Green Book – One of the Best Films of the Year and a Career High for the Shape Shifter that is Viggo Mortensen

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Viggo Campaigns with Dr. Bob Johnson in Plattsburgh


Found By: Harligirl
Categories: Politics
Plattsburgh Fundraising 9.7.06 Plattsburgh Fundraising 9.7.06 Plattsburgh Fundraising 9.7.06 Plattsburgh Fundraising 9.7.06 Plattsburgh Fundraising 9.7.06 Plattsburgh Fundraising 9.7.06
Our thanks to Harligirl for bringing us firsthand coverage of the Viggo/Dr. Bob event last even in Plattsburgh.

"Dr. Bob's speech was shorter than Viggo's - he is a dynamic speaker and spoke of his reasons for getting into politics. I had the opportunity to speak with him after dinner and he is the real deal. I am only hoping he can win the race."

Click images to enlarge.

Please contact Harligirl through our forums for permission BEFORE posting her images elsewhere.

Images © Harligirl.

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Change the Course of a Nation


Source: AP, NCPR, Clear Channel Broadcasting Inc
Categories: Politics
Quote:

Viggo Mortensen Helps Out N.Y. Democrat

Friday, September 8, 2006

(09-08 - 08:19 PDT Plattsburgh, N.Y. (AP) --

Actor Viggo Mortensen is on a three-day fundraising tour for Robert Johnson, the Democrat challenging U.S. Rep. John McHugh for the 23rd Congressional District seat.

"I'm pretty skeptical of all politicians, and I think it's only in the movies that you find no-strings-attached, sincere people," Mortensen said Thursday at a $75 buffet dinner that drew 140 people.

"Dr. Bob is that rare thing: He's a man that's not bought and paid for. I wish there were candidates like him all over the country," he said.

Mortensen, who starred in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and 2005's "A History of Violence," is a graduate of Watertown High School and St. Lawrence University in Canton.

Mortensen said he has contributed $2,100 to Johnson's campaign, the maximum limit for an individual under federal election laws. He said he also planned campaign appearances for Johnson in Oswego on Friday and Watertown on Saturday.
Quote:

Viggo stumps for Dr. Bob



Hollywood star power is trying to help a Democratic candidate oust Republican Congressman John McHugh. Actor and Watertown high school graduate Viggo Mortensen attended the first of three fundraisers for Dr. Robert Johnson last night in Plattsburgh. David Sommerstein reports. (1:41)

Listen to the audio here.
Quote:

Viggo visiting Watertown tomorrow night

09/08/06

Actor Viggo Mortensen is on a three-day swing across the North Country to campaign for Doctor Robert Johnson, who's again challenging John McHugh for his 23rd Congressional District seat.

Last night, Mortensen was in Plattsburgh to attend a $75 per-person fundraising dinner for Johnson. Tonight he'll attend another fundraiser in Oswego, followed by tomorrow's appearance in Watertown at the Partridge Berry Inn on Route 3.

Mortensen says despite being skeptical of all politicians, he's supporting Johnson's campaign because he says the surgeon isn't someone who's "bought and paid for."

© 2006 Associated Press, 2006 North Country Public Radio, St. Lawrence University, Clear Channel Broadcasting Inc. Images © 2006 North Country Public Radio, St. Lawrence University.

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I wouldn't look the Alatristes of today in the eye

Translation by Margarita
Source: Hoy Sociedad
001barc.jpg
© Terra.es.
Our thanks to Margarita for coming up with a translation of yet another interesting Viggo interview - this one for Hoy Sociedad was done while he was promoting Alatriste in Barcelona:
Quote:

By Oskar L. Belategui

All the Alatriste actors have at least one story to tell about Viggo Mortensen, whom they'd follow pretty much anywhere without blinking. He gave fellow actor Eduardo Noriega sausage and cookies from the Leonese mountains, where King Aragorn wandered for weeks. Unax Ugalde let slip one day that he had a penchant for sugus (tr. note: they're like Starburst candies). When Ugalde returned to his room that night, he found hundreds of candies lined up on the floor, spelling out his name.

