Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

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New Viggo/Buckethead CD at Perceval Press

Source: Perceval Press.
Found By: kaijamin
Categories: Books & CD's

Our thanks to kaijamin for the find.



© Perceval Press.
buckethead and viggo

Their first meeting in years, but It was as though they'd been sitting in that room of Travis' out in Chatsworth jamming together all that while. Out of the quiet and right back into that particular rhythm, improvising their way through a dusty California afternoon in seven pieces of time on keyboard and guitar. Available from Perceval Press on 30 September, 2011.

You can purchase REUNION here at Perceval Press.

© Viggo Mortensen/Perceval Press.

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Viggo Interview at ZDF

Source: ZDF.
Found By: Chrissie

Many thanks to Chrissie for finding this interview clip on the German site ZDF, where Viggo discusses A Dangerous Method. Click on Viggo's picture to be taken to the interview.

© Images © ZDF.

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REVIEW: A Dangerous Method

Source: Screen Daily.
Found By: Chrissie
Our thanks to Chrissie for surfacing this interesting review of ADM from Screen Daily.

Dir: David Cronenberg. Canada-UK-Germany. 2011. 99mins

© Hanway/Lago.
by Mark Adams

An elegant and absorbing chamber piece of the film, David Cronenberg's delve into the turbulent relationship between psychiatrists Carl Jung and his mentor Sigmund Freud and the talented but troubled young woman Sabina Spielrein who comes between them, is beautifully watchable and driven by a series of thoughtful and stylish performances.

Screening in competition at Venice, it is a cool, mannered and perfectly structured film (it leaves you wanting more rather than less) with fine performances from Keira Knightley, Michael Fassbender and Viggo Mortensen and an easy visual grace. It is film with sex and sensuality at its core, and while Keira's on-screen spanking antics will no doubt attract a certain press attention this is a film resolutely about the mind.

Adapted by Christopher Hampton from his stage play The Talking Cure (the term for the early development of psychoanalysis) the film treads an intelligent and dialogue-heavy route through a complex subject, with scenes set mainly in treatment sessions, static conversations and letter-writing, though there are also some delightfully staged exterior sequences which make great use of stylish Austrian and German locations.

A Dangerous Method is a film that could well attract attention in awards season - it has the intellectual pedigree and high performance level to justify nominations, and while perhaps too mannered and highbrow to attract mainstream audiences it has the capacity to be a heavily talked-up film. Cinematography, costumes and production design are all quite sublime.

While the relationship between the up-and-coming Jung (Fassbender) and the legendry Freud (Mortensen) is the overarching story, at its core is the young Russian Jewish woman Sabina Spielrein (Knightley) and the controversial treatment she undergoes at the hands of Jung as he seeks to treat her deep-rooted psychological issues.

The film opens in dramatic style as a screaming and flailing Spielrein is carried into the Burgholzi Clinic in Zurich in 1904 and into the care of 29 year-old Carl Jung, who at this stage is dabbling with Freud's experimental theories. Disheveled, raging and convulsing, Spielrein is encouraged to share her early memories of a physically abusive father and her sexual responses to his beatings, with Jung a calm and caring sounding board.

Two years later, Jung travels to Vienna to finally meet Freud (Mortensen, sporting a prosthetic nose and chain smoking cigars) to discuss theories and the Spielrein case in particular. So begins a wary but close relationship between the two men with Freud charmingly unwilling to go too far beyond his own theories and Jung pressing to extend the boundaries of their discussions.

Freud asks Jung to meet/treat a fellow psychiatrist Otto Gross (Vincent Cassel), who - in a plot device that feels oddly simplistic - expounds his distain for the concept of monogamy and enthusiasm for sex in general just as Jung finds Sabina enthusiastic for their relationship to extend beyond that of patient and doctor. Despite a content - though cold and old-fashioned - relationship with his wife Emma (Sarah Gadon), Jung finds himself drawn to the vibrant, willful, intelligent and certainly beautiful Sabina.

Before you know it Jung and Sabina are in an intense sexual relationship, fuelling her masochistic desires with a little light spanking on the side and with Jung regularly filled with self-doubt as he analyses his ethics rather than embracing his lusts. Though there are plenty of bedroom scenes, these moments are never overly sexual (and certainly not erotic) and are merely there as a set-up for further debate on psychoanalytical theories.

