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Viggo Mortensen, between poetry and soccer, as two parallel worlds

Source: La Vanguardia.
Found By: Chrissie

Many thanks to Ollie and Zoe for translating the article from the Barcelona Poetry Festival's press conference published earlier by La Vanguardia:


Mortensen and Casas will hold a poetry reading

Barcelona Poetry Festival - 11 May 2017
Barcelona Poetry Festival - 11 May 2017.
© EFE.
by Jose Oliva

Viggo Mortensen, the American actor and writer, who will tomorrow participate in Barcelona's Poetry Week with the Argentine poet Fabián Casas, friends and both followers of San Lorenzo, have today shared with the press their passion for poetry and soccer, two parallel worlds, they say.

Mortensen and Casas will hold a poetry reading tomorrow in their first joint performance called "Dos Cuervos," a title alluding to the name given to the San Lorenzo followers, explained the actor. "A soccer team founded in 1908 by Lorenzo Masa, a priest with a cassock. So there's no great mystery; we´ll be two Cuervos who read poetry."

The actor has revealed that they had never heard each other read poetry until they met yesterday in Barcelona. "We bought a box of The Sopranos and watched one season and we didn´t begin truly working until night," said Mortensen, concerned about the reading, because "you always want to communicate well with people."

Mortensen considers that "poetry is alive in Spain and also in Argentina, although it has far less impact than the novel and no poet is going to get rich, although there are exceptions."

According to him, poetry, like any other artistic medium, "can be boring, dull, but there are moments that hook you and you don't have to be a poet to enjoy poetry."

Viggo Mortensen has not been able to hide his "sadness" for the gradual disappearance of bookshops.

Poetry's not so different from painting or even going to the movies. "Digesting what you hear is a way of remembering, of interpreting what is happening around you."

Asked about his possible advantage in a poetry reading across from his stage partner, Mortensen assures us, "He won't be at a disadvantage, because I read very badly," to which Casas replied that they have to read as if they were "in a dining room, in a casual conversation."

Mortensen, who besides being an editor also writes poetry, uses the multiple languages in which he's fluent, depending on who's around him, be that Danes, English or Spanish speakers and when he's in Argentina, "I even get caught up in the Buenos Aires way of speaking."

He admits that lately he's writing many things in Spanish or even in Catalan, because it interests him to learn and "there is something that Latin languages have that takes you to a sentimental place."

When he is asked for his bedside poets, Mortensen points out that he flees from those "trick questions," just as when people ask him for his favorite films or directors. "Or I provide a list of 500 people or I provide nothing," he assures us.

At this point, Fabián Casas responds forcefully. "For me, poetry is the Germany-Holland game in the 1974 World Cup final. The first minutes are pure poetry with the Dutch controlling the ball and the Germans not seeing it. Cruyff was almost like a Rimbaud."

Then Mortensen and Casas speak of the 1947 San Lorenzo tour around the Iberian peninsula, of the Barcelona of Guardiola, heir of that Clockwork Orange that Rinus Michels coached. They finish with "All pure poetry."

The meeting between both "cuervos" began ten years ago, when the North American actor published an anthology of Latin American poetry in which Fabián Casas was represented.

Later, they made the film Jauja together, in which Mortensen was the star and Casas the script writer.

About the readings for Barcelona's Poetry Week, both asserted that they've selected "sad poems."

When they ask Mortensen if he'll read some poem in Catalan, shortly after he admitted that he'd been reading Maria Mercè Marçal, the actor again responded with a soccer analogy: "I think they are being summoned, but I don't know if they'll leave the bench."

"Writing poetry should be a physical fact that gives you pleasure and writing poetry has to be a symptom of uncertainty," pointed out Casas, for whom Viggo Mortensen's poems are "very intense and very tough, because the world is beautiful and very cruel at the same time."

© EFE.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Found By: Iolanthe

I've put together a light-hearted Quotable for you this week with a lot of old favourites, all of which are a little offbeat, quirky, amusing and very, very Viggo.

When asked why he always sports [San Lorenzo] gear during interviews (today it's a pullover with their logos) he jokes, "mind control."

