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'The Road' Premieres at Festivals in September!

Found By: Sally and Chrissiejane
Categories: Movie Promotions

Thanks to Sally and Chrissiejane for the heads up from both the Venice International Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival.

Sept 3 - World Premiere of The Road at Venice

Sept 13 - North American premiere of The Road at TIFF

Still waiting on the dates and times from Telluride. Viggo is there Sep 6-7.

© TIFF & VIFF. Images © Dimension Films.

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"I'll never make money from the publishing house."


Thanks once again to Zooey and Sage for bringing us this translation of the Diario Perfil interview.
By Sonia Budassi

"Before starting to be an actor, I was already a writer," Viggo Mortensen says now. His publishing house, Perceval Press, just published the Anthology of New Argentine Poetry - a selection by Gustavo López, founder of Proyecto Vox - which includes 22 poets from the so-called " 90's Generation" like Fabián Casas, Damián Ríos, Marina Mariasch, Mario Artecca and Martín Prieto, among others. The print run of two thousand copies is something unusual for its kind in our country. Perceval's catalog - containing more than 30 titles - includes art, photography and painting books, disciplines which the founder is excited about. His fame is a plus, he says, because it draws attention and attracts more readers. "Although I'd been acting for 15 years, it was through Lord of the Rings that people got to know me, but I wrote and read poetry in the 80's."

Why start a publishing house?

"I had a book published in '92 or '93. After that, they published two catalogs for two exhibitions of my painting and photography and poetry in English and Spanish. And there I learned a lot, accompanying those responsible for the printing, for example. As a photographer, (the cover image of this new book is his) I was very concerned that the reproductions were good, and I thought, 'I like books, I like to read, I like to meet new writers, new artists.' And right before the opening of the second Lord of the Rings film, I thought that I could use the recognition to launch a small publishing company. I wanted to publish the artists I know that had not been published or perhaps they were published in a way they didn't like. Since people knew me, I published two books of my own the first year along with other books by people that were not known."

What is the structure of your publishing house and your work?

"Each book is done the way the artists want. I give my opinion as publisher, but nothing is done to a book that they don't like. I work with my brother and at times with my son; when I am not there, because of my travels, they are in charge. We sell in bookstores and on the internet."

What determines your print run?

"It depends on the book. Once we printed 5,000, but in general we print 1,000, from time to time 500. Poetry maybe a little more than here. If it is one my books, I know that people will buy it so I can feel free to print 2,000 and reprint, because they sell."

With the scale of your publishing house, what does it take for a book to be a commercial success?

"We have to sell everything. The design and the paper is very nice; we don't make cheap stuff and we have to recoup the costs. So the contracts are quite open. If we cover our costs, of the money that comes in, which is usually scarce, half is for the author. I know that the publishing house is something from which I'm never going to earn real money. My books help to call attention to the others and to economically balance the issue a bit economically. I like to do it. The authors tell me if they have an idea, a preface, an image and I might suggest, for example, a person who specializes in whatever the author is writing about. But I make the decision with them."

What do you say differs from the structure of most publishing groups. What difficulties does an independent publisher face in the United States?

"There are publishing houses that begin like ours, and, if their first years are successful, normally a bigger company buys them and makes them into one more of their brands, one of their prestige imprints. This is a good way to make money, but they also say to you, 'not this author, we want to publish someone who sells.' They are going to set limits, and I don't like that. I'm happy with what we do; if they were to get others to tell us how we have to design or what to publish, that would ruin it. It's possible that this book will sell well: I already said to Gustavo López that obviously it doesn't include all of the poets of the 90's, so it might be good to do another volume with the poetry of this generation."

How did you arrive at this project?

"Via Kevin Power, an Englishman who travels to Argentina a lot. Those who were going to publish it couldn't do it. I was interested in learning; which happens when you read these poems over and over. And it seems okay to me to take advantage of the fact that people know me to attract more poetry readers."

Is there an editor that has turned out to be an inspiration for your work, any role model that you could mention?

"No, I could have tried to sound very intelligent and name a lot of them, but the truth is, no. (laughs) We don't have a fixed idea of what we are going to do in three years, but we do have the next two years covered. The problem is, when I talk about the publishing house a bunch of stuff shows up afterward. And since we have so much to do and we go so slowly... We are not asking for submissions."