When Jung breaks off the relationship she is violently distraught, but eventually decides to leave Zurich and seek out Freud. Jung sees this as the greatest of betrayals, and helps fan the flame of discontent between the two men. Jung has grown weary of Freud's adherence to sex at the core of every neurosis and unwillingness to find a 'cure', while Freud finds the younger man too broad in his psychoanalytical enthusiasms as well as drawing a simple line on religion between them - Freud is Jewish and Jung is not.

Fassbender plays Jung as a slightly vague but enthusiastic academic, with slick-backed hair, small round glasses and a monotone voice that lacks any real accent. He is passionate and oddly naïve, seeing little beyond his desire to learn more. Mortensen's Freud is an engagingly calm character, with cigar constantly in his mouth and at ease with a confident composure and genial humour. As always Mortensen - in his third film with Cronenberg after A History of Violence and Eastern Promises - dominates the film and brings a much needed sly humour to the proceedings.

And if the two good doctors are always authoritative and perfectly groomed then perhaps Keira Knightley has the hardest of roles, and certainly she does an impressive job as the tormented Sabina. We all know she can wear the frocks and sport the stylish haircut, but here is far more challenged.

The early scenes of her character hysterical and ranting feel slightly forced - a little too much 'acting' - though Knightley gets better and better as the film draws on, and in truth it would have been nice to know more about Sabina and her many achievements (she went on to be a distinguished analyst in her own right) rather than simply as a catalyst between these two men. Knightley is also only one who makes a stab at an accent (Russian via Germany), and as her character calms so Knightley delivers an impressively nuanced performance that highlights Sabina's intelligence and charisma.

The film bears no distinctive Cronenberg cinematic moments (well, certainly not exploding heads or scenes of ultra-violence, though a lingering shot of experimental instruments harks back to the darkness of Dead Ringers) though he is completely at ease in this more rarified almost stagey structure.

Perhaps most memorable, though, are the scenes shot on Germany's Lake Constance (doubling as Lake Zurich) where Jung sails his elegant wooden yacht with an uncomfortable looking Freud sat aboard. Funny and elegant and a moment of silent grace in amongst the thoughtful dialogue. Beautiful production design by James McAteer and crisp cinematography by Peter Suschitzky help secure A Dangerous Method's classy credentials.

© Images © Hanway/Lago.

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At The Café Sperl

Translation by Sally
Source: der Freitag
Our thanks to Sally who has kindly translated the article that appeared at the German site der Freitag.

David Cronenberg's new film Eine Dunkle Begierde (A Dark Desire) is celebrating its premiere at the Venice Film Festival these days. Filmed on location in Vienna. A day on the set.

© Hanway/Lago.
by Michael Omasta

It is almost seven o'clock in the morning and the Café Sperl in the sixth district of Vienna is already well frequented. Outside on the Gumpendorferstraße the café is illuminated by a battery of floodlights as in broad daylight. On the scene in its interior, the tables with heavy marble slabs and the window seats in red plush, lies a curtain of blinding velvety light.

However, no one drinks coffee here yet. To that, those present are too busy: production assistants and prop masters, electricians and assistant directors, the sound engineer and the entire camera crew from the lighting technician to the cinematographer. The vanguard, the first 30 of about 100 people in total. The narrow alley Girardigasse, right around the corner, is full of parked trucks on both sides, almost down to the picturesque Naschmarkt.

For three days, director David Cronenberg has come to Vienna to shoot on location for his new movie: at the Mölkerbastei, in the Berggasse, in the garden of Belvedere and now in an old Viennese coffeehouse. The Sperl. "After weeks in the studio in Cologne," says Peter Suschitzky, "this shooting in Vienna is a welcome change, and the more so, as we are two days ahead of schedule." Suschitzky, whose family derives from Vienna, is one of the most sought-after cinematographers worldwide and has filmed every Cronenberg film since Dead Ringers in 1988. Eine Dunkle Begierde is the ninth joint work. It's about the young psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung, his former mentor Sigmund Freud and Jung's temporary patient and lover Sabina Spielrein. Less known than the affair is that Spielrein (born 1885, murdered by the Nazis in 1942) became the first woman to publish psychoanalytic topics and did pioneering studies in her specialty area of child analysis.

Christopher Hampton, a British playwright, used the web of relationships as a basis for his play The Talking Cure in 2003 and has edited it now for the film. In the lead roles play Michael Fassbender, Viggo Mortensen, Keira Knightley, Vincent Cassel - as measured by this star-studded cast, the British-Canadian-German-financed movie with its budget of circulated 15 million euros presents almost low-budget production.