Viggo does 'Good'
Mortensen shows us his softer side
by Tina Chadha
Metro New York
9 January 2009

'Ridley Scott's filming George Orwell's Animal Farm and I'm playing the goat...'

Viggo on being asked if he's grown his beard for a new role
BBC Breakfast Television
13 May 2014

'I'm not usually a suit person… You're lucky I'm wearing shoes!'

Viggo Q&A after accepting the Coolidge Award in Boston
Greendragon posting on TORn
6 March 2012

PA: If you were a flower, viggo, what kind would you be?

VM: Today, I'd be one of those spiky little red bottlebrush trees.

Interview with Patricia Arquette
Interview magazine, 1995

Me: We have to talk about women, because you are the sexiest man alive.

Him: So there are a lot of dead men who are sexier?

Eats Roadkill, Speaks Danish
By Amy Wallace
Esquire magazine
March 2006

"I like to live dangerously. Last night I was quietly at home, cooking a meal of chicken, onions and garlic, Cuban style, and then here I am today facing a pack of journalists."

Viggo Mortensen Talks About "Jauja" and "Far from Men"
By Martin Dale
7 December 2014

"We can do some doll therapy if anyone's interested…"

Viggo talking about 'Sigi' the Freud doll in San Lorenzo colours
at the Venice Film Festival ADM Press Conference
2 September 2011

You looked sexy in The Lord Of The Rings...what's your favourite costume?

My birthday suit.

Now that is sexy, no wonder women love you...

If you say so.

60 Seconds With...Viggo Mortensen
December 2005

"Thank God for special effects, makeup the voice dubbing and all that. They completely replaced Kodi, thank God! We had Andy Serkis do it."

Viggo Mortensen sets the record straight about his acting career, 'The Road' and 'The Hobbit'
By Carla Hay
25November 2009

Corey, Triple M, Melbourne: Viggo you're now at the stage where you could get the majority of roles you wanted. You've had love scenes with Gwyneth Paltrow and now Liv Tyler. Is there anyone you aspire to have a love scene with, in the world?

Viggo: Gimli? That was cut from the movie - maybe it'll be in the extended version.

Return Of The King Press Junket: Viggo Mortensen
By Nazz
December 2003
Source: Nazz

When I ask him for his favourite joke he responds with a rare one-word answer: "Me".

A History of Defiance
Daniel Mirth
Men's Journal
October 2009

Following the press Q&A, as he left the stage, he paused, looked at the huge 'Viggo Mortensen' image on the screen behind him, and said, 'You spelled my name wrong…' There was a horrified moment as the organisers checked in panic – then he smiled, 'No, just kidding….'

Viggo after accepting the Coolidge Award in Boston
Greendragon posting on TORn
6 March 2012

Hi Viggo, aside from knowing your lines, what's the most important thing you do to prepare yourself before you go in front of camera?


Empire On-line Web Chat
31 January 2012

When you were a kid, what'd you want to be when you grew up?

A crow was probably what I wanted to be most of all.

Really? Why is that? What is it about crows?

They're survivors. They can live anywhere. They're very self-sufficient. They're very resourceful. They're adaptable.

That sounds like you.


Viggo Mortensen: Making peace with the camera
By Tracy Smith
11 December 2016

You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-works/Iolanthe. Images © Besiktas JK.

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News from El Pais of another poetry reading in June

Source: El Pais.
Found By: Iolanthe

Thanks to Iolanthe for the find. Viggo will be doing a solo reading with musician Rafel Plana at the Teatre Lliure de Montjuïc on 27th and 28th June.