An aura of Zen radiates from the New York actor, the figurehead for the most expensive Spanish movie of all time, which is counting on his popularity to pull in international box office sales. Mortensen speaks Spanish with a slow Argentinean accent. He drinks maté, wears a cloth bracelet that reads 'I carry you in my heart' and a San Lorenzo de Almagra necklace. On a promotional stint in Barcelona, he's grateful when the conversation moves from Alatriste on to his multifaceted artistic pursuits: he's published five books of photography, paints and writes poetry.

What did you find in the mountains of León?

Many things, including some which I'm probably not aware of yet. I create my characters instinctively, without knowing where I'm going with things. Arturo says in his books that Alatriste is from Castilla la Vieja. I asked him whether Alatriste could be from the north of León, and he said that fit perfectly. That's where I found people who sounded like Alatriste to me and seemed to reflect his way of being, somewhat dry and terse. I saw humble houses with the family crest embedded in the front. People who lived there sent their children to fight in the Americas, to Flanders. To do the dirty work of Olivares and Carlos V.

Do you see parallels between Spain's power in the 17th century and your own country the United States today?

Unfortunately, the same thing is still happening and the people in charge still refuse to acknowledge that they're doing things wrong, spending the country's money and spilling its blood. We are, like Alatriste, in foreign countries with foreign people who fear and hate us. Alatriste could be in Iraq today, invading Fallujah, knowing that the next day the city will be taken over by the locals. The American empire, like its Spanish counterpart, refuses to fall with elegance and compassion. It prefers to die out while destroying its surroundings, like a child throwing a tantrum.

What would you say to the Alatristes of today?

I wouldn't speak to them. Nor would I look them in the eye. I know soldiers who are my age, sergeants in the first Iraq war. And I know they think the conflict is ridiculous, but they're over there for their friends.

Do you understand Spaniards better after filming Alatriste?

They're as proud as they were in the 17th century. They're lying when they say their country and theatre is humble. Yesterday I wandered around Barrio Gótico. What architecture! What artwork! Alatriste begins a new era in Spanish cinema, but it's not meant to bring the country a bunch of expensive movies, done American-style. Economic means aren't everything. Take advantage of your history, your art.

Where does a world traveller like you call home?

I feel comfortable in many places. I travelled as a child and as an actor, and I continue to enjoy travelling. For a long time now, I've been certain of one thing: there are more things that connect me to others than there are things that divide us. We should be able to all understand each other. I've proved it. It was amusing to think that, as we were filming the Flanders battle scenes, I could have been fighting against one of my ancestors. Among my father's five brothers there are both fair-skinned and darker-skinned individuals. I'm a mixture.

You've worked with directors like Ridley Scott, Brian de Palma, Peter Weir and Gus Van Sant. What is your perception of Hollywood?

I don't think about it. I go there somewhat cautiously. I've made many movies that I recognize weren't very good, but I have to earn a living. Unlike other excellent actors, these last few years I've managed to work more or less regularly. People have the idea that once you're somewhat well-known, you can suddenly have your pick of anything and the only option that I really have is to say 'no.' But, even if I want to make a movie, if the director isn't interested...

Do you exercise that option of saying no frequently?

A lot.

Your friend Dennis Hopper paraphrases Rilke and assures us that you couldn't exist without being able to continually create.

I hadn't thought of things that way, but it could be. There are people who don't like being alone, but a solitary life suits me. Now, while doing publicity there are less opportunities, but you can always escape at night and take a walk. When I'm alone I don't want to sit on the beach and do nothing. I observe and want to communicate with the world, and my way of doing so is to interpret it, to recreate it, not because I want to capture it, but to remember it.

Do you think it's presumptuous to consider oneself an artist?

No. All people can live artistically, even if they never paint a picture or make a movie. For me, to be an artist is to live as one, to remain open to your surroundings. To observe things and accept that they are impossible to replicate. It's worth understanding, even if it's to describe it to yourself. To be an artist is to remain conscious of your surroundings, and I believe that we all have that capacity. Children have it and, as they grow up, they lose it.

So does chance guide your life?

