‘Green Book’ Review: Odd-Couple Dramedy Is Timely Feel-Good Movie

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A Tribute to Viggo

Source: SFFILM.
Found By: Chrissie

Our thanks to Chrissie for bring us the news from the San Francisco Film Society that Viggo will be participating in a special event on 20 November.


A Tribute to Viggo Mortensen: Green Book

'Green Book' press conference, Rome Film Festival - 24 October 2018
'Green Book' press conference, Rome Film Festival ...
Image Ernesto S Ruscio.
© Getty Images.
Tuesday, 20 November, 2018
7:00 p.m.
Castro Theatre

Guests Expected
Actor Viggo Mortensen will participate in an onstage conversation prior to the film.

Join SFFILM for a special onstage tribute to acclaimed actor and artist Viggo Mortensen, featuring an advance screening of his latest film Green Book. Mortensen has consistently earned acclaim for his work in a wide range of films, including Captain Fantastic, A Dangerous Method, Eastern Promises, A History of Violence, The Road, Appaloosa, Far from Men, The Two Faces of January, Jauja, Captain Alatriste: The Spanish Musketeer, and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Mortensen is also a poet, photographer and painter. He is the editor of Perceval Press, an independent publishing house, which he founded in 2002.

You can check out getting tickets HERE.

© SFFILM. Images © Getty.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Found By: Iolanthe

On November 10th Viggo will be given the Alexander Garrett Award for Service to Beyond Baroque, celebrating his long association with this literary and arts centre, which was established in 1968. Not only does Viggo have a long history of live poetry readings -– his own and other poets’ work - and exhibitions there (One Man’s Meat in 1999), but he has given unstinting support when needed. I loved director Richard Modiano’s comment that, to him, Viggo is ‘a poet foremost’. I think it’s a great way to sum up Viggo’s artistic output because poetry doesn’t just have to be about words. His acting, his art, his music, his photography all has the poetic about it – a sensitive narrative of life gracefully and sensitively interpreted.

“Many funding sources had dried up and I reached out to Viggo for help — which came immediately. To me Viggo is a poet foremost — I know his work from the days of Cafe Iguana and the Onyx Cafe; and of course he polished his poetry chops in the Wednesday Night Poetry Workshops."

Beyond Baroque director Richard Modiano
The Book of Viggo
By Shana Nys Dambrot
LA Weekly
1 November 2018

Most of you out there are more than likely familiar with Viggo the actor, star of films like The Indian Runner, Crimson Tide, G.I. Jane, The Reflecting Skin, and Carlito's Way among others... but we here in Bumville know him as poet and angel. Viggo has been very actively involved in the reclamation of Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center in Venice, Ca. for a few years now and has been an active voice on the L.A. poetry scene as well. When The Carma Bums kicked off their Twisted Tour of Words in '96 at Luna Park in West L.A., Viggo came to see the show and wish us all bon voyage and ultimately helped us with artistic assist of our video/film The Luxurious Tigers Of Obnoxious Agreement.

For The Carma Bums
Carma Bums

'A lot of people that were here tonight said something about their writing, but were too embarrassed by it. And I'd ask them about what they write and encourage them to pursue it. People sometimes seem to feel that poetry is just this little thing you do privately, like your diary. But in reality it's something that you can work at in many ways, that you can share, that you can take as far as you like.'

Viggo Mortensen at the Midnight Special reading
A Religious Moment Where Something Might Happen
by Scott Thill
Morphizm 2002

The author of two published books of poetry, Mortensen crafts spare, fine-tuned verses that end with the sharp report of a metaphor hitting its target. Most paint a languid picture of West Coast suburban life a milieu of cars, swimming pools and lovers' conversations; some ruminate on the life of the movie actor with surprising acuity.

The Man Who Would Be King
by Nick Dent
Black & White Magazine

‘A teacher gave me the taste for poetry. I like the discipline it imposes, I like the reign of precision and the perfect word.’

