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Your August Reminders

Categories: Calendar: Viggo

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© Images © StudioCanal.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

In last week's Quotables I looked at the way Viggo, as an actor, can say a lot without actually saying anything. Staying with the acting theme, another recent comment from a critic has stuck in my mind. Dave McNary commented last month in Variety that Viggo was a rare actor who 'really embraces the ugly side of characters'. Plunging into the darkness has led to some of Viggo's most outstanding performances, mining especially rich veins in the complex characters he likes to play most, where the dark and light side jostle for victory within the characters psyche. The 'ugly side', when it emerges, can be truly frightening, as in a Tom Stall or a Frankie, or it can be weak and shameful as in a dithering Halder or a seedy Chester.

"Viggo really embraces the ugly side of characters… not a lot of stars do."

Dave McNary
22 June 2014

"The only thing I would say is that the characters need to lie and lose, and it needs to end badly for everyone." Mortensen said characters should always have a secret. "That's what the story's generally about: the masks, and the masks fall away, and what you end up seeing about these people is often ugly and embarrassing..."

Viggo talking about Two Faces of January
Berlinale Press Conference
11 February 2014

"These complicated men feel no great love for one another. But they both carry good and evil within themselves. That's why I needed Viggo to make them real....Viggo's talented and cultured, but he can also be brutal on screen. Without that quality this film would have flopped."

Ana Piterbarg
Viggo Mortensen's New Plan
By Constance Droganes
26 March 2013

"There's a great kind of personal stamp that's idiosyncratic for the character. [Viggo] explores extreme parameters within the character on his own terms and therefore creates something entertaining and thrilling for an audience to get involved with on their own imaginative level."

Actor Geoffrey Rush after seeing Eastern Promises at Tiff
Naked Viggo Mortensen: artist at work
By Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post Film Critic
14 Sept 2007

Once again, Viggo Mortensen demonstrates he is a powerful actor willing to take risk (yes, I am referring to the fight scene). He also shows how he is able to capture the nature of a character - good or bad (the scene where he threatens the uncle was chilling and he doesn't say a word).

Patrick Luce 'Eastern Promises' review
Best DVDs of 2007
10 January 2008

Mortensen, often cast as tough men of action and boundless rectitude, persuades us here that his John Halder has the skills to present to the world and himself a façade of decency over the spine of a jellyfish. It's a very skillful, commendably self-effacing performance.

'Good' Review
Abbie Bernstein
If Magazine
31 December 2008

Mortensen gives the most complete performance of his career here, creating an everyman with a talent we have to believe he's instinctually capable of, yet weary to have. He has to be noble, oblivious and lethal at a moment's notice. Like his family, we want him to be our protector but will still fear him once the box where he's been hiding has been opened.

A History of Violence Review
Erik Childress
E Filmcritic
23 September 2005

"If there's something in a story that might be good for me to explore and learn about, that pricks my conscience or even scares me on some level, then that's where I try to go.

Viggo Mortensen
"Life's Too Short to Do All This Work and Not Do It Right": An Interview with Viggo Mortensen
By Scott Thill
6 April 2004

At Dorothy's admonishment- "Frank don't talk like that!" - Frank switches. If we weren't so caught up in the film itself, we would be in awe of Mortensen's skill here. His acting is breathtaking, as he builds from disappointment through hurt to a mean sarcasm - "Did I say the wrong thing?" that turns quickly to simmering anger - "Is it that we're strangers? We're not strangers". He is genuinely frightening to watch, the whole scene feels as if we are onlookers at a real-life domestic dispute. By the time Dorothy tells him "I don't know what you're talking about. Let's eat", he is ready to explode.

Frank's floodgates are wide open, and he unleashes a torrent of pent-up hatred on Dorothy, standing over her, glowering, taking handfuls of food from his plate, stuffing it into his mouth and spitting it into her face. "You eat! You. Eat." Even as Lucifer in The Prophecy, Viggo was never nastier.

Why I love… Viggo Mortensen's Frank in The Indian Runner
Rowan Righelato
The Guardian
27 September 2013

...if there is in recent cinema a more convincing scene of psychological torture than the moment when Mortensen rages against a teeny-weeny Patricia Arquette, spattering her with mouthfuls of food, I'd really rather not see it, thank you.

