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Viggo Mortensen and Matt Ross on the Origins of Their Film Captain Fantastic

Source: IMDB.
Found By: Chrissie
Our thanks again to [color]Chrissie[/color] this interview from IMDB.

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Captain Fantastic World Premiere Q&A

Source: YouTube.
Found By: Chrissie
Thanks to Chrissie for this videoclip from We Live Films:

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Sundance Red Carpet Videoclip

Source: YouTube.
Found By: Chrissie
Chrissie brings us this lovely clip of the Captain Fantastic cast on the red carpet from Park City Television:

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Sundance Review - 'Captain Fantastic'

Found By: Lindi
Thanks to Lindi for bringing us this review from

Sundance 2016: Matt Ross' 'Captain Fantastic' is Profoundly Intelligent

© Bleecker Street.
by Alex Billington

This is the film I've been waiting for. And I don't just mean it's the film I was waiting for at Sundance, but perhaps this is the film I was waiting to come across in my life. Matt Ross' Captain Fantastic is one of the most inspiring, invigorating, and intelligent films I've ever seen at Sundance. I don't care if that sounds hyperbolic, this is one of those times when hyperbole is actually necessary. This film floored me, and I'm still on a high from it, with so much to say about it. It's brilliant, it's uplifting, it's encouraging, it's warm, it's touching, it's funny, it's endearing. All these adjectives are necessary because it's a film that has filled me with so much happiness and hopefulness that I can't help expressing my love for this film. It's everything.

What the hell is this film about? Captain Fantastic stars Viggo Mortensen as a loving father of a family of six kids, living out in the wilderness, raising them to be intelligent, strong individuals through training and reading. Their life is inspired by Noam Chomsky, who is referenced throughout, with an anti-corporate attitude but intellectual approach to living. It's not about excess, or worthless entertainment; it's not about all the frivolous, wasteful things everyone spends their money on, it's about only buying what they need, and dedicating their learning to universal truths and wondrous beauty in this world. The way they approach this mindset in the film is wonderful, not overbearing or grating at all, with just the right amount of charisma.

Essentially, Mortensen plays that kind of arrogant, cerebral person who shoots down (using intelligence) anyone that cares about money. In this society, he's the person that many people love to hate, because he refuses to be like everyone else. But that's why I love him. The story involves Mortensen and his naturalist kids traveling out into the world, awkward as expected, clashing with everyone along the way - other people in his family and pretty much everyone they encounter. It's played for laughs, but it's also so extremely intelligently written, every single line is profound. Every last conversation has so much depth to it, because that's what happens when intellectualism is encouraged. It's what we desperately need more of right now.

I didn't know what to expect with this film going in, but I was swept away by it, caught up until the very end. Laughing, smiling, cheering, applauding at all the right moments. There is a score that sounds like it was done by Jónsi, even though it wasn't, but it adds a mesmerizing dreamlike/uplifting vibe to the film. The cinematography throughout is gorgeous, as Mortensen drives a blue bus (nicknamed "Steve") down from the Northwest to Arizona. Every last scene and every moment is handled with care. It's often overtly hilarious because Mortensen speaks so honestly, he always tells his kids the real answers to their questions, never filtering anything. It made me smile more and more every time it happened. Honesty is a key part of my life.

What it really comes down to is whether it's possible to raise kids like this, and be a loving parent in a world that sees this lifestyle as dangerous. And I'm sure everyone already knows the answer to that question if so many people are in love with this film already. It gives me hope that it's possible to be an intellectual, to clash with the unenlightened citizens of this world, and to still have such a big heart. This is one of those cases when I think this film found me as much as I found it. It's everything that I believe in, that I support, and it's expressed so perfectly; I can't wait for the rest of the world to get the chance to experience it. Go in with an open mind, an open heart, and you'll leave as inspired and enlivened as I was. It's film full of life.

I must end with this key Noam Chomsky quote: "If you assume that there is no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope. If you assume that there is an instinct for freedom, that there are opportunities to change things, then there is a possibility that you can contribute to making a better world."

Alex's Sundance 2016 Rating: 10 out of 10

© Images © Bleeker Street.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Found By: Iolanthe
Categories: Media Quotable Viggo

A recent comment by Ignatiy Vishnevetsky in A.V Club described Viggo as 'incapable of coming across as vain' (first quote below). I immediately stored it away to create a Quotable around it as it's a recurring theme for those who have worked with Viggo over the years. He's one of the team, never demanding special treatment, never taking all the praise, never surrounded by a personal entourage. Never, never the Movie Star. That's our Viggo.

...despite his behind-the-scenes involvement with Jauja (as producer, composer, and even subtitle proofreader), the movie doesn't come across as a Mortensen vanity project. Maybe that's because Mortensen, an actor with an amazing instinct for subtlety and believability, is incapable of coming across as vain.