Viggo Mortensen: "Travelling is the best anti-war weapon"
By Yetty Hagendorf - translated by Donna Marie
Le Soir (Belgium)
2 February 2015

‘To write a good poem requires discipline, discretion and precision.’

Viggo Mortensen: "You must live your contradictions”
by Olivier Cariguel
Le Magazine Litteraire
March 2015

"For me, it's like taking apart an engine. You take all the pieces, you put them on a table and when you finish putting it together, you leave some of them aside.”

Viggo on writing poetry
"Writing and acting are like being a kid again"
By Eduardo Bejuk
Gente Magazine – translated by Zooey
September 2009

"For me, music and poetry together mean something. When I feel something, I write. When I write, I think of a melody,"…

..he reads poems by Fabián Casas, like, for instance, "Sin llaves y a oscuras" [Without Keys and in the Dark], one by Bosnian poet Izet Sarajilic, or "Elogi de la discreció "[In Praise of Discretion], by Catalan poet Anna Rossell. With this last poem, the audience surrenders completely to the actor and applauds with great enthusiasm.

Romea Theatre poetry reading with pianist Rafel Plana
Viggo Mortensen Seduces at the Romea
By Griselda Oliver - translated by Ollie
26 February 2015

…in my performance [at the Romea Theatre] I read recent poems or some that I wrote years ago. Every time I read them, they come out in a different way. But I always remember where and how the poem in question came to be.

"Poetry is an art that will never disappear."
By Lluis Arcalis and Teresa Marquez translated by Ollie and Zoe
El Punt Avui
1 March 2016

'He kept a lot of his poetry inside his refrigerator,' says Cervenkova, 'which endeared him to me forever.'

Exene Cervenkova
Viggo Mortensen
by Steve Pond
US Magazine #236, 1997

To Viggo, poetry is a way to leave reality behind in order to reach another, purer reality, away from those commonplace moments and the difficult situations for which there's no apparent relief. Poetry, to him, is a way to put the world into perspective.

About Them... "I like a brave woman"
By Salvador Llopart - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zooey
La Vanguardia
14 March 2010

His poetry and prose are taut and gripping - the outpourings of a genuine talent, not a bored dilettante.

Understated A-lister Viggo Mortensen tells our reporter about his new cult hit 'Captain Fantastic' - and why it's impossible to be the perfect parent
by Ed Power
Irish Independent
31 August 2016

'I don't have to wait on other people as to whether I'm allowed to work, and it's up to me if I want to ruin it in the editing.'

Viggo Mortensen on writing poetry
Viggo Mortensen
by Steve Pond
US Magazine #236, 1997

“Poetry is an art that will never disappear; it will always exist.”

Poetry is an art that will never disappear
By Lluis Arcalis and Teresa Marquez translated by Ollie and Zoe
El Punt Avui
1 March 2016

You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © HB Carlos.

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Your November Reminders

Categories: Calendar: Viggo

Click on image to enlarge.

© viggo-works.com. Images © Getty.

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Universal To Release Its Stealth Oscar Contender, 'Green Book,' Five Days Early

Source: Forbes

Universal/Comcast Corp. just dropped word that they will be platforming Green Book five days before its national Thanksgiving weekend debut.

© Universal.
by Scott Mendelson

To wit, the buzzy and crowd-pleasing dramedy, starring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali (both of whom offer wonderful movie star turns) will open in limited release on the weekend of Nov. 16 with the intent of going wide as planned on Nov. 21. The reasoning is simple, namely that the festival darling and stealth Oscar contender will play like gangbusters with paying consumers. I saw Green Book last night, and it's a very good movie. Universal knows it and are attempting to get the word out accordingly.

