio Magazine
December 2002

Urgayle is an intriguing character, played by Mortensen to suggest depths and complications. In an early scene he is discovered reading a novel by J.M. Coetzee, the dissident South African who is not on the Navy's recommended reading list...

Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
August 22, 1997

A movie star who backpacks in remote, unlovely places. A beautiful man who will sleep in the dirt on a mountain in New Zealand. A rich guy who uses his money to publish books that will never sell because they are lovely.

If you could design the perfect man, Mortensen might just be close to it.

Viggo at the Rome Film Festival
Mr Good Bard
Sydney Morning Herald
28 February 2009

There can be millions of identical copies of any book, and yet the copy you hold and read is your personal doorway.

Viggo Mortensen
The Making of the Movie Trilogy

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

© Images © Good Films. Image Larry Horricks.

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David Cronenberg's 'A Dangerous Method' Acquired by Sony Pictures Classics

Source: THR.
Found By: Dom

Many thanks to Dom for bringing us the news of confirmation of a US distributor.
© Hanway/Lago.

Film stars Michael Fassbender and Viggo Mortensen as Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud.

Sony Pictures Classics has acquired the U.S. rights to David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method, which stars Michael Fassbender as the psychiatric pioneer Carl Jung and Viggo Mortensen as his rival Sigmund Freud.

SPC picked up the rights to the film, which is produced by Jeremy Thomas, from the U.K.-based Hanway Films.

In the movie, Jung takes on a difficult patient, played by Keira Knightly. Christopher Hampton's screenplay is an adaptation of his own play.

SPC released Cronenberg's Spider in 2002 and has handled several of Thomas' previous productions such as Brother and Young Adam.

"David Cronenberg and Jeremy Thomas have made a film that not only has an impeccable cast and crew working at the height of their talents but tells one of the most fascinating love triangles of the twentieth century," SPC said in a statement.

© 2011 The Hollywood Reporter. Images © Hanway/Lago.

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Viggo Reads T.S. Eliot &
Found By: Chrissie
Categories: Viggo News

Faber launches The Waste Land app

Thank you Chrissie for bringing this to our attention. This app is a lovely breakthrough for the poetry community and lovers alike. What a wonderful way to experience the craft.
Faber takes TS Eliot into the 21st century today, with the launch, in association with Touch Press, of an iPad app of The Waste Land that includes a video performance of the poem, notes, commentary and readings from Viggo Mortensen, Ted Hughes, and Eliot himself.

* A powerful filmed performance of the entire poem by Fiona Shaw, synchronized to the text.
* Complete audio readings of the poem, also synchronized to the text, by T. S. Eliot himself, Alec Guinness, Ted Hughes, and Viggo Mortensen.
* Comprehensive interactive notes to guide the user through the poem's many references.
* Over 35 expert video perspectives on the poem, filmed in partnership with BBC Arena, including contributions from Seamus Heaney and Jeanette Winterson.
* Original manuscript pages revealing how the poem took shape under Ezra Pound's editing.
* An overview tool to reveal the complete structure of the verse and allow rapid navigation.

For more information...

To learn more about Faber's product visit the article with video at Guardian HERE.

A nice press release can be found at PRWeb HERE.


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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

A lucky costumier purchased Viggo's Hidalgo costume this week, and it reminded me that the clothes Viggo wears in his films almost evolve a personality of their own. The right costume is one of the most crucial elements in helping an actor fully become a character. They have to become part of that character and also a comfortable part of the actor. They have to transcend being 'costumes' and become everyday clothes. With Viggo, there is a long process of wearing them in and, more often than not, putting his own stamp on them. Something will be added, some little detail springing from the insights into a character that only an actor fully engaged in the transformation process would have.

'You can show up the first day and say "Hi, everybody, where's my clothes?" and put your clothes on and just start. It's certainly possible. But I find that if there's time to break them in and make them comfortable, make them second nature... You know, if you see a cowboy in a movie and he puts his feet up and the soles of his boots look brand-new, it's possible that he's just gotten them re-soled. But still, it's a detail, visually, that you would notice. Likewise, you would notice that they're broken in. But more than anything, it's just to get comfortable and get a jump on the character.'

Viggo Mortensen
By Tasha Robinson
The Onion
10 March 2004

...for the first few days of the shoot, he slept in his clothes to stay in role. He paid attention to every detail. If his shoes weren't wet enough, he would spray himself. He was totally absorbed and obsessed with the part. He became The Man."

Steve Schwartz. (Producer)
Interview with Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Contender
3 September 2009

In the book he says: 'I'd been in West Point, like my father, but I found it boring'. While the hairstyle, gun, saddlebag, riding positions are based on the photos of that period; it was me who added the dandy touches to him; the gilet, the Victorian manners, formalistic as well as brutal, he can't erase them.

Viggo Mortensen
Appaloosa - 5 Questions For Viggo Mortensen
By Antonella Catena - translated by Ewa
16 January 2009

"As Nikolai - Viggo Mortensen needed to be intimidating, yet there was a limitation because technically he is a chauffeur for the family. So the trick was to dress him in a suit and tie - dress shirt, coat and gloves - and smart sunglasses, all of which had convey that there is more to him. He would just absorb the character when he put the clothes on - even the shoes helped him get into it."

Denise Cronenberg, Costume Designer
Eastern Promises Production Notes
Focus Features
20 August 2007

"...she came up with the clothes and we just sort of fine tuned and picked particular kinds of shoes and suits. And it was - the outward - you know, the presentation outwardly of a character is obviously very important, especially because so much is concealed within. And the hair, the squareness and the certain rigidity and streamline look to the hair, the clothes, sunglasses, the watch, the - you know, all went with the posture and the behavior. It was all of a piece, but it was done in complete collaboration which I really enjoy."