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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

In her article 'Sympathy for the Devil' (The Observer 2009) Chrissy Iley remarks that she's fascinated by the way Viggo 'does ambiguity'. She is talking about his performance in Good but this holds true for almost all his roles because I think this is exactly why Viggo is such a mesmerising actor. Whatever appears to be on the surface we know there are other things going on underneath. With Cronenberg characters this comes very much to the fore with complex men who are not at all what they seem. In fact Viggo has a long list of such characters - Nick in American Yakuza, David Shaw in A Perfect Murder, con man Johnny Faro, and Frank Hopkins fooling himself into believing that he isn't really Blue Child. Even Aragorn isn't just a Ranger and has lived longer in disguise than Tom Stall. Then there is the way Viggo can balance the 'cruel and the gentle' within the range of one character... he is indeed an actor who can 'embrace extremes of danger and empathy' being 'equal parts Marlboro Man and Terminator...'

One of the things that has always fascinated me about Viggo Mortensen is the way he does ambiguity. The way he can look cruel and gentle at the same time. The way he can embrace extremes of danger and empathy. In Good his ambiguity excels itself. He's a Nazi you can't hate because you understand him. You warm to him, even. He's vulnerable, he's vain. He has been gradually seduced into the Nazi movement. He couldn't help himself.

Sympathy for the devil
By Chrissy Iley
The Observer
19 April 2009

You seem to enjoy ambiguous characters...

For me every character is ambiguous, I don't like flat characters or those that don't appeal to me. In fact, every time I'm given a character who is very good and very calm and very kind, I begin to think what could be wrong with that guy, what terrible things will he have done and what his negative side will be.

"Violence is not an American patrimony"
By Toni García - translated by Paddy
21 October 2005

The film [A History of Violence] is too good to reduce it into terms of mere violence. It speaks about the human condition and how ambiguous we are. I agree with David on this: human beings are complicated. A man can be the most violent person in the world and yet still on occasions act with compassion and in a caring manner.

The Terrible Lure of Violence
By Daniel Ferullo - translated by Margarita
El Siglo de Tucumán
8 January 2006

" a politically incorrect hero, a murderer, a mercenary, and I was afraid that, in the film, he would lose his harshness and would be more tolerable, but fortunately both Agustín and Viggo crossed that boundary and kept a dark and ambiguous hero, giving him that dark and terribly tragic look. Viggo has made the character human, and even more Spanish".

Pérez-Reverte: "I have no doubt about Alatriste being from León"
By Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno
Diario de Leon
30 August 2006

Viggo Mortensen's turn as a milquetoast professor made into an unlikely Nazi official is pretty striking....Mortensen, often cast as tough men of action and boundless rectitude, persuades us here that his John Halder has the skills to present to the world and himself a façade of decency over the spine of a jellyfish. It's a very skillful, commendably self-effacing performance.

'Good' review
Abbie Bernstein
If Magazine
31 December 2008

He's the ideal Cronenberg anti-hero: gentle and macho at the same time, as charismatic as Steve McQueen and as beautiful as a saint in a master painting.

Dana Stevens
13 Sept 2007

In "A History of Violence," Mr. Mortensen seamlessly impersonated an ordinary, decent small-town guy who was also a cold, professional killer. Nikolai is a similarly ambiguous -- or perhaps divided -- character. He is all hard, tense muscle, and yet an almost subliminal hint of compassion occasionally shines through his icy, impassive face.

A. O. Scott
New York Times
14 Sept 2007

For Tom Stall, the loving and gentle father and family man in A History of Violence, who has renounced or repressed his past as a murderer, Cronenberg wanted an ambiguous actor with an edge.

'Viggo has charisma. Not only that - he knows how to be subtle, imperceptible. In a look, a gesture, he reveals a whole other personality of Tom's.'

Viggo Mortensen - The Lord Touches All
By François-Guillaume Lorrain - translated by Margarita
Le Point
27 October 2005

Viggo Mortensen succeeds in presenting this human schizophrenic with those innocent blue eyes that can equally hide infinite cruelty.

'A History of Violence' review
Cronenberg's Violence
GLZonline Cannes Review, by Gidi Orsher
translated by Natica
May 2005

Appearances are deceptive, indeed. What's more, Mortensen skillfully injects that deception into his chameleon performance. His features themselves seem to evolve, soft at first and then growing hard, progressing (regressing) from cherubic choirboy to flinty-eyed thug and back again.

'A History of Violence' review
Rick Groen
The Globe and Mail
23 September 2005

...Viggo Mortensen plays a small-town American paterfamilias, equal parts Marlboro Man and Terminator...

