Viggo Mortensen: «Camus tiene facilidad para bucear en las zonas grises»

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Viggo in Stern

Found By: Eriko
Categories: Scans
Many thanks to Eriko for providing scans of the article that appeared in the German publication Stern.

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Your August Reminders

Categories: Calendar: Viggo

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© Images © Estudios Piccaso / Origen Producciones.

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Viggo in Euroman magazine

Source: Euroman.
Found By: CoCo
Categories: Media Scans
Many thanks to CoCo for providing scans of the article that appeared in the June 2015 issue of the Danish magazine Euroman:

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© Euroman. Images © Euroman.

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Review: Far From Men

Source: Urban Cinefile.
Found By: Chrissie
Many thanks to Chrissie for this fantastic review from Urban Cinefile.
© One World Films.
It is with great subtlety that this affecting tale of courage and honour plays out. Based on Albert Camus' short story The Guest (L'Hote) and set on a western backdrop, director David Oelhoffen has effectively crafted a drama about morality. The landscape is remote and barren, allowing the characters' dilemmas to be isolated from society as a whole. Donning the mantle of a decent man, Viggo Mortensen is remarkable - in part because of the absence of remarkability of his character, a humble village schoolteacher forced to the crossroads, quietly displaying his despair of killing, respect for humanity and gratitude for living. Mortensen is always remarkable, not withstanding this is his first French language film, delivered (together with Arabic and Spanish) with consummate ease.

When the film begins, we meet Daru (Mortensen) teaching geography to a group of young children in a lonely schoolhouse. It is Algeria in 1954 and the schoolhouse is nestled in a small valley surrounded by stark, rocky mountains. The setting is striking; it looks as though an artist has splashed his paint on the sky canvas. But it is an unforgiving world in which Daru lives, which we quickly learn, when a lawman brings a prisoner - tied up like an animal and yanked behind his horse. He is accused of killing his cousin - something about which we later learn. There's a sharp contrast between the way Daru treats Mohamed (Reda Kateb) and that of his captor: Daru treating him with humanity and respect. Kateb has a wonderful presence - much is conveyed by his physicality and the way he communicates.

After refusing to escort Mohamed to the court in the nearby town of Tinguit and insisting he will not become involved, there is a moment when this changes. It's done subtly: we see Daru glancing at a photograph hanging on the wall - of a woman. The photo is not in focus but in that moment everything changes. Daru agrees to take Mohamed to his destination, treating him not as a prisoner, but as a guest or equal.

Once the two men are on their way, the dynamic changes due to the circumstances around them. With rebels and soldiers pursuing them, they are suddenly fugitives, accomplices, prisoners and hostages - bound to help each other in order to survive. It is when they are hostages with rebel soldiers that we begin to learn a little bit more about Daru and his background. Little by little we learn key things about him. Meanwhile the relationship between Daru and Mohamed develops. They even share jokes at the most surprising times and the scene in which Mohamed admits he has never made love to a woman and asks Daru what is it like, is touching.

Both men give each other something invaluable - in both cases it is offered and accepted graciously. There is little dialogue and these key emotional moments are all the more affecting due to their sublime understatement. Guillaume Deffontaines' cinematography showcases the harsh landscape with grandeur, while the music score (by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis) reflects the difficulty of the film's journey, with scratchy strings, pizzicato and irregular musical sounds to embrace the solitude and dilemma.

This is a gem of a film, bursting with things to say and whose characters become more and more meaningful as the road is travelled. Mortensen is superb.

© Urban Cinefile. Images © One World Films.

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I Have A Dream

Found By: Translated by CoCo and Techadmin
Many thanks to CoCo and Techadmin for translating this article from Zeit magazine (Germany) posted earlier.
Zeit Magazine (Germany) - 23 July 2015
Zeit Magazine (Germany) - 23 July 2015.
© Jessica Barthel.
By Viggo Mortensen

I am standing in a big garden, looking into the sky and watching the birds in the tree tops. Behind me there is a house. Everything is very calm and quiet. One bird flies towards me, it is colorful like a parrot, but reminds me more of a crow. The bird attacks me, tries to pick one of my eyes. I try to fend him off to protect my eyes. Finally I flee into the house. As I get in there, I see a lot of people. All of them are reading – books, newspapers or comics. They are reading while moving or standing. No one is sitting. I go from one to the other, asking them to look after my eye and asking if everything is ok with it. But the more people I ask, the worse my eyesight gets. Before I become completely blind, I wake up.

I have had this dream many times, the first time as a child, then as a teenager and also in my 20s and 30s – interestingly very often in phases of my life in which I really had problems with my eyes and had poor eyesight for some days. Maybe the dream was a first hint, or maybe it even symbolizes my fear of going blind. During the last years I haven't dreamed this anymore.

Often I remember my dreams during the day. When something particular happens, I realize sometimes that I dreamt of that before. For example it happened a few times that I heard about the death of a beloved person or animal and I was irritated by my reaction – I was less shocked or surprised than I should be. Then it came to my mind, that I'd dreamt about it during a recent night.

When I'm awake, I dream of perfection. It's not about reaching it, I'm aware that it is not possible. My concern is to seek it, to try very hard to shoot the perfect movie, to have the perfect marriage, to paint the perfect painting – above all to know that it will never work out. What counts is the will, not the achievement of the goal.

I never dreamt of Hollywood fame. Acting was only one of many things which I tried out, like painting or writing. I never thought that I'd stick to it for such a long time. Certainly it fascinated me right from the beginning, how easily one can tell stories in a movie. In a way it reminds me of playing out your dreams as a child, to be a cowboy, pirate, princess or butterfly. Children are free and flexible, in their dreams, their games, on all levels.

You become more rigid as you get older. But art, acting, writing keep me away from getting rigid, at least mentally. Physically, it's unfortunately a totally different story.

Viggo Mortensen:

56, became famous as an actor in the role of Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. His movie Far from men has been running in the cinema for some time, based on a short story by Albert Camus; it recently received the Fritz-Gerlich-Award at the Munich Filmfest.

© Zeit Magazine (Germany). Images © Jessica Barthel .

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Last edited: 3 October 2015 15:35:43