In addition, properly speaking, Eine Dunkle Begierde is Cronenberg's first foray into period pic. For three days of shooting, the film crew lets Vienna resurrect in the fin de siècle. The real background to the key scene in the cafe, which is on the schedule today, is likely to be a visit of Jung from Zurich with Freud in Vienna in the spring in 1909.

In the morning the entire left half of the café is prepared for shooting, before the extras arrive at eight o'clock. Smoldering cigarette butts in the ashtrays, old-fashioned coffee mugs are available, various newspapers of yesteryear are laid out. Desserts are arranged on a sideboard, especially tempting: a tower of Schaumrollen (translators note: a very well-known sweet pastry in Austria.)

Two dozen distinguished gentlemen, who have to look like the action in the background, in full dress-up. Only their black top hats, that they carry with them, are in transparent plastic bags. Then they are admitted to their seats, puff cigars, read newspapers, play chess. Waiters bustling around a trial basis.

Less than half an hour later David Cronenberg is suddenly there. Beside him, Viggo Mortensen, aka Freud, who has entered the cafe, as if he were a regular guest here. The most difficult scene is first. Jung and Freud, both in their frock coats and upturned collar, seated at a table, discuss for one and a half, two minutes. Mortensen and co-star Fassbender act through the two-page scene of dialogue.

Freud has got a cup of black coffee in front of him, Jung works on a piece of Sachertorte with a fork. He had no idea, Freud warns his friend, what fierce resistance would meet their studies, not least it comes in handy for the enemies that the members of the psychoanalytic group in Vienna were all Jews. Jung says he does not understand what difference that makes. Freud briefly scrutinizes Jung, but he, innocent looking, especially now, with his distinctive beard of whipped cream. "That, my dear, is a truly Protestant remark."

Cronenberg watches the scene on a small monitor from a distance, on top of it: a plaster bust of Freud! Even though the first shot is fine, it is repeated for safety reasons. An assistant lights up a new cigar for Mortensen, the table is re-covered, a new piece of cake is served. Walter, the assistant director, gives commands by radio. Once again, the traffic is stopped on the spacious Gumpendorferstraße, sound recording: "start", background-action: "start", last: Action, please!

It is sweltering hot, indoors and outdoors. During a break, Viggo Mortensen enjoys a roll-your-own in front of the door. He seems deeply lost in thought, but not so deep that he wouldn't give a light to one member of the crew without having been asked. No one dares to speak to him. With only roughly outlined gestures and a cigarette instead of a cigar, he memorizes scene and text on the forecourt of the café, touches the lapel, his lapel - signifying Freud's professorial sovereignty.

After a short conversion follows the detail resolution of the long dialogue scene into shot and reverse shot. Cronenberg doesn't let his stars talk to the wall at such individual recordings, the other one is sitting at the table, even if he is not in the picture. This morning, Fassbender as Jung has got the more challenging part: He has to scoff a total of five or six half pieces of Sachertorte with whipped cream.

Scene of the afternoon is the right half of the café, while everyone and everything, which is not in use at the moment, is now moved to the other side. Mortensen comes around in T-shirt and sweatpants once more to again record a short dialogue. The stars have finished their job for today.

One of the scenes shows a young kitchen helper who fills a jug with water, turning left to go through a door into the narrow kitchen behind, serves coffee and puts it on the service hatch. Another scene shows a wide shot of the café, you can see, how two men enter and are received by the slightly portly waiter and are escorted to a table near the entrance, you see young men playing billiards, and older men puffing cigars or browsing newspapers. In both cases, the greatest difficulty is to produce coherent motion. Again and again the extras in the kitchen get in the way, the pool sharks and the waiter anyway. After a few more test runs the scenes are shot.

"David works very economically," says Peter Suschitzky, "he shoots scenes twice, maximum three times." And Christian Almesberger, his assistant from Salzburg, confirmed: "Cronenberg knows exactly in advance how and what he wants, but of course, if there's something wrong with the camera or the film, and one does not notice while filming, this might be a problem because little material is available to do the additional editing later."

In order that this system really works, David Cronenberg has gathered a number of co-conspirators for some years. This includes cinematographer Suschitzky and lead actor Mortensen, working for the third time for the director after A History of Violence (2005) and Eastern Promises (2007), composer Howard Shore, editor Ronald Sanders, casting agent Deirdre Bowen, designer James McAteer and Cronenberg's sister Denise, who is responsible for the costume design.

