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Alatriste - Viggo Mortensen

Source: TFI/Estudios Picasso/Origen Producciones.
Found By: Exxeke & Paddy
Categories: Politics
© TFI/Estudios Picasso/Origen Producciones.
Again...many thanks to Exxeke at for posting this eye-popping video clip, and to Paddy for bringing it to us at Viggo-Works.

Alatriste - Viggo Mortensen

© TFI/Estudios Picasso/Origen Producciones.

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Reverte & Viggo, mano a mano: Partial Translation

Source: XL Semanal.
Found By: Miguel. Translation by Paddy
XL Semanal - 8.2006 Reverte & Viggo, mano a mano
XL Semanal - 8.2006 Reverte & Viggo, mano a mano
Image César Urrutia.
© XL Semanal.
Our thank to Paddy who has translated Arturo Pérez-Reverte's column from the XL Semanal scans provided by Miguel. In this article Arturo discusses how he felt after seeing the pre-screening of Alatriste. Because of this content, many may feel that it contains...



By Arturo Pérez-Reverte
XLSemanal, 20 August 2006

Well, I've already seen the film. After the credits and all that, the lights of the small cinema came on and I remained hung on to the last images: the old and battered Tercio of loyal Spanish infantry - what else could they do? There was no other place to go - forsaken by their homeland, their King and their God, waiting for the last charge of the French cavalry, in Rocroi, the 19th of May 1643. And the request from the veteran Aragonese arquebusier Sebastián Copons to the young Íñigo Balboa: "Tell what we were". Twenty years of our History through the life of Diego Alatriste, soldier and mercenary swordsman. Twenty years of disgraceful kings, of corrupt ministers and cocky fanatical priests, of despicable people and inquisitorial bonfires, of cruelty and blood, of Spain, in short; but also twenty years of desperate courage, of twisted personal dignity - the peculiar ethics of murderers - in a world that is falling apart around them, shown in the sad look and the lucid words of the poet Francisco de Quevedo, played with a touching, memorable perfection by the actor Juan Echanove.

I cannot give an objective opinion about Alatriste. Although during its long gestation and shooting I tried as much as I could not to get involved, I'm too close to all of it to see it in a cold way. It's true that I like some things more and I like other things less; and that for ten critical minutes - at least for me, the author in the end - of the first third of the film I stirred anxiously in my seat. But apart from that, I must say that those malicious cynics and pen-pushers who foresaw an imperial song of heroic chauvinistic Spaniards and rancid swashbuckling folklore are going to swallow their bile in litres. There's nothing more respectful with the original texts. Nothing more straightforward, fascinating and terrible than the mirror that, through Viggo Mortensen's masterly performance - he looks impressive on the screen, that son of a bitch - is put before our eyes during the two hours and a quarter that the film lasts. An accurate portrayal, in detail, I can tell you, faithful to the spirit of the character that it's inspired by: straightforward, with no gentle ways, full of incidents and stabbings, of course; but also full of extreme bitterness and lucidity. Told in a wealth of such beautiful images that sometimes it looks like a succession of paintings. Animated paintings by Velázquez or Ribera.

And the ending, gadzooks! I'm not going to tell you that, because you would hate me for the rest of your lives. But besides the spectacular beginning, the impeccable development and the actors' extraordinary performances - my!, how they are, all of them: Unax, Elena, Ariadna, Eduard, Cámara, Blanca, Pilar, Noriega... - the ending, or rather the entire last hour leaves the audience definitely breathless, captured by the screen, while the last stretch of the hero's life and the lives of his comrades, from the trenches of Breda to the plain of Rocroi, is analysed and fixed in the viewer's retina and memory. Everything is seen and sounds like a gunshot in the face; like a jolt that leaves you unsettled, your spirit in suspension, stuck to your seat, aware that before your eyes it has been shown, in an implacable way, the eternal tragedy of your lineage. The serene image of Captain Alatriste listening to the approaching murmur of the enemy cavalry, the tragic travel of the camera that follows Íñigo Balboa - "senior soldiers ahead, new soldiers behind" - when he moves back in the ranks to take charge of the old and torn flag, his gloomy and lucid expression - gloomy with pure lucidity - and all that perfect culmination to the splendid journey that Agustín Díaz Yanes has done through the five Alatriste novels, constitute the faithful, tragic, moving portrayal of the Spain of old and the Spain of all times. An unhappy, fierce Spain, sometimes heroic, often miserable, where it's easy to recognize oneself. To recognize each other.