'A History of Violence' review
A Nice Place to Film, but Heavens, Not to Live
Manohla Dargis
New York Times, 11Sept 2005

Even before Tom proves himself a capable man when danger lurks, there's something about Mortensen -- or is it something he does as an actor? -- that makes the audience think, "No. There has to be more to this guy."

'A History of Violence' review
Mick LaSalle,
San Francisco Chronicle
23 September 2005

Mortensen is absolutely brilliant: stoic and sarcastic and threatening and, at moments, curiously soft.

'Eastern Promises' Review
Shawn Levy
The Oregonian
21 Sept 2007

Mortensen shows himself more comfortable with darkness and ambivalence than he ever was with the gaudy heroism required of a king in Middle Earth. His Nikolai is an enigma, an evidently decent man surrounded by, and comfortable amidst, heinous evil, one whose motives, at least initially, are unclear.

'Eastern Promises' review
Christopher Orr
TNR Online
15 Sept 2007

'I like to get to know the characters and I have never played a character, no matter how hideous his actions were, that I didn't really like the person I was playing somehow or feel a bond with this character in a sense.'

Viggo Mortensen
The Fire That Fuels an Artist's Heart
by Carnell
Carpe Noctem magazine #15, 1999

You will find all previous Quotables here on our Webpages.

© Iolanthe/ Images © New Line Productions Inc. Image Takashi Seida.

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UPDATE: Viggo Gets Busy In September!

Source: Viggo-Works
Categories: Movie Promotions
© Dimension Films.
We have an update on Viggo's busy September schedule. We are now able to confirm the TIFF dates for you.

We can confirm that Viggo will be...

In Venice on September 3-4
In Telluride on September 6-7
In Toronto on September 12-14

We are still awaiting dates for London.

Stay tuned!

© Images © Dimension Films.

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TRANSLATION: Pagina 12 Article

Source: Pagina 12
Once again we give mega thanks to Zooey and Sage (and Graciela for her input) for their translation of the recent Pagina 12 article.

"I feel honored to be able to give a hand to poets"

"De todos los equipos del mundo, San Lorenzo es el....
© Daniel Dabove.
The actor's phrase is only one of the coincidences between the writer and poet. Beyond football, they both talk here of their other passions - the structure of poetry and the significance of phrases like "I don't study to know more but to ignore less."

The cuervo that is smoking and waiting for his buddy to arrive, a guy from the Boedo neighborhood that he feels like he's known all his life, wears a San Lorenzo shirt like it's tattooed on his skin. The afternoon moves on, distracted and capricious on Paraná Street; people walk by dragging a thick web of desires and annoyances that dog each step. This cuervo that exhales cigarette smoke, tracing a blue and red circle that starts from his feet, is Viggo Mortensen, the seductive Aragorn of the Lord of the Rings, David Cronenberg's fetish actor, fanatic supporter of the Cyclone, who could not win the Oscar for his interpretation in Eastern Promises, and display the San Lorenzo flag on the stage of the Kodak Theatre, as he had planned. The defeat at the hands of the suspiciously "quemero" [Translator's note: fan of Huracan, a rival of San Lorenzo] Daniel Day Lewis did not phase Viggo, who was pleased to showcase the cloth of the club whose fanatic fan he became during his childhood in Argentina on the then pregnant Cate Blanchett at the event after the presentation of the award. Although the core of Viggo is acting, he expresses himself in multiple directions: he writes poetry, takes photos, composes music. Ever since the publishing house Perceval Press was founded in 2002, it's been a small independent U.S. publisher specializing in art criticism, photography and poetry. Fortunately, fate and a cultural agitator with a superhero name, Kevin Power, got the wheel of fate headed toward a handful of Argentine poets called "The 90's Generation" who have just been published in the Anthology of New Argentine Poetry with the selection and prologue by Gustavo López. The book, with a beautiful hardcover binding illustrated with one of Mortensen's own photos, includes poems of Fabián Casas, Washington Cucurto, Martín Gambarotta, Juan Desiderio, Fernanda Laguna, Sergio Raimondi, Martín Prieto, María Medrano, Daniel García Helder, Laura Wittner, Santiago Llach, Gabriela Bejerman, Roberta Iannamico, Francisco Garamona and Damián Ríos among others of the twenty-two authors included.

