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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Crack open the V-W champagne, and not just because we are 10 years old. Jauja has stormed Cannes after premiering in En Certain Regard and becoming one of the most highly praised films in the Festival, winning the film critics Fipresci Jury Prize. I know we are all thrilled for Viggo, Lisandro Alonso and Fabián Casas. As always, there have been so may reviews pouring out over such a short space of time, it's nice to take a retrospective look at some of them to savour that success.

From the first moment, Jauja presents a confounding and exciting approach to cinema. A block of text explains the title, a reference to a secret land of abundance and happiness that has caused many men to go mad, disappearing in their feeble searches to find it. It then cuts to a striking composition in 4:3 (with curves that recall old photography), where Captain Dinesen (Mortensen) and his daughter, Ingeborg (Viilbjork Agger Malling), discuss her desire to get a dog. The shot is striking in the density of the colors of the grass and the sky (shot in 35mm, though presented in a digital transfer) and the stillness of the characters (Mortensen has his back to us), as if it is a living painting.

Peter Labuza
The Film Stage
19 May 2014

It's easy to accuse films like Alonso's — not just this one, but all of them — of being thin on narrative incident, a kind of journalistic euphemism for wishing such filmmakers would either get with the program and make "normal" movies like everyone else or stop wasting our precious time. But those open to other possibilities in cinematic language may marvel at Alonso's ability to hold a viewer rapt through little more than landscape, movement and sound, and ideas (about parents and children, colonialism and its lingering discontents) that emerge implicitly rather than being directly stated.

Scott Foundas
28 May 2014

As ruminative as Alonso's other films, Jauja ends up taking us to completely unfamiliar terrain, the film hinting at the sort of mystical or metaphysical journey one might normally associate with films such as Jodorowsky's El Topo or indeed 2001: A Space Odyssey (obliquely hinted at in the coda). Timo Salminen's photography makes the box if the unusual ratio, the images precisely composed, whether people are in imposing close-up or way off in the desert distance, with reds, greens and blues magnetically heightened.

Jonathan Romney
Screen Daily
20 may 2014

The highly tactile textures of the 35mm cinematography imbue even these moments of serenity with a sense of unease, which Alonso slowly actualizes first as foreboding occurrences, then as potentially pagan personifications. A third act shift into a new dimension dissolves temporal boundaries and turns the film on its head, and in its brave willingness to intelligently recalibrate its own narrative constituents, the film offers Dinesen, his daughter, and indeed, Alonso himself, an entirely new plane of consciousness to explore.

Jordan Cronk
Reverse Shot
31 May 2014

..."Jauja" offers immense payoff for anyone willing to invest in its mysteries.

Eric Kohn
Indie Wire
26 May 2014

The waiting has been more than worth it. In a nutshell, Jauja is the greatest and most overwhelming movie in Lisandro Alonso´s filmography and probably one of the most captivating and beautiful experiences in this new edition of the Cannes Festival. Fantastic...
.... Viggo Mortensen breaks the tradition, being the first professional actor starring in a Lisandro Alonso film. His incorruptible charisma and imposing physicality confirm that there couldn't be a more suitable choice.

Joan Sala
El blog de filmin
19 May

A wonderful reflection on the evocative power of cinema. And, incidentally, the umpteenth confirmation of Viggo Mortensen´s great talent. Mustachioed , astride his horse in a cavalry uniform, sword in sheath and a splendid hat on his head, he is reminiscent of John Wayne in the early John Ford films.

Franck Nouchi - translated by Ollie and Zoe
Le Monde
19 May 2014

Viggo is on screen most of the time, and again he makes clear that he can carry a movie on his own and also his versatility when taking on physical, emotional roles, and the two things in the same story. And a versatility in languages: this time he gets to speak Danish, the language of his paternal family.