Perhaps that's why, after the private screening was finished the lights came on, and with a lump in my throat I looked around, I saw that some of the actors of the film who were on the contiguous seats - I'm not telling any names, let every one of them confess if they want to - remained still on their seats, crying their eyes out. Crying like babies because of their characters, because of the story. Because of the beautiful, dramatic ending. And also because no one had ever done, so far, a film like that of this wretched and damned Spain. As Captain Alatriste himself would say, in spite of God, and in spite of anyone.

© XL Semanal. Arturo Pérez-Reverte. Images © César Urrutia.

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Reverte & Viggo, mano a mano

Source: XL Semanal.
Found By: Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno
Categories: Alatriste Scans
XL Semanal - 8.2006 Reverte & Viggo, mano a mano XL Semanal - 8.2006 Reverte & Viggo, mano a mano XL Semanal - 8.2006 Reverte & Viggo, mano a mano XL Semanal - 8.2006 Reverte & Viggo, mano a mano XL Semanal - 8.2006 Reverte & Viggo, mano a mano XL Semanal - 8.2006 Reverte & Viggo, mano a mano XL Semanal - 8.2006 Reverte & Viggo, mano a mano XL Semanal - 8.2006 Reverte & Viggo, mano a mano XL Semanal - 8.2006 Reverte & Viggo, mano a mano XL Semanal - 8.2006 Reverte & Viggo, mano a mano XL Semanal - 8.2006 Ese Capitan Alatriste
We have gifts from our very good friend from León, Miguel Ángel Nepomuceno. May thanks to Miguel for sending us the scans from the latest edition of XL Semanal which features Viggo and Arturo Pérez Reverte...mano a mano.


Click on scans to enlarge.

© XL Semanal. Images © César Urrutia.

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A Candid Pre-Review of Alatriste

Found By: Chrissiejane
Categories: Alatriste Reviews

Our own Chrissiejane has come up with this candid pre-review of Alatriste written on June 28, from, and via It makes for a very interesting read.



A foreign film in the Hollywood tradition

Theatrical Release Date : December 22nd, 2006

June 28, 2006 - Diego Alatriste (Viggo Mortensen) is not a virtuous soul, but he is a man of honor and valor. As a Captain in the Spanish army in the 17th Century, he emerges as a hero in his country's imperial wars. In his personal life, he is passionately in love with the beautiful María de Castro (Ariadna Gil), a famous stage actress. To keep a promise he made to his dying father, Alatriste watches over the young Íñigo de Balboa (Unax Ugalde) and attempts to steer him clear of a military career that he himself has chosen. More importantly, he wants to keep him away from the divine, but dangerous Angelica de Alquézar (Elena Anaya). Íñigo may be infatuated with the striking beauty, but her father, Luis de Alquézar, happens to be Alatriste's sworn enemy. Mysterious hooded figures, supposedly acting on the behalf of Fray Emilio Bocanegra (Blanca Portillo), the president of the 'Holy Tribunal of the Inquisition,' hired Captain Alatriste and Luis de Alquézar to murder two English travelers, who have come to visit the British ambassador. When Alatriste meets the Englishmen, he is impressed by their fighting spirit and decides to let them go free, angering Luis de Alquézar in the process.

What to Expect:
Arturo Pérez-Reverte's five novels about the swashbuckler Alatriste are not well known in America, but have enthralled readers all across the world. The books have been published in over 50 countries and have been translated into more than 25 languages, although only the first two parts, Captain Alatriste and Purity of Blood have been released in the English language thus far. Altogether, over 4 million copies of the novels have been sold and the series has become a sensation in its native Spain. Reverte's adventures could be called a cross between Zorro and The Three Musketeers and his quick prose shapes them into popular entertainment at its finest. The author, who also wrote The Ninth Gate, which eventually became a Roman Polanski film, draws many references to Spanish history, art, culture, and ancient treasure fables. The Alatriste novels are rich in historical detail, packed with action and intrigue, and frequently touch upon that peculiar relationship between religion and politics. Themes of morality, ethics, love, power, and wealth, which have been explored in literature for ages, are once again at the forefront in Reverte's books.

