Captain Fantastic: Director Matt Ross Talks Viggo Mortensen and Survival Camp Training

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New Poster for Fathers Day!

Found By: Chrissie

Thanks to Chrissie for the find of a new poster designed by Shepard Fairey exclusively for Fathers Day.

Is it time to say ... Viggo for President?

© Bleecker Street.

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News from PP about Viggo's new album Seventeenoddsongs

Source: Perceval Press.
Found By: Chrissie
© Perceval Press.

Thanks to Chrissie for the heads up.

Ordering details here

In addition PP is having a Summer Solstice Sale with everything 50% off until 21 June.
An idea forms on the piano wire, and a tentative opening phrase reaches out from the corner of the studio. It is twelve years ago, or five, it is last year, or perhaps it is right now, this waning echo of a standing invitation. We record; nothing is expected, any reply is welcome, any old silence. Time passes as we listen to conversations we've had in this space over the past twenty years. They feel as recent as the one we're having now.

every note
or imagined
always recorded
every piece
wished for
as time expands
and contracts
is incessant
we accompany
or not
and call

© Perceval Press.

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Sydney Film Festival Review: Captain Fantastic

Found By: Lindi

Thanks to Lindi for the find.


A family road movie that breaks all conventions.

© Bleecker Street.
By Stephanie Yip

What is Captain Fantastic? It is interesting. No, that's a taboo word according to Ben (Viggo Mortensen) the father in this captivating film. It's also a term that can be misconstrued.

Try again.

Okay, so it's an independent film by actor-turned-director Matt Ross about a father raising his six children deep in the forests of rural Washington. Living off the grid and on Marxist ideals, each day they undergo a rigorous training regime where Ben physically challenges them with mountain climbs and sword fights and intellectually stimulates them with textbooks and languages.

Close, but no dice. That's the story. Now, what is it really about?

Family. Passion. Beliefs. Laughter. Love. At times you'll find yourself unsure of whether Ben is doing right by his children, bringing them up like machines, removing them from their superficial consumer-driven lives and teaching them to "stick it to the man". And at other times you can almost touch how close to perfection he has built his family up to be - they adore each other, they support each other and they're genuinely happy in this utopia world of theirs.

The line between radicalist and revolutionary is thin but Ben's walks it well.

Played by Viggo Mortensen, who is hardly recognisable in this film, Ben is endearing and transparent. He refuses to sugarcoat anything, even for his youngest child. So when he his wife, who was being treated for bipolar, dies in hospital, no detail is lost on his family.

Such is the catalyst for this film which sees his brood of merry hippies clamour into their bus enroute to New Mexico to stop their mother's Christian funeral and honour her dying Buddhist wishes. As they journey through civilised modern society, it's not just the children's training that's put to the test but their ideals as well as they begin to question the philosophies that have dictated their entire lives.

Like their characters, the six-strong supporting cast is utterly remarkable. Shree Cooks who plays Ben's second-youngest child Zaja turned 11 this year, yet she holds just as much weight as fellow cast members George MacKay (eldest son, Bodevan) and Annalise Basso (Vespyr), all of whom exude the personality, charm and comical timing of a well-seasoned actors.

Beautiful, bittersweet and honest, Captain Fantastic is an emotional rollercoaster that pulls at your heartstrings, tickles your funny bone and doesn't apologise for it one bit. Laugh, cry and stick it to the man.

Now that's what Captain Fantastic is really about.

© 2016 by Images © Bleecker Street.

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Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Found By: Iolanthe
Categories: Media Quotable Viggo

Ben Cash is off grid and lovin' it. Something Viggo would be mighty comfortable with, as inside the movie actor is an inner woodsman constantly trying to get out. No wonder he has made so many films that involve tramping through woods and vast open spaces. Ben Cash isn't even his first off-grid character, Clay and Aragorn got there first, along with Agustín who returned to the woods to escape his complicated life. As he says one of the quotes below, the forest and wilderness is like 'food to him'.

Like the philosopher Thoreau, Viggo likes to lose himself in the woods, into the wild, in a trip into nature to find beauty and freedom, and to find the essence of life, as he explains with a deep, quiet voice, between long pauses and a cigarette rolled by himself.

Viggo Mortensen, The Photographer Of Dreams
By Giovanni Valerio - translated by Cindalea
Panorama First
July 2008

"I like places where there are very few human traces, places where I never feel time is wasted. If I'm stuck in a traffic jam in Los Angeles or waiting in a queue for the bank it's hard not to feel I'm wasting my life in that moment."