In praise of Viggo Mortensen and the interdependent actor
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
13 January 2015

He never had Champagne dreams and caviar wishes…

Viggo Talks and Talks
By Zoe Heller
T Magazine
2 December 2011

...despite his movie-star reputation and looks, Mortensen remains a remarkably humble screen presence.

Far From Men review
Peter Debruge
30 August 2014

I'm sorry to have to break this to you, but Viggo Mortensen is not a movie star. A poet? Yes. Photographer? Yep. Guitarist? Sure. Author? Uh-huh. Painter? Yessir. Actor? Most definitely. But celebrity? No way.

Viggo Mortensen on 'The Road'
By David Jenkins
Time Out
7 January 2010

In contrast to the prancing egos on display at the TIFF, the undisputed hero this year has been charismatic, versatile and totally charming Viggo

What Has Happened to the Toronto Film Festival?
Rex Reed
The New York Observer
9 September 2008

The typical Hollywood leading man travels with an entourage between his palatial homes, five-star hotel suites and luxury trailers. He does not disappear alone for two weeks to meet the Russian mafia in the name of research.

Actor joins the underworld's shadowy cast
Ben Hoyle
The Times
October 17, 2007

'Viggo Mortensen was an absolute joy to work with. He slept on the roof of his trailer with his saddle and bedroll. We had to constantly keep him late and call for him early and he never complained. He came with no entourage and drove himself to location. When his stunt man fell off the horse and jammed his elbow, Viggo did the stunt himself, riding bareback at full speed.'

Joe Johnston
Joe Johnston Sketchbook
Oct 2014

What's it like working with Viggo Mortensen? Is there any competition about how far you can push each other?

Let me tell you something: it's impossible to have a competition with Viggo Mortensen because he's not on that vibe, you know? And neither am I. No, no, when you work with Viggo it's very warm. You get presents all the time and there is no competition on the set.

Vincent Cassel
By Robert Beames
Obsessed with Film
19 January 2011

"I've always sensed that I'd be insulting him a little bit if I called him a movie star," Johnston says. "If he chose to be a movie star, he could've done it a long time ago. . . . He's in control."

Joe Johnston
A Man of Many Parts
Teresa Wiltz
Washington Post, 2004

Lord Of The Rings director Peter Jackson calls him 'no ego Viggo', and everyone who knows him says that a key part of his character is a complete absence of vanity. He certainly seems modest in person. Weirdly, for an actor, he mumbles and slurs his words, giving the impression of being very shy, very inarticulate or very stoned. Yet when I listen back to my tape, I'm amazed to notice that he almost always speaks in complete sentences, which places him in a very small minority of interviewees.

Lone Star
By Peter Ross
Sunday Herald, 2004

If fame came with a report card, Viggo's would say can do better.

The Man Who Would Be King
By Nick Dent
December 2001
Black & White magazine, #58

"Viggo's … a real artist. He cares about what speaks to him. He doesn't care about how much he's paid, doesn't care where he lives, doesn't care how nice the hotel is. He's a horse."

Garret Dillahunt
Fred Topel
20 March 2009

"...when we were shooting in Hungary, he said, 'I don't want my trailer to be bigger than the other actors'. He's a very special guy and that shows in the work. When you're on set, you feel like you're equals collaborating. That's often not the case with big stars."

Jason Issacs
Good premier, Toronto
7 September 2008

"I've always felt dependent on others, which I think is a good thing; I don't think it's a weakness, I think, really, my performance depends on other people all of the time. Not just the actors, well, mainly the actors but the crew [as well]"

Interview: Viggo Mortensen
By Todd Gilchrist
26 November 2009

'I don't care about being famous. I don't care about having my face on posters. It doesn't massage my ego. It's nice to have a poster, but in the end it's about the movie. Nobody walks around saying "The movie stunk, but the poster was awesome'.'

Viggo Mortensen while promoting Hidalgo
A Reluctant Star
By Barry Koltnow, Orange County Register
7 March 2004

"It's interesting, because Viggo is such a humble individual...We sort of viewed him as our king and as an inspiration, and I think that he certainly wouldn't see himself as that. There is quiet leadership to him, and it's not intentional, and I think it's simply because he takes care of the people around him."

Elijah Wood
The Rebel King
By Chris Heath
GQ magazine, 2004

No matter how outstanding his work, or how successful his films, it's impossible to imagine Mortensen without that customary reticence that makes him such a fine actor and such a reluctant star. Long may he stay off the radar.

On Viggo Mortensen
By Ryan Gilbey
4 December 2007

You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Rafi Castillo.

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Last edited: 30 April 2016 10:55:29