On Viggo Mortensen
By Ryan Gilbey
4 December 2007

Mr. Mortensen, a magnetic actor capable of both scary outbursts and eerie, reptilian calm... It is some measure of Mr. Mortensen's savage, mocking ferocity that in a final confrontation with Dennis Hopper, who plays a bartender given to in-your-face philosophizing, Mr. Hopper seems easily the tamer of the two.

Janet Maslin talking about The Indian Runner
New York Times
20 September 1991

...did the bad guy roles never give you problems with your conscience?

Yes, a couple of times. Like in the Sean Penn movie. But whenever I had to face up to a bad guy, I looked for the reasons he was bad (no-one is totally bad). If I could find those reasons, I took the role. A couple of times I turned down roles which displayed gratuitous violence. However the bad guy roles are nearly always better written, they are richer characters and are more interesting. A character like Aragorn can be so good it's boring.

Viggo Mortensen
A Multi-talented Hero
Dominical, by J. A. - translated for V-W by NacidaLibre
27 August 2006

'I like to get to know the characters and I have never played a character, no matter how hideous his actions were, that I didn't really like the person I was playing somehow or feel a bond with this character in a sense.'

Viggo Mortensen
The Fire That Fuels an Artist's Heart
by Carnell
Carpe Noctem magazine #15

He's played a family man with a dark past, an untrustworthy Russian mobster you wouldn't want to run into in a North London bathhouse, and a saucy Sigmund Freud up to no good. Viggo Mortensen's not the kinda guy you'd want holding a step ladder for you, is he?...

Rob Young
15 May 2014

You will find all previous Quotables

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Westmount.

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UPDATE! Viggo-Works Fundraiser 2014 - We're Half Way There!

Categories: Viggo-Works

We are just slightly over half way to our V-W server fundraiser goal for 2014!

To those of you who have contributed so far ... our SINCERE thanks.

We do, however, need everyone's help to reach our goal and keep Viggo-Works running for another year.

As with the previous 10 wonderful years, once again economic times are challenging, and this year,
we again need to ask for your support for the cost of our webserver to keep
Viggo-Works running. Those of you who have contributed over the years have
earned our undying gratitude. Thank you all so very much.

However, times
are still tight and again this year we find ourselves well short of our goal.
We are asking for contributions. Please contribute, as you are able, to keep us
going so that we can continue to enjoy Viggo-Works every day and every week.

To make a contribution to our webserver fund and to keep Viggo-Works
on the air… please click on the PayPal button
you see on the Lower Left side of the News Page

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Viggo Mortensen: "If The Lord of the Rings can win 12 Oscars, I don't see why Avatar wouldn't win the Oscar for best film."

Source: Premiere.
Found By: Donna Marie

Many thanks to our new French translator Donna Marie for translating the following Viggo interview from Premiere magazine.

© 4L Productions.
For the filmmaker Lisandro Alonso (Jauja, a contemplative western film selected for Un Certain Regard), Viggo Mortensen accepted to become lost in Patagonia. The star of The Lord of the Rings tells us what he found between an actor's challenge and a trip through space and time.

by Eric Vernay

How did you meet Lisandro Alonso?

I met him in 2006, very briefly, during a film festival. Then in 2012, because my friend (he switches to French) the Argentine poet Fabiàn Casas told me he was working on a script for Lisandro. And Lisandro wanted to speak to me about it, so we met during the filming of another Argentine film, Everybody Has A Plan, by Ana Piterbarg. He told me he wanted to make a film that takes place in the 19th century, where a Danish man is looking for his daughter who has run away with a young Argentinian soldier. A strange sort of western. That got me very excited!

In your opinion, Jauja is a western?

Yes, I think so. An existential western ... A western that would have been filmed by Tarkovsky. It's a strange film, because it's as much Danish as Argentine. Maybe even more Danish than Argentine, visually and in terms of sensitivity, especially in the sense of humor. Which is a good thing! (laughs)

You recently declared that there were too many special effects in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Are you done with digitalized blockbusters?