Viggo Mortensen is lord of all things
Chitra Ramaswamy
The Scotsman
24 May 2013

In this new collection of images and poems are trees and the memory of trees, ghosts, words, nights, days, lives, deaths, and safe haven for them all in the place where "... the twigs become branches, / And the mist becomes make-believe.. ." (Osip Emilyevich Mandelstam). If you daren't enter the forest, or cannot find it, then perhaps you might find one tree, or a place where a tree could be, and just stop for a quiet moment to see what happens.

Viggo's presentation of th Skovbo Exhibition
The Reykjavik Museum of Photography.
24 June 2008

"We rented a hotel room for him, but he never stayed there. We just knew he was in the forest somewhere. That kind of commitment really shows in his work."

Producer Lynette Howell Taylor
Viggo Mortensen
Captain Fantastic Cannes Press Kit
May 2016

"The forest, the rivers, being alone in those places, it´s like food to me."

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

"Every tree is something special, just like people are. All different, but... I look at them as I look at people. I get along well with most trees. I don't get into arguments with them, and if I do it's probably my own fault. If I don't watch where I'm going when I'm in the forest, it comes back and smacks me in the nose, and I only have myself to blame."

RUV Interview
Skovbo Exhibition, Iceland
Translated by Mums
30 May 2008

"The Danish woods look like Tolkien's, they are the kind that doesn't look dangerous, but if you walk alone by night in the forests of Denmark, you can feel the energies of the past."

Viggo Mortensen
The American Dane
By Susanne Johansson - Translation by Majken Steen Thomassen
BT (Berlingske Tidende)
28 November 2001

He smells of woodsmoke, as though he's just returned from some manly pursuit like chopping logs in a forest. Again, highly possible. He does have a home in the remote mountains of Idaho, surrounded by woods. In fact the scent is wafting from his cup of tea.

Viggo Mortensen is lord of all things
Chitra Ramaswamy
The Scotsman
24 May 2013

'I really don't know what happened myself, but I lost myself completely in [Aragorn]. I am a man who likes to withdraw into solitude and take long hikes in the woods and mountains. So was Aragorn. We fitted perfectly together.'

Viggo Mortensen
The Lord of the Rings: The Untold Story
By Ian Nathan, Empire, December 2004

"I thought of the New Zealand landscape as one of my acting partners," he says. "Those forests and mountains - Aragorn knows them. He understands the language of the birds and beasts." He takes a long drag on his cigarette. "He has a special reverence for trees."

You sense that what Mortensen prizes in Aragorn, he prizes in himself.

Viggo Mortensen: A Method Actor in Middle-Earth
By Ryan Gilbey
The Independent
14 December 2001

'...I would go crazy if I couldn't get out of the city and go out into the forest for a little while.'

Viggo Mortensen talks The Two Faces Of January, singing with Fassbender and throwing a nappy at Al Pacino
by Tom Ward
16 May 2014

'In October, I got caught in a snowstorm in Lapland. I lost the trail and had to find some place to hide. I was out there on my own for a couple of days. I was worried but managed to find shelter and make a fire. It's really not about where you are, but how you are. I can get annoyed or say, "OK, this is where I am. I don't have any choice at the moment. Let's make the most of it."'

Viggo Mortensen's Travelling Life
By Nick McGrath
The Telegraph
10 April 2015

'I believe that I'm a man of the hills, the woods, the angry sea, a somewhat solitary guy but sometimes I miss what it's like to soak up metropolitan poisons. I love and am terrified by the great cities of the world, sometimes simultaneously.'

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

When I ask him where he'd like to be if the end was near, Mortensen briefly waxes poetic.

"My first impulse is to say I want to be in nature," Mortensen says. "By the sea, on a mountain, in the woods. But on second thought, it doesn't really matter where you are — it's how you are. We forget what's important, because we're in this drive to keep our jobs, or be good parents, or acquire certain possessions.

"But all it takes is an illness or a terrorist attack or a hurricane to bring you back down to earth. And you realize: It's good to be alive, it's worthwhile being kind.

"It's a special thing when art allows you to come to that conclusion."

Viggo Mortensen travels the 'Road' not taken
By Joe Williams
STL Today
22 November 2009

You will find all previous Quotables

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Bleecker Street.

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Happy Father's Day!

Categories: Viggo-Works

Images © Bleecker Street.

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Last edited: 25 June 2016 14:04:48