The story in the novels and in the film takes place between 1622 and 1643, with the easily manipulated Felipe IV, king of the House of Austria, reigning over the nation. The empire is in a steady decline and the rich aristocracy must coexist with the everyday poor. Poverty is visible on the streets with rundown taverns situated right next to exquisite architecture. In this society of splendor, decadence, and war, Reverte introduces his protagonist, Captain Alatriste. The charismatic hero is a complex individual - part mercenary, part man of honor, and always temperamental. Surrounded by equally dangerous men, some historical figures and some fictional characters, Alatriste chooses to trust only a select few.

Antonio Banderas, Puss In Boots himself, was originally interested in starring in and directing the picture, but the producers were not keen to some of his ideas and the talks fell through. As a result, Danish-American actor Viggo Mortensen nabbed the titular role. Before anyone questions how a Spaniard could be passed over for a Danish-American in a Spanish language production, it should be known that Mortensen spent a lot of time in South America as a child and speaks the language fluently. He is also arguably a better actor than Banderas and can pull off the part with the necessary menace and chilly apathy. Just look at his performance in A History of Violence for an example. Furthermore, he has plenty of experience with horses and swordplay having made the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Hidalgo and should be able to carry the epic with ease and credibility.

Gael García Bernal was the first choice for the part of Íñigo de Balboa, Alatriste's right hand man. Eventually the role went to Unax Ugalde, whose name is probably not familiar to a vast majority of Americans. Elena Anaya, who some may remember from the disappointing Hugh Jackman blockbuster Van Helsing, will play Angelica de Alquézar, Balboa's love interest. With a prominent role also in the upcoming In the Land of Women, she may quickly become a crossover star.

Principal photography took place throughout Spain as the filmmakers focused on authenticity. Special care went into the costumes, the battle sequences, and the historical accuracy. More than 10,000 extras were hired to take part in the production. In fact, at approximately $30 million, Alatriste is the most expensive Spanish feature film ever. Since that's actually peanuts compared to the budget of the average American blockbuster, it raises an interesting point. When it comes to subtle artistic statements, European cinema probably surpasses American contributions to the art form, but no other nation in the world can make an epic movie like Hollywood. Why struggle through a Spanish blockbuster when there are already dozens of useless American ones each year? On the other hand, this is where some of that European elegance may come in handy. Instead of a pompous and unbelievable, special effects heavy extravaganza, Alatriste is likely to lay out a plausible storyline and feature characters of some depth and dimension that can further the plot and enhance the action. Hopefully, it can become a film that blurs the lines between right and wrong and offers some room for thought and interpretation, which would be vastly preferred to a simplistic or heavy-handed flick.

In Conclusion:
When I first heard that Alatriste was entirely in Spanish, I immediately thought it dropped several notches as a potential hit this holiday season. Then again, if I watch the trailer with the sound on mute, I see little difference between this movie and other, similar domestic ones. Producers are clearly gearing it to succeed in America, which means that it should be easily accessible for most individuals, but will probably be somewhat conventional as well. Mortensen is becoming a hotter actor by the minute so he may be able to propel Alatriste to some international success. Respectable Spanish director Agustín Díaz Yanes should have his first noteworthy feature here in the States.

Official Website:

© 2006 All rights reserved. Images © TFI/Estudios Picasso/Origen Producciones.

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The Glamour Translation

Source: Glamour.
Found By: Translation by Graciela
© 2006 Condenet Ibérica, S.L· Pº Castellana.
This time we have to thank Graciela for bringing us this wonderful translation of the recent article in the Spanish edition of Glamour magazine.

Top Men - Viggo Mortensen

As Diego Alatriste, he perfectly embodies the epic Castilian captain created by Arturo Pérez-Reverte. A hero with whom Viggo will no doubt leave a mark in Spanish cinema.