It turns out that I prefer things more organic, with fewer effects. But I didn't exactly say that, it's true I talked about my tastes, but I also repeated for the thousandth time the positive things about the trilogy. They are unfortunately not included in the article ... The success of that Peter Jackson film opened numerous doors for me. The filming was also an extraordinary experience in New Zealand. So I'm repeating it again in this interview, in the hope that you won't cut it out! (laughs)

As far as being an actor, you prefer films like Jauja, more 'organic' to re-use your adjective?

Yes, in general. Even if the special effects sometimes work marvellously. I'm thinking for example of Avatar, which is a very intelligent, magnificently directed film. If The Lord of the Rings can win 12 Oscars, I don't see why Avatar wouldn't win the Oscar for best film. The juries, at the Oscars just as in the festivals, are always subjective, and sometimes it's difficult to understand why certain works are forgotten. Why has David Cronenberg never been nominated for an Oscar? It's strange. It isn't logical, so I don't take the awards very seriously.

For a star like you, playing in this low budget Argentinian movie, did this give you a sense of escape?

In a blockbuster as in a small, conservative film, the relationship with the camera is the same. You have to know your lines of dialogue, the interaction between the director and the actors doesn't really change according to the budget. That being said, finding myself with a small team in the middle of nowhere, in the superb landscape I knew because I spent my childhood there, it made me happy. And it was liberating. As much as Lisandro is open-minded, cooperative, not pretentious. Horseback riding in Patagonia, which reminded me of when I was a little boy. Also, I had to speak an old Danish, the Danish spoken by my grandfather – a country man. It was the first time I've spoken Danish in a movie. So on several levels, I was experiencing a return to the past, a little bit like my character, for whom the time line becomes confused. It was very unusual ... a good challenge. It was a little bit like the camping trips I used to take in the region with my family, as a child: far from the telephone, the internet.

As a painter, what do you think of the way the director Lisandro Alonso compacted these Patagonian landscapes into an almost square format?

It reminds me of the old westerns. It's very beautiful, it changes the panoramic.

You learned some things about yourself during this unusual and wild experience?

It was interesting to work with a director who does long shots, without being afraid of the calmness and the length of time: in front of the camera, everything you do becomes interesting. It's the first time that he was using professional actors, but in the film, we don't look like actors, we just look like people. People who are having real experiences. In these conditions, it's impossible to make a mistake. It's a strange feeling as an actor. What you do will be in the film. That gives you confidence and peace of mind.

You don't talk very much in the film, was it a challenge to give consistency to the character?

No, you know Aragorn didn't talk very much, either. In History of Violence, my character expresses himself a lot in a non-verbal manner. I like that. But I also like talkative roles, I like the change.

In the film you meet a mysterious dog. How was that, working with it?

The dog was incredible. His trainer is a fan of the San Lorenzo soccer team, just like I am.

© Premiere. Images © 4L Productions.

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Loin des Hommes in Competition at Venice

Source: Deadline.
Found By: Chrissie

News from Deadline that Loin des Hommes will be in competition at the Venice International Film Festival which runs from 27 August to 6 September.

Image Michael Crotto.
© One World Films.
Twenty films will compete in the main competition, 19 of which are world premieres with one international premiere.

Birdman, dir: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (opening film)
The Cut, dir: Fatih AKIN
A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence, dir: Roy Andersson
99 Homes, dir: Ramin Bahrani
Tales, dir: Rakhshān Bani E'Temad
La Rançon De La Gloire, dir: Xavier Beauvois
Hungry Hearts, dir: Saverio Costanzo
Le Dernier Coup De Marteau, dir: Alix Delaporte
Pasolini, dir: Abel Ferrara
Manglehorn, David Gordon Green
3 Hearts, dir: Benôit Jacquot
The Postman's White Nights, dir: Andrei Konchalovsky
Il Giovane Favoloso, dir: Mario Martone
Sivas, dir: Kaan Mujdeci
Anime Nere, dir: Francesco Munzi
Good Kill, dir: Andrew Niccol
Loin Des Hommes, dir: David Oelhoffen
The Look Of Silence, dir: Joshua Oppenheimer
Fires On The Plain, dir: Shinya Tsukamoto
Red Amnesia, Xiaoshuai Wang

© Deadline. Images © Image Michael Crotto/One World Films. .

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Last edited: 31 July 2014 16:23:22