Matías Orta
A Sala lLlena - translated by Ollie
20 May 2014

Filmed almost entirely on location, in square postcard-like format (with rounded corners,) by the director of photography of Aki Kaurismäki (Micaela Buye) [sic], the overwhelming beauty of Jauja seems actually to belong to a dream in which fantasy and the physical, reality and dream, come true in one body....

...Having reached the festival´s halfway point, the film deserving the Palme d´Or doesn´t even qualify for the prize. Paradoxes of Cannes.

Carlos Reviriego
El Cultural - translated by Ollie
19 May 2014

The film is made up of postcards of a time and place closer to the primordial, which makes the efforts of men upon and within it seem ridiculous, though with the firm possibility of attaining nobility. Mortensen's Dane certainly does, in a tremendously moving performance literally and emotionally, a performance that moves itself and one. A single close-up upon realization of his daughter's disappearance and the quest it will entail becomes a tender conduit, a portraiture of a historical human that is unspeakably, indefinably beautiful. And from there he plunges away from his tent-and-soldier edge of civilization into a beyond that is only the older world.

Daniel Kasman
21 May 2014

Mortensen turns the captain into a clumsy, huffing and puffing clown in his fine double-breasted uniform, sword and rifle, who has trouble mounting a horse. Though mostly a risible character, he's partially redeemed by his burning love for his daughter that keeps him searching for the rest of the film. His brushes with the mysterious Zuluaga are fleeting but deadly, marked by ancient looking totems and barbaric savagery... Mortensen also gets co-producer and music credit for a couple of fine modern pieces saved for the end of the film.

Deborah Young
Hollywood Reporter
18 May 2014

On se dit qu'Alonso va se faire écharper. C'est l'inverse qui s'est passé : standing ovation de dix minutes, réputation de meilleur film du Festival (avec cette interrogation : pourquoi ce film est dans la sélection Un Certain regard alors qu'on lui a longtemps promis la compétition ?).

Philippe Azoury
Le Nouvel Observateur:
20 May 2014

This is the kind of philosophical, deeply visual filmmaking which many will be able to appreciate, and my respect for Viggo Mortensen (who is a magnanimous minimalist here) has sky rocketed.

Nikola Grozdanovic
Wat Too Indie
18 May 2014

It is said there that the great authors in the history of cinema always make the same film. This sounds a bit derogatory to any film-maker as it mistakes style for repetition of formulas. However, if we were to apply this (set) phrase to Alonso´s films we should refute it immediately. Jauja is the most rebellious example.

Andrés Nicolás Martín - translated by Ollie
19 May 2014

You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © 4L Productions.

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Your June Reminders

Categories: Calendar: Viggo
Click on image to enlarge.

© Images © E Abraham.

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New Artist at Viggo-Works

Categories: Art Community

We would like to welcome our newest artist to join our Viggo-Works in house Art Community.
Her name is Maria Ines Hernandez and she has recently registered here on our forums with the username

Marita lives in Argentina, north of Buenos Aires.
Like many of us, she has taken up her art again, after being absent for some years.
Her work being showcased in our Art Community Gallery is in pastels.

Please join me in welcoming Marita to our group of V-W artists.
I think we are a good match and look forward to her joining our art discussions and sharing her work with all of us.

A hearty Viggo-Works welcome to you Marita! :grin:

Your can find Marita's complete gallery HERE in our Viggo-Works Art Community Gallery.

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Viggo Interview in Vue magazine

Thanks to Chrissie for bringing us this scan of the Two Faces of January interview from the May issue:

Click to enlarge

© Vue Entertainment. Images © Vue Entertainment.

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TOMORROW is THE DAY! - Viggo-Works Exclusive Interview with Viggo!

By the Pricking of Our Thumbs
Something Fabulous This Way Comes!

Viggo-Works Talks to Viggo Mortensen

Brace yourselves!

Viggo has once again granted Viggo-Works an exclusive interview and we will be sharing it with you on our 10th Anniversary.

The actual date is May 30, 2014.

Stay tuned. You won't be disappointed!

© Images ©

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Last edited: 27 July 2014 10:57:01