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen Talks Eastern Promises
By Andre Rivas
December 24, 2007

MP: Did putting on that [Nazi] uniform have any effect on you? Was it more than just a costume?

MORTENSEN: It ended up being, yeah; in a way that I didn't expect. It just kind of snuck up on me because I'd been trying on all the other ones when we had the fitting, and then I put it on and I said, "Oh the boots are - I guess they fit. They're all right." Then the pants. It's, like, "I don't know. Is this the way they're supposed to fit?" "Yeah. It looks right." "What about the jacket? It feels strange around the shoulders." "No, it looks good. Can you lift your arms? Yeah. It's fine." "Really? "Cause it feels funny. The hat feels like it's too small." "No it's not."

And I'm not like a fussy person; really, I want it to work. To all eyes it was perfect as it should be, but there was something about each piece of clothing I put on that seemed - it didn't fit right or something...I've learned over the years that when there's something that's not working, whether it's a scene in general or text, sometimes, you do have to rewrite something or change the way of doing a scene, but it's always worth trying at least once to befriend it instead of fighting what doesn't work. So I thought, "OK, what can be good about this?

Well, maybe it's OK to feel uncomfortable wearing this uniform. Just trust that.

Viggo talking about Good
Viggo Mortensen - For The Good Of The People
By Elliot V Kotek
Moving Pictures, Winter 08-09

The thing is that Viggo looks very uncomfortable in it, which means Halder looks very uncomfortable in it, and isn't that kind of the point?

Good - The Costume Review
By Kristin M Burke
5 January 2009

How did you approach your characters and which aspects did you identify with?

I had lots of things in mind, but there are some that you can't be aware of, things that come to you or that you have inside and it's a question of finding them. Among the superficial things, the writings, the paintings, the geographical locations, the language as it is spoken in certain parts of Spain. And the practice of moving in those boots with heels, that hat, that cape, the weapons (the sword hanging from the belt), spinning around, walking, running, jumping. That is to say, a bunch of things to find a way to seem like a natural person who's comfortable with those things, and that way of speaking, of walking and all of that.

Alatriste Carries A Load: Three Million Readers
By Oscar Ranzani - translated by Remolina, Ollie, Rio, Sage and Zooey
Pagina 12 (Argentina)
31 March 2007

What was the physical training like for this role?

I worked not only for the swords, including the "vizcaína", but also to get used to the character. I went to the sword fighting rehearsals with those boots, the hat, the cape, to get used to handling the cape, to swirl it around, just like the "gauchos", that's where it comes from.

Viggo Mortensen ZonaCinemania Interview
By - transcribed/translated by Graciela
29 March 2007

'On the reservation, I rode with some Lakota people, and there was this amazing stallion that was the father of most of the horses we were riding that day. He was quite old and he had a heart attack; he just fell down and died. And they had a ceremony. They cried and sang and made a prayer and made tobacco offerings, and eventually, they got the horse home and buried it on this hill. Then we sat out that night and made a fire. It was summer, so we were outside, and they just told stories - as though it was a human that had died in the family - about this horse. Odd things that had happened to him, funny things, sort of like a wake, where they could unburden themselves. It was really beautiful. I was given a hank of hair from his tail, and I used that to make the hatbands for my hats in Hidalgo braid for each hat. You know, I had double hats, in case one got messed up. And usually people don't think about this, but you're in different terrain, and the dust is different colors, so I had different hats for different periods, as the hat got more worn out through the story. So I had to make more than one braid, because we jumped back and forth throughout the sequences. They made these really nice hats, and I broke them each in and made a headband for each one. That makes you feel more involved. Until you start shooting, and you get your feet wet, it's just a way to get into it, and to connect with a role. And it's something that a guy like that might have made.'

Viggo Mortensen talking about Hidalgo
By Tasha Robinson
The Onion
10 March 2004

Viggo paced up and down and said, "Do you think we could just put a few more ties on these boots?" And in that moment - I had known the first time he put that costume on that it was ten times better on him and that was actually to do with the amount of - just Viggo's experience and age and life. He imbued that costume with its own life. The terrifying thing for me was that I might have an actor who simply wanted to get rid of it, but he did not do that.

He just wanted to add to it. I was in love with Viggo from the beginning. (laughs)

Ngila Dickson on Viggo trying on the Aragorn costume
Lord of the Rings Interview

You got so close to Aragorn's character that even when you were not filming, you wore parts of your costume...

That's how I work. I always wear an accessory of my character during filming. On Hidalgo, for instance, I never took off my character's boots. On Lord of the Rings, it was even more important, because having arrived after they had started filming, I needed to become Aragorn immediately, to wear the costume as naturally as my own face. So it's true, I wore some of his clothes all of the time, and also I often carried my sword around between takes. But Peter Jackson encouraged us all to immerse ourselves in the film to make this epic as real as possible.

Viggo Mortensen: The Soul of a Warrior
By Juliette Michaud
Studio Magazine
December 2002

Who knows, perhaps it was because [Viggo] washed and repaired Aragorn's clothes himself that he so perfectly came to inhabit them-to a point, indeed, where the costume seemed almost to blend with his body. [pause] You know, I really do think that particular costume is incredibly beautiful. It seems funny, perhaps, to talk about something that is so worn and broken down, so darned and patched, as being beautiful-but it is to me.

Ngila Dickson
The Making of the Movie Trilogy

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

© Images © 20th Century Fox Espana/New Line/Touchstone/Buena Vista Pictures/Focus Features.

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Last edited: 13 October 2017 09:17:48