Viggo Mortensen recitará sus poemas por los refugiados

Barcelona Poetry Festival - 11 May 2017
Barcelona Poetry Festival - 11 May 2017
Image Albert Garcia .
© El País.
El actor estadounidense protagonizará el 27 y 28 de junio una velada solidaria en el Espai Lliure de Barcelona

Tras su recital poético hace unos días en el marco de la Setmana de la Poesia, el actor estadounidense Viggo Montersen protagonizará el 27 y 28 de junio una velada solidaria en el Teatre Lliure de Montjuïc. El también poeta ya mostró en dicho festival su vertiente más desconocida junto a su amigo y escritor argentino Fabián Casas en el recital Dos Cuervos. En el Espai Lliure, el actor volverá a recitar sus versos, esta vez junto al músico Rafel Plana en el espectáculo "Ramas para un nido", destinado a recaudar fondos para el proyecto que la Associació Catalana per la Pau despliega en Líbano para acoger refugiados de la guerra de Siria.

Aparte de la poesía, el actor estadounidense también ha hecho incursiones en el mundo de la pintura, la fotografía y la música. El espectáculo, con dos funciones, será una conversación musical entre la voz de Mortensen y el piano de Plana a partir del material musical y poético que entre ambos han ido elaborando a lo largo de las sesiones de trabajo conjuntas. Mortensen, afincado en Madrid, leerá poemas en castellano y en inglés, y el recital durará alrededor de una hora.

El precio para las entradas del recital es de 20 euros, y la cantidad recaudada irá destinada íntegramente a la Associació Catalana per la Pau, recoge el comunicado.

© El País.

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TRANSLATION: Two Argentines Read

Source: Nuvol.
Found By: Translation by Ollie
Many thanks to Ollie for translating the recent Nuvol article on Viggo and Fabian's appearance at the Barcelona Poetry Festival:

by Bernat Puigtobella

What are two Argentines doing reciting their poems in the courtyard of the Institute of Catalan Studies? It´s one of the images that the Barcelona Poetry Festival, that gathered actor Viggo Mortensen and writer Fabián Casas, left us with yesterday in one of the busiest recitals of the week.

The setting incomparable. The temperature perfect. The cloister of the IEC, which became too small to accommodate an audience curious to discover the poetic facet of the Danish actor, was packed. The bait was Viggo Mortensen, yes, but the fish was Fabián Casas, who got the audience eating out of his hand with his poems. Fabián Casas is a cult author in his country, where he has published poetry, essays and fiction. Mortensen lived in Buenos Aires until he was 11, and he still feels very attached to it.

"A poem is the flower of a lie," says the actor, "the record of a failure, a homemade bomb built more or less well. Poetry must be protected from the poem, and above all from the poets. " Mortensen, publisher of Perceval Press, where he recently self-released the CD Preguntas desde la orilla (Questions from the shore), applauded yesterday the poems of his reading partner, with whom apart from the love of poetry he shares the passion for Argentine football club Club Atlético San Lorenzo de Almagro.

Mortensen is an admirer of the poetry of Casas, to the point that he applauded every poem his partner read. Between poems, Casas explained that his last collection of poems was written against his ex-wife. After a long year of depression, under medication, he has written a volume of prose poems entitled Poetry on Prozac.

We were in the temple of philology and the reading was an opportunity to learn some Argentine lingo, like pochoclo, which means popcorn, or garrón, which is synonymous with disappointment, the disappointment you feel when you're about to get something ultimately not fulfilled [tr. note: aka "bummer"]. Mortensen dedicated the poem 'Garrón' to the Colchoneros [tr. note: Atlético de Madrid], who this week almost defeated Real Madrid.

© Nuvol.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Found By: Iolanthe

With the Two Cuervos sharing poety together in Barcelona, I just had to do a Quotable on their other great passion - San Lorenzo de Almagro. We know Viggo 'wears a San Lorenzo shirt like it's tattooed on his skin' and I'm sure Fabian does too. Cuervos heart and soul, here's a tribute to El Ciclon and it's fans.

....the Cuervo ambassador to the world.

Jorge Barros
San Lorenzo Supporters Subcommittee interview
Transcribed/translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
SCH tv
20 May 2011

A global star since his turn in Lord of the Rings, he could easily lay claim to the title Lord of the Nuevo Gasometro, the stadium home of Argentinian side San Lorenzo de Almagro.