Like everybody's. What you hope for isn't worth anything. I complain and protest: my son has to go to school; I have to finish reading this book, go shopping, wash the dishes. Sometimes you have to skip those chores for a change. Not too long ago a friend visited me and asked if I was free to go to dinner. I had a lot of work: my publishing house takes a lot of my time. I was on the verge of saying no, but not sleeping enough one night isn't the end of the world. Sometimes, you have to say no. To trust in chance and in destiny, because it's the unpredictable, strange events that shape our lives. It's better to travel with hope than with the intention of reaching a specific destination.

Are you afraid when you work?

Always. Without that fear I'd be nervous. I was terrified that my accent would be a problem for Alatriste. I would have to live for the rest of my days hearing, 'The movie was good, but that accent of Mortensen's...'

Why are you an actor?

To fight against forgetting. Thoughts and feelings have a great deal to do with how our memory perceives things. I have relatives with memory problems, and that scares me. I don't want to forget things, I want to appreciate them and have them remain present in my memory. I'm publishing a book of my photographs. I was in Tehran and saw a tourist bus with a slogan on the back: I forget you for ever. Forever was written that way, misspelled. How are they going to attract clients? Nice cover. That's when I realized that the things that concern me - my sick relatives, how old I am, what's happening in the world - had to do with the fear of forgetting. You know? As a boy I woke up every morning not afraid but angry that I had to die one day. Now I wake up and think 'go for it, we only live once.'

© Hoy Digital. Images © Terra.es.

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Alatriste en "Cartelera"


Source: TVE 1.
Found By: Chrissie and Exxeke
Alatriste33.jpg
© Estudios Piccaso / Origen Producciones.
Our thanks to Chrissie for surfacing yet another great video from TVE 1 posted by Exxeke at capitan-alatriste.com.

**Yes! There are MEGA SPOILERS**

View Alatriste en "Cartelera".

© TFI/Estudios Piccaso / Origen Producciones. Images © Estudios Piccaso / Origen Producciones.

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'I never imagined such an affectionate and multitudinous welcome'

Translation by Paddy
Source: Diario de León
022ala.jpg
Image Cinemania.
© Estudios Picasso / Origen Producciones.
Our thanks to Paddy who has come up with yet another wonderful translation of yet another wonderful article by Miguel:


***MINOR SPOILERS - if you are avoiding all talk about the film***

Quote:

By Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno



Last Friday the star of the film Alatriste, who promises he'll come back to León very soon, lived an unforgettable day full of anecdotes and good moments.

With tiredness still showing in his eyes and wearing the T-shirt that the members of the capitán-alatriste forum had given him the day before, Viggo Mortensen received us on the cool Saturday morning under the same walls where Francisco de Quevedo, inseparable fellow of the already mythical Captain Alatriste, was imprisoned.

San Marcos is a building that has always attracted his attention. The day of his arrival he showed Yanes, with great interest, the wonderful panelled ceiling of the chapter house, and under the fascination of the Madrilenian director, he noted: "Well, you should see the choir stalls." Yet again the actor showed his great knowledge of the art and the history of the places he travels to.

"It has been amazing!" he told us. "I knew about the affection of the Leonese people but I would have never thought that they were going to bend over backwards for me in this way. I'm also very grateful for the distinctions granted by the City Council and León County Council. I want to tell them that I'll come back to Spain very soon and I'll take some time to go to León and be with all of them."

About all the events that were happening during the week, Viggo tells us that he kept himself informed in detail through the numerous pages of Diario de León. "It has been a great work. It's the newspaper with the most pages devoted to me and I want to thank you for that."

Joking about the disadvantages of appearing in the press so much the actor admitted that, even though that first interview published in this newspaper hadn't caused him any problem, actually it was (a problem) for the production company, for they had to battle with the rest of the media, which had been promised the piece of news in due course.

Our conversation inevitably centred on the huge success obtained the day of the premiere of Alatriste. "I do know that many people who had read the novels will hope to find some characters or situations that don't appear in it, but that's inevitable. Agustín was facing a long saga which he had to condense into just one script. Apart from that, I think it's a great film which will be well received. And I hope the same will happen when we present it in Toronto. It's a good story and Yanes deserves it."