Jeremy Thomas, one of the largest independent producers of European cinema has already worked with Cronenberg concerning Naked Lunch and Crash in the nineties, and filmed in Vienna (Blackout - Anatomy of a Passion in 1980 with Art Garfunkel as a psychoanalyst) once before. He does not need the former usual cigar and gives the impression of being sympathetic and relaxed. This afternoon he is on set not for a long time, making sure that everything works as desired, and soon says good-bye. In search of a taxi a shoelace - very casual, very British - comes undone.

Anyway there is no hassle at all on the set throughout the day. Each of the hundred technicians, actors and supporting staff seems to know exactly what he or she has to do - and does it. Neither the director nor the cinematographer nor one of the stars raises their voice ever. Cronenberg constantly keeps his people happy, probably that's almost the most important thing for a shooting.

At about half past four the last scene is in the can. David Cronenberg looks satisfied and poses for a souvenir photo. Then in the background, a few sentences by him are recorded for the making of the film. "Freud is a synonym for Vienna. To capture this atmosphere of an era, one needs venues like the Cafe Sperl. We practically had to change nothing, it feels like being put back into the early 20th century."

The day has gone on long enough. For most of the people, it began in the dead of night, and to put everything back into its original state in the café, it needs at least another two hours. After all, the production assistant asks: "Anyone else want to have another piece of Schaumrolle?"

© der Freitag Mediengesellschaft mbH & Co. KG. Images © Hanway/Lago.

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First Night: A Dangerous Method, Venice Film Festival

Source: The Independent.
Found By: Dom
Our thanks to Dom for surfacing one of the first ADM reviews ... this one from The Independent.

Freud takes on Jung - but Knightley wins by a head

Keira Knightley leaves a press conference in Venice yesterday, followed by A Dangerous Method co-star Viggo Mortensen
Keira Knightley leaves a press conference in Venic....
© The Independent.
(Rated 4/ 5 )

Reviewed by Geoffrey Macnab
Saturday, 3 September 2011

A Dangerous Method, scripted by Christopher Hampton from his play The Talking Cure (itself adapted from the book A Most Dangerous Method by John Kerr), is a deceptive affair.

It seems strait-laced and conventional by comparison with David Cronenberg's earlier movies - a handsomely shot costume drama set in Zurich and Vienna on the eve of the First World War.

However, scrape a little beneath the surface and you quickly realise that the Canadian is back exploring very familiar themes - hysteria, disgust, sexual and professional jealousy. For all its formal restraint, the film is just as subversive and as disquieting as predecessors such as Crash and The Naked Lunch.

The film boasts two assured performances from Michael Fassbender and Viggo Mortensen and a very brave, if uneven one, from Keira Knightley in her most challenging role to date.

Cronenberg's subject is the birth of psychoanalysis. The film chronicles the friendship and rivalry between Carl Jung (Fassbender) and Sigmund Freud (Mortensen). The key character is Sabina Spielrein (Knightley), an 18-year-old Russian diagnosed with hysteria.

Jung tries Freud's "talking cure" on her. He discovers that she was abused by her father and that she is a masochist, who takes extreme sexual pleasure in humiliation.

Spielrein is first seen being whisked away against her will to the sanatorium. She is writhing and twitching and looks like a vampire or witch being dragged to the stake.

Her anxieties are expressed in her wild and incontinent physical behaviour. Knightley portrays her as a quivering, hyper-sensitive hysteric. Her behaviour is in very marked contrast to that of the stolid doctors who tend her. Jung is "treating" Sabina but as he applies Freud's theories, his own assumptions about monogamy and repression are soon challenged. Vincent Cassel has a colourful cameo as Otto Gross, a fellow psychiatrist who is sick himself.

Gross is gleefully amoral. "Never repress anything" is his motto. Partly under his influence, Jung - who is growing increasingly distant from his pregnant wife - begins a sado-masochistic affair with Sabina.

Films featuring well-known historical figures can often seem arch and self-conscious in the extreme. Here, Mortensen has such immediate authority and swagger as Freud that we don't question his portrayal.

He is a sardonic and witty cigar-chewing patriarch, encouraging but also gently mocking Jung, whom he sees initially as a protégé.
Fassbensder skilfully conveys inner doubts, his growing mysticism, his lust and his love for Sabina without ever showing any overt emotions at all.

Knightley has the most difficult role, playing a woman who is extremely highly strung. Her performance is courageous and moving.

Cronenberg's achievement is to have made "an action movie with ideas". The film may be very heavy on talk indeed but when the dialogue is as sharp and double edged as it is here, that is not a problem.

© The Independent.

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Last edited: 26 May 2018 12:00:18