If I were Universal, I'd seriously consider holding a national sneak preview on the weekend of the 16th, perhaps paired with First Man as a kind of old-school double-feature sneak preview. I'm curious how the pundits will react, as it's the kind of racially-charged dramedy that will allow white folks (especially older white folks) to walk out of the theater feeling a lot better about themselves than they might after BlacKkKlansman or The Hate U Give. That it is a "safer" movie than Sorry to Bother You or Blindspotting does not change the fact that it's a solid piece of intelligent and entertaining feel-good studio programming.

We shouldn't have to choose only between righteously angry political screeds and (at best) metaphorically-inclined blockbuster action fantasies. It is both the kind of audience-pleaser that could end up as a major Oscar player and the kind of movie that ends up being tagged as "the enemy" (like The Blind Side). To be fair, I'm sure Universal would be thrilled with even 1/2 of The Blind Side's $257 million domestic and $309m worldwide cume. With the caveat that I still enjoy The Blind Side on its own terms (for that matter, I still think Precious is terrific), this isn't a white savior pic.

It's a buddy comedy, one that tells a true-life tale that reverses the Driving Miss Daisy template. Mortensen plays a job-to-job patriarch who takes an eight-week gig to drive around Ali's cultured, refined and refreshingly eccentric concert pianist as the musician goes on a tour in the heart of the Deep South. Yes, there is peril involved, and the title references a guide to hotels and restaurants along the way that will safely serve black people. Green Book is the kind of film that ends up legging it for weeks because it's good and because it works as a consensus choice for large groups and family movie outings.

It's not a cartoon, a horror movie, a superhero flick or a musical biopic. Like The Blind Side, it has the potential to be the kind of movie that may not be everyone's first choice, but rather than choice that everyone in the group can agree upon. Paramount is hoping that their Mark Wahlberg/Rose Byrne foster care dramedy Instant Family (opening wide on Nov. 16 and which I have yet to see) fits that definition as well, and I imagine that Paramount is hoping that Universal doesn't take my national sneak preview suggestion to heart.

However, with essentially nothing opening between Thanksgiving and Dec. 14, and with much of the year-end stuff conventionally franchise-y faire (Aquaman, Bumblebee, Mortal Engines, etc.), there may be room for two variations on Blind Side or Wonder between mid-November and mid-January. Sure, I might argue that something should move from Thanksgiving (which is super crowded) and that Dec. 14-to-Dec. 25 blitz and instead open in those first two weekends of December, but the absence of early December biggies may allow the Thanksgiving flicks (Creed II, Ralph Wrecks the Internet, Green Book and Robin Hood) to leg out accordingly. That might not help the Christmas biggies, but I digress.

We're still looking at an Oscar race comprised of A Star Is Born, BlacKkKlansman, Green Book, Black Panther, The Favourite (which is a nasty delight while also being Lanthimos's most overtly mainstream release yet) and Alfonso Curon's Netflix original Roma. As hoped for, the bulk of the major Oscar contenders will likely be comprised of major studio fare, and yes I count Focus Features (which is, like Universal, owned by Comcast) and Fox Searchlight as arms of a bigger major studio operation. Universal knows Green Book is a buzzy winner, and they are banking on a big per-theater average and strong word-of-mouth to power the film into its national Thanksgiving debut.

© Forbes. Images © Universal.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Found By: Iolanthe
Categories: Media Quotable Viggo

I loved the comment from Thessaly La Force of the New York Times that Viggo was able to ‘transmit a feeling of soul’ in his films. This is the nub of it, isn’t it? The reason he is so compelling on screen. A deeply aware and soulful man, he is able to bring all of that to bear on every role he plays. You can look into his character’s eyes and the depths are always there, no matter who he is playing because he brings himself completely into the part. Yet somehow, he can transmute that into someone entirely other. It’s kinda magic.

He is, in such a superficial medium, able to transmit the feeling of a soul.

Viggo Mortensen, the Unlikely Leading Man
New York Times
By Thessaly La Force
15 October 2018

...while he’s clearly driven by a need to express himself via many outlets, he still exudes a sense of some private, fundamentally unknowable core self. It permeates his screen presence, too, and is part of what makes him so intriguing as an actor.