If something is typical of him, it is his charm and familiarity. We hadn't even met him, but the comments from the other actors had created a very clear picture of Viggo: a man of depth, charm and, above all, generous. It was with all these expectations we arrived at the interview with the star of Alatriste, the new Spanish blockbuster. And, to be honest, the first impression that you get from the New York actor with cosmopolitan roots (his father is Danish and his mother is American), is very different from that of the vigorous and strong hero that we have always seen on the big screen. Instead, Mortensen is a calm, serene, and very reflective man. His blue eyes reflect the inner peace that he has managed to maintain in spite of the Hollywood craziness, and his looks are rather casual: jeans, t-shirt, Argentinean wristbands, and sneakers. Besides, he immediately makes you feel at home, and he prepares you to enter his world. As a matter of fact, he takes the lead and starts the interview, which will soon lead to one subject: his career.

Loving and sensitive

Apart from acting, Viggo loves poetry and painting. So far he has written three books; his sensitivity and detachment from the world of glamour are widely known: 'I just take care of my work, of the people I love, of my good friends, and of my family. I try to stay away from unnecessary ceremonies, from glamorous events, and from everything that has no direct relationship with what I am doing at that moment. I stay away from the spotlight, gossip, and from anything that would make me a target of the paparazzi. I don't even read the newspapers or magazines that talk about me; I think it's dangerous because you start believing the good and bad things they say about you, and you lose your ability to know what you think and what you want to achieve,' he says categorically. Another thing that the actor has fought to preserve is his privacy. After he divorced Exene Cervenka (the legendary singer of the group X, the American punk band of the 80's, and with whom he has an 18 year-old son, Henry Mortensen), nothing about his private life has been known; 'of course love is something very important in my life; I am a man who is in love with his work, his family, and his friends; in that sense I feel I am very similar to Captain Alatriste, who is in love with his cause and his land,' he tells us, focusing again on Díaz Yanes' movie.

In search of the Captain

For this actor, characters must have roots, so when he accepted the project, he decided to visit Castile and León to find the exact place where Diego Alatriste was born. 'It was very important for me to know what had happened to Diego between the time of his birth and the moment when the movie starts. So, a long time before we started filming, I got my car and set out to visit all the towns in that part of Spain. When I arrived in the mountains of León I discovered something in the people there that made me feel like I was in the land of Alatriste,' Mortensen tells us and, after a brief pause, he continues: 'Another thing I did to make sure I was right was to call Reverte from the hotel: `Let's see, Arturo, I have been travelling around Spain for days, and I think I have found Alatriste in the León mountains, what do you think?' I asked very seriously. And almost immediately he said "yes'. So I started working on getting a Castilian accent, and developing a past for the Captain. I am sure there are a lot of things that are not said in the movie but that will show on the screen, and this search is one of them, just like the friendly atmosphere there was during the filming that turned us all into a big family.'

Blockbuster Spanish style

This is the third time Viggo has worked with a Spanish director. The first time was under the direction of José Luis Acosta, and the second with Ray Loriga. 'When you are used to filming in the U.S., the way things are done in Spain may feel like a great chaos, because there is a more relaxed atmosphere. But you soon realize that it is something that has to do with the culture, and I loved it! In the long run, this style makes you feel more relaxed, and it creates a unique way of working together and of camaraderie. Tano (Díaz Yanes) encourages team work, makes you feel at peace, and he lets you make suggestions about your own view and approach to the character,' he tell us convincingly.

A post-modern hero

'It's always a bit scary to start something new, even when I am convinced that it is a good story and a good character. But I think it is necessary to be afraid, because when you think that you know everything and you feel confident, you can contribute or learn very little. Yet, it is very important to visualize yourself doing everything, and to believe that you can do it; that will guarantee your success', the actor, who identifies more and more with heroic and realistic roles, tells us. 'Something I loved about Alatriste is that it takes place during a period in history that has been studied very little in movies. The Americans, the French and the Italians have produced several stories based on their epic pasts, but the Spaniards haven't. This is a story that deals with love and pride, because many mistakes are made in the name these feelings. I have also taken some wrong turns out of pride, or because I was thinking with my guts instead of with my head. In that sense, I can relate to Alatriste, because he cannot admit that he is in love with Maria de Castro just out of pride'. The character Viggo is talking about is played by Ariadna Gil, and Viggo shares with us: 'She is a beautiful, intelligent and unconventional woman; she has everything a man could wish for! My character refers to her as the most desired woman in Spain and, I can say, it is true!'

© 2006 Condenet Ibérica, S.L· Pº Castellana.

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Last edited: 22 January 2019 09:14:42