Fans in high places
20 February 2009

'Although they fail again and again, and only end up champions occasionally, although we have a glorious but hard, and sometimes tragic, history, I like how the San Lorenzo supporter behaves; I like their traditions. They have the best songs and are the most witty, and the other supporters recognize that. And besides, they sing non-stop; it doesn't matter if we're losing 0 to 7. San Lorenzo supporters have a very rich history, of endurance above all, and a special dignity.'

The World of Viggo Mortensen
By Manuel Martínez Torres - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Esquire Latinoamerica
March 2012

How would you define San Lorenzo fans?

Brothers, sisters - forever.

Viggo, A True Cuervo
La Revista de San Lorenzo
Translation by Ollie, Rio, Sage and Zooey
14 May 2010

Brother Cuervo. I'm going to call you repeatedly during the match. I asked to be free during these two historic hours for our club, the 90 minutes and what could come afterward. They've allowed me to escape from work to shut myself in with the laptop, the candles, t-shirts, flags, medals, little lucky stones and pieces of paper and the hopes of my whole life. I love you.

Viggo Mortensen
The Past Is In Everything
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
19 August 2014

…he went to the seats for the away team where he watched the match just like any other "cuervo", under the sun and with very high temperatures. Although he had been offered a much more comfortable seat in the local area, he chose to be with the San Lorenzo fans, even though that meant bearing the scorching December sun.

Viggo, a true cuervo
Translation by Graciela
Simplemente San Lorenzo
15 December 2008

He arrived in time for the 102nd birthday of the club, on Holy Thursday, fulfilling one of his dreams: to inaugurate a chapel a few meters from the field. It was his gift (one of many), out of his own pocket, one more irrefutable proof of his love/madness/fanaticism for the colors blue and red. For many, an exaggeration, a mystery, a disproportionate devotion. For others, a distinctive hallmark of his Argentinianism and a proof that genuine love, loyal and eternal, finds in soccer a beautiful excuse for expressing itself.

Viggo Mortensen - "Above all, I'm a Cuervo... And a greater pride does not exist"
By Eduardo Bejuk - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zooey
April 2010

What do you remember of the first time you saw San Lorenzo play live in a stadium?

That we lost... but that the passion, the unconditional support of the fans, the non-stop singing, were exactly what I had always imagined and felt. Every time I go to a match I get excited and enjoy myself just as much, no matter what happens soccerwise. As the song says "... it´s a feeling you carry deep inside.."

Viggo, A True Cuervo
La Revista de San Lorenzo
Translation by Ollie, Rio, Sage and Zooey
14 May 2010

'I ran from one side of my hotel room to the other, jumping and shouting like a man possessed. I opened the window and shouted the goal at the crescent moon.'

Viggo Mortensen in Algiers watching San Lorenzo
For It To Rain
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
19 October 2013

Go San Lorenzo! My membership card says "supporter from another country", but I am not a supporter from another country; that does not describe me properly… I am a "local" supporter, [a supporter] from the bottom of my heart, from a heart that is ours, that belongs to all the "cuervos", in the past, in the present and for ever.

Viggo's speech
100th year San Lorenzo celebration
Buenos Aires
Translated by Silver
2 April 2008

Excuse the daring but, sincerely, did you come to Argentina for the screening of Alatriste or to watch a San Lorenzo game?

To screen Alatriste...

You mean that wholeheartedly?

Well. El Ciclon (San Lorenzo de Almagro's nickname) and the heart are pretty close to each other…

"Now Even My Son Wants To Get To Know Argentina"
By - translated by Margarita
3 April 2007

I woke up with my clothes on, my head wrapped in a flag with the image of Pope Francis, as if it was some sort of turban, and the TV full blast showing The Mummy with Boris Karloff, but we are still champions!

Viggo Mortensen
In This Heat
By Viggo Mortensen and Fabián Casas - translated by Ollie and Zoe
18 December 2013

....if he were called to face the end of the world as we know it, he would do it with a t-shirt from his team pressed to his heart.

In The Name Of The Father
By Natalia Trzenko - translated by Ollie and Zooey
La Nacion
22 June 2010

You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Stella Pictures.

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Last edited: 13 October 2017 09:17:48