Viggo Mortensen is an actor who doesn't create a character without thoroughly researching it before. Hence he had made a big effort to get his speech fluent and credible. "How does my voice sound?" he says, "because at first I felt strange." Viggo is aware that in Spain there's a great tradition of outstanding dubbing actors but he thinks that it's more valuable being able to listen to his own voice, something that, on the other hand, he considered to be a challenge. In this sense he wanted to point out the great work done by Juan Echanove, magnificent narrator, whose voice is used to open the film. "His perfect intonation is perhaps due to his theatrical origin. In theatre that's a very important quality."

Oriental sensitivity

The audience's reaction and especially the fact of knowing about the presence of some people who came from different parts of the world and in particular from Japan, make him think that the film can be well received even in those countries.

"The sensitivity of the Japanese people is very subtle. In some aspects the code of the samurai itself is quite similar to the code of honour followed by Alatriste's soldiers." These last words coincided with the presence, at our table, of three young ladies from Osaka who wanted to give him an extremely careful edition in Japanese of Pérez-Reverte's novel. Viggo showed a great interest in the fine work and especially in its drawings which, according to his admirers, were done by an artist who had researched in detail the History of Spain and its culture before doing them.

Having in our hands one of Pérez-Reverte's novels and regarding our question about whether he considered that in the film they had softened the language used by the characters in the novel, which is too much vulgar, the actor said he did. He even added that although they knew that was the common language during that time among the kind of people that Reverte refers to, Agustín had wanted to include just a fair amount of those words.

"I myself," he says, "had suggested Tano introduce some Leonese terms, but the idea was discarded because he made me see that it was more important that the audience could understand what was being said in a language that is closer to the current one. On the other hand this is a film where the looks and what's not said are more important than words."

A new hero

Some sectors of film critics have considered Viggo Mortensen as Harrison Ford's successor. Both actors have incarnated some kind of heroes that are based on fictional stories but representing a series of values which seem to be extremely necessary and required, judging by the number of followers of the movie sagas they star in. Curiously they both met in one film, Peter Weir's Witness, where a very young Viggo had a small part. "It was the only time we worked in the same film, but I always thought he was a great actor, very serious and professional. As for being his successor...?" (smiles). "On the other hand," he keeps on telling us, "I'm not too much in contact with the rest of the actors, because I don't frequent that world Hollywood makes use of." However, we all know that in the case of Alatriste, as happened before in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, his relationship with the rest of the actors and crew went beyond the mere shooting. "It's one of the things I like the most about these films, that being ensemble movies it seems we all are part of a great family. After having worked hard for hours during the shootings we still got together to have some drinks and talk about some aspects of the film and other things. It was a beautiful relationship which I'm still proud of." From Alatriste, besides the handkerchief "with the colours of the flag of León", like Mortensen pointed out, (but, curiously, also of San Lorenzo de Almagro) he gets, according to his own words, some very good friends.

La Madrugá (tr. note: march used during the Holy Week processions)

Same as it happens in the film, our conversation ends with Roque Baños' music. "I listened to the soundtrack yesterday, without the images," he says, "and I think it's tremendously powerful. I'm very happy to be able to say that it matches up to any of the great Hollywood scores." With regard to the substitution of the theme The Fallen Hero with Abel Moreno's march La Madrugá in the final sequences that close the film, the actor admitted that it was a decision of Yanes himself, to whom that music, besides being very familiar to him, perfectly fitted what he thought those last moments of battle should express.

"For my part, I would have let it play for a bit longer before the one that Baños composed for the film entered."

While we were holding this relaxed conversation some groups of admirers who didn't want to let slip such an extraordinary opportunity to get some pictures signed, started to shyly come closer to our table. His presence, which almost went unnoticed during his first visits to our city, has been turning into a sudden popularity he now can barely sneak off from. Popularity that the seventh art muse grants in a capricious way, but in Viggo Mortensen's case, he can be sure, it's preceded and supported by his human quality, his proximity and his commitment to the given word.

See you soon, traveller of the world, Leonese at heart!

© Diario de León. Images © Estudios Picasso / Origen Producciones.


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Last edited: 20 September 2018 17:42:30