When Casas arrives, the Cuervos come together in a hug in the conviction that distance is an imaginary barrier that they manage to overcome as they compose and edit coded memories about San Lorenzo. "I knew him because I saw him in a movie; he was in the Lord of the Rings," jokes the author of The Salmon and the Spleen of Boedo. Viggo's loud laughter produces an intermittent vibration of grace and charm; his Buenos Aires accent sometimes seems as if the hands of his internal language clock stopped in his childhood in this country, at the end of the 60's. From his magic bag, the actor pulls T-shirts with different motifs that were designed by him especially for the centenary of El Ciclón, which he gives to Casas. At the beginning of last month, the actor was in the country to finalize the details of the anthology's presentation. "Gustavo López called me and said, "Come here because I'm with Viggo" the poet remembers. Like two wise guys from the Boedo barrio, they talked about San Lorenzo all night. The actor spun out old anecdotes. He told how after a match, he had been corraled by rival fans, who on having recognized him, started throwing all kinds of projectiles. Casas, an expert at wise cracks, said to him, "You turned into the lord of the bricks!"

Even the early spring wind seems to stop to listen to the tales told by the Viggo-Casas duo for Pagina 12 near one of the offices of the Spanish Cultural Center. "That night he went walking with me to my house along the 9 de Julio Avenue. Do you remember the guy who was walking with his girlfriend and said, "I can't believe it, it's Aragorn!"?

"Yes, but he was an Independiente fan," Viggo said, laughing and giving the guy a thumbs down.

"I liked both of the films Viggo made with Cronenberg," Casas said. "They look like a diptych, a portrait of two personalities like identical twins. I asked him to tell me what it was like to do the naked scene in the Turkish bath (in Eastern Promises) where they were beating him up. He told me that they filmed it in two days, but he asked me: 'Did you see the crow I had tattooed?'" Viggo shows the little smile of someone who has an ace up his sleeve. "There is a Russian myth about the crow and it was good for the film if I had it tattooed. There is an old Russian poem, which is like a song, that says: 'I'm not ready, let the raven wait.' Or, 'I am not ready to die,'" clarified the actor, renamed "Guido Mortensen" by Bambino Veira.

What are the first images linked to San Lorenzo that you remember?

V. M.: Casas always went to the stadium, but as a child I had the picture cards and the radio because in the eight years I lived here, I did not go to the games. My first memory is of Loco Doval, Bambino Veira, the "carasucias,"; they were tough and played well, in '65 and '66. And later in '68 the legendary "matadores." I did not go to the stadium until 2003, when we played against River and we lost 2 to 1. I left Argentina when I was eleven, in '69, and there was no cable TV, no Internet, nothing. I was in the northern United States with my picture cards, my little t-shirt, my flag, and nothing else. I came back in 1995; twenty five years had passed, and I was clueless. Just when I came back, San Lorenzo was champion.

F. C.: I have an almost indelible recollection of lying on a bare mattress, looking at the final between River and San Lorenzo in '72, which we won with a goal by Lele Figueroa. My dad was in the stadium and I was on this mattress.... It's my first memory of paying attention to a match and being nervous. Then my dad came home, hoarse, and the house was in a party mood. The first time I was in the Gasómetro was like the first time my dad took me to the sea. I used to see the games in black and white, and when I went to the stadium, the colors appeared, the blue sky and this jersey, which is the most beautiful in the world, without a doubt, the green lawn... it had the same impact on me as my first sight of the sea.

Navigating a sea of sensations that fails before any attempt to line them up chronologically, the name of an idol crosses the minds of both of them. "For me, Bergessio is God, after what he did against River that night in May (last year, when San Lorenzo tied two to two and eliminated River from the Libertadores Cup), I cried without stopping; I even lost my ID", admits Casas. "I saw it in a bar in Los Angeles and I was with my son and my brother. It was a River bar, but I didn't care. I shouted out the goals and started dancing. It was incredible, a great feat," the actor recognizes. "A producer that was showing me some scripts asked me, 'What would you most like to do in your life?' Well, since I have a Danish passport, play against Argentina and make three goals against Riquelme. 'Who is Riquelme?' he asked me."

This good-looking, crazy dude is a mestizo with the combination of a North American mother, a Danish father and a childhood in Chaco, Buenos Aires and Córdoba, the places where he went with his family in Argentina. His father, who grew up in rural areas, farmed wherever he could find a little work. When he was six or seven years old, Viggo began to write the first "short little stories" in order to deal with those difficult moments in which Chaco's geography presented itself as an extreme threat.

How would you summarize your relationship with your writing, the languages in which you write, and editing?