Viggo Mortensen: Still here, still fantastic
The Film Experience
By Nathaniel Rogers
24 April 2016

Mortensen can get into his characters’ skins, but also their souls, and he knows how to project a character’s inner life onto the screen.

Jeffrey Westhoff
Northwest Herald
24 November 2009

Few actors can do stillness on screen with as much conviction as Viggo Mortensen. That chiselled face, turned towards a landscape or held in concentration as someone else speaks, can stand in for any amount of narrative exposition: look at any of Mortensen's characters and you know, without having to be told about it, that man's had a hell of a past.

Far From Men: Viggo Mortensen saddles up in Albert Camus' short story
by Stephanie Bunbury
Sydney Morning Herald
23 July 2015

“He’s very sweet and soulful and thoughtful, but in terms of working with him as an actor, I’ve never seen anyone so three-dimensionally aware or involved with a production.”

Interview: George MacKay
The Scotsman
7 July 2018

Mortensen is such a delicately sentient actor that nothing he does reads as pure caricature. When Ben realizes that in trying to prepare his children for everything he may have prepared them for nothing, it’s as if we can see right into his crushed soul. It’s also the moment he becomes most human: at some point, all kids have to learn that parents are people too.

Stephanie Zacharek: Captain Fantastic
4 July 2016

Viggo steals the picture. His always fresh and relaxed expressions, with dark subtexts dancing just below the surface, never cease to astound me.

Rex Reed - Appaloosa
The New York Observer
17 September 2008

Mortensen – an intriguing man, serene and philosophical – spoke during our interview with such tender sincerity about the two characters and their unremitting and inexpressibly vital bond that it seems clear that he has invested a large but vulnerable part of his soul into his performance. I don’t care that this sounds indulgent because there is something about this film, this novel, something so pure, so intrinsically human that forces one to shove aside smart-arsed scepticism and just marvel – humbled – at so crucial and compelling a message.

Dan Hollis – The Road
May 2010

It’s a testament to Hillcoat’s obvious belief in the strength of unadorned screen acting that he, like McCarthy before him, refuses even to explain the global cataclysm that has brought his protagonists to this state. Instead he asks us to read it, mostly, in the depths of Mortensen’s wide, pellucid eyes… his eyes are filled with the kind of tremulous compassion that can carry the emotional weight of an entire movie.

Kevin Maher
The Times Online
8 January 2010

Mortensen's power comes directly from his eyes. They speak much more than any line he delivers in the film and offer an astounding glimpse into the psyche of his character.

Christopher Childs – A History of Violence
May 31, 2005

The beating pulse of the movie comes from Bello and Mortensen, both of whom are award worthy. Viggo might have had a haircut since his middle-earth days, but he's lost none of his power. Look into his eyes, you'll see his soul.

Paul Greenwood – A History of Violence
Future Movies
29 September 2005

As with History of Violence, [Cronenberg] elicits another tour-de-force performance by Mortensen, who completely envelops his Russian low-level mobster, Nikolai. A lot is going on in this remarkable actor’s body and soul, resulting in one of the year’s most stunning performance.

Paul Fisher – Eastern Promises
9 Sept 2007

...Mortensen plays this role as if he had different blood chemistry than the rest of us. Nikolai remains eerily still until he's moved to act; then he glides forth with reptilian grace. Yet something still glows at the bottom of those half-lidded eyes - enough to suggest the cobra has a soul.

Ty Burr – Eastern Promises
Boston Globe
14 Sept 2007

"Viggo has the perfect qualities as a man and as an actor to do this part. He’s got incredible depth of soul.”

Nick Wechsler – The Road
Interview with Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Contender
3 September 2009

You will find all previous Quotables here.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Javier Aquirresarobe/Dimension Films/2929 Productions.

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Last edited: 12 November 2018 10:24:34