V. M.: The things that happened to me when I was a child left a deep impression on me. Lately I write more in Spanish, but also in English. Sometimes I write something in Danish. The books we publish are very well designed; they are by emerging artists or little known ones, and since we are not a big company, we lose money. Every now and then, I publish one of my own photography books and I include a poem or two because I know very well that these books sell because I am a movie actor. It helps me recover the money, but it also helps people remember about Perceval, check our webpage, and see what we publish. Now I am involved in a book in Spanish and I am also doing the translations into English so that it will be bilingual. I am taking my time. I don't know if it will come out in summer or winter, but it is called Songs of Winter. It's always winter somewhere (laughter). Since I'm used to it, I write faster in English; in Spanish I am slower because I left knowing the slang of the late 60's and when I returned in '95, I found other words in use. Speaking so much English or Danish, sometimes I write in a strange way; there are things that are very personal, very much mine, and others that seem to me unique until later I realize that here they are said every day. I like to whittle at the poems, work them until they are as short as possible, but at the same time have a lot in them.

F. C.: One day I went to leave flowers on my mother's grave and that day, when I returned, super emotional, I wrote a poem 500 pages long. But later it was very much reduced. Poems result from a surge of emotion, but afterwards you have to rework them rationally. There is a poem in Salmon, Henry V Harangues His Soldiers, that began from a harangue by Bambino Veira. But it is written in code and only San Lorenzo diehards like Viggo noticed it. I search for a different voice when I write and I try to delete my own voice.

The palette of Viggo's reading is versatile. He reads everything he can; he lets himself follow the instinct of the reader-traveler who allows himself to be surprised by what he encounters along the way. He has been nourished by John Ashbery, Artaud, Julio Cortázar, Octavio Paz, Billy Collins, Charles Bukowski, Mario Benedetti, Raymond Carver, Alfonsina Storni and Borges. "To read and publish this anthology is a form of education for me, because I don't know, " emphasizes Viggo. "I like to read continually and I learn not only from Fabián, but from all the other poets. I feel very honored to be able to publish this book, to give a hand to poets. I designed the book so that it would have a great look. The cover is one of my photos, Boedo 2, that I took in 2003, in a period when I was taking a lot of photos at night."

On entering the Perceval Press website ( you read a phrase from Sister Juana Inés de la Cruz, "I don't study to know more but to ignore less," a motto that Viggo embraces with devotion as artist and publisher. He has already published more than thirty books in these seven years, among others a work about new Cuban art, two by artist Henry Eric; Strange Familiar, from the Icelander Georg Gudni, and a couple of novels by Mike Davis. "An artist has to make things in his way, without a fixed course. I have no idea what the next book will be, but each book has to be designed according to the taste of the writer or artist. We don't release a book until the artist or editor are satisfied. At Perceval we try to find a good approach," explains Viggo.

Even though he is not very concerned with publishing, Casas says that he gets along very well with his publishers. "Now my publisher is a Cuervo; it's a kid's dream! José Luis Mangieri, my usual editor, who was like a father to me, was a Huracán fan. I have the feeling that I am talking to a kid from Boedo. And that is weird."

V. M.: I felt very comfortable with you. I know I can't be objective about San Lorenzo, but of all the teams in the world, not only in Argentina, it is the one with the most artistic and literary flare.

F. C.: From the Hegelian, rational point of view, being a soccer fan makes no sense. My wife, when she sees me cry, or when I don't want to talk to anyone, thinks I am an idiot. She says, "You've studied philosophy, published books, essays, how can you act like this?"

V. M.: You need to tell her that we may be a bunch of idiots, but San Lorenzo fans are the ones who are the least afraid of death. And that makes us immortal.

F. C.: Now I am writing a poem called Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Crow, based on a poem by Wallace Stevens, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird. It's about the way I see my dad. My old man is a baboon, 80 years old, who is always doing things. I realize that my club is associated with my childhood, which is the time when you fuel up. In childhood, you load up on fuel; I think you never load up again. The type of person you become when the fat is in the fire comes from the quality of the fuel of your childhood.

Viggo looks for the flag in his magic bag and doesn't find it. "I left it in the hotel," the actor complains. The buddies continue to exchange picture cards of matches, players, penalties, and missed goals, while the photographer takes pictures of them with the San Lorenzo jerseys. Casas asks Viggo to recite the poem Chaco, which he wrote in 1995. The actor rolls his eyes as if saying goodbye: "I shit in the jungle/like the monkeys/with their perfect yellow teeth/having no fear/of any tiger."

© Pagina 12. Images © Daniel Dabove.

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Last edited: 11 December 2017 23:15:37