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Entries in Viggo Mortensen (16)

Sunday
Oct192014

Podcast Leftover Pt. 2

Here's part two of our long delayed festival wrap in which we discuss favorites, celebrity run-ins and hilarious Q&A anecdotes. Enjoy the conversation with Nick Davis, Nathaniel R, and special guests Angelo Muredda and Amir Soltani and continue it in the comments

Discussion includes but is not limited to:

  • It Follows
  • Felicity Jones, Mike Leigh, and Viggo Mortensen
  • Documentary greats from Silvered Water to The Look of Silence
  • Iran's Oscar Submission
  • Directors: Mike Leigh, Peter Strickland, Lav Diaz, Jessica Hausner, and Damian Chazelle

You can listen at the bottom of the post or download on iTunes tomorrow

Festival Leftovers. Pt 2

Saturday
Oct042014

NYFF: 'Jauja' Loses Viggo (And The Audience) In The Wilderness

NYFF continues with Michael C on Jauja starring Viggo Mortensen

Lisandro Alonso’s Jauja does so many things that critics complain films don’t do, I feel obligated to love it. It has a rich sense of atmosphere. It’s thoughtful. Alonso composes his frames beautifully, and he has the patience to hold on them until every last ounce of meaning has been wrung from the image. It does all this and more, so why was it that by the halfway point I was hoping the projector would break down so I could bolt for the exit?

I think it has to do with the fact that Jauja is made with near total disregard for the audience, and I don’t mean its glacial pacing. If a film is going to be this impenetrable, in fairness, it should contain enough ideas to occupy the audience’s mind while the action on screen is making the slower parts of Gus Van Sant’s Gerry look like Jurassic Park. Jauja contains ideas enough to support your average short film. There’s only so much symbolism about colonialism one can extract from Viggo stumbling alone and confused through the Argentinean wilderness, and for me Jauja’s pulse dies about the fifth time he pauses to refill his canteen. Jauja doesn’t illuminate or challenge so much as it gathers a group of potential story elements into a bundle, ties that bundle to a balloon and then watches placidly as the whole thing floats off into the distance. Not even a late film swerve into the surreal is enough to jolt a heartbeat back into the proceedings. 

Most of the film’s ideas (and 90% of the plot) are frontloaded into the film’s opening act. Details are sketchy but we can be sure that Viggo plays a Danish army captain traveling with his beautiful 15-year-old daughter, Ingeborg, to South America in the late 1800’s. He’s a surveyor, there to aid the military’s attempts to carve civilization out of the wilderness, but that mission quickly takes a backseat to the job of shielding his daughter from the swarm of military men who take an immediate and unwholesome interest in her. When Ingeborg runs off with a handsome young soldier Viggo grabs his saber and sets off into the Argentinean wild after them in what appears to be the start of a dark chase movie but is actually a plunge into an existential void.

Jauja must be working for some viewers since it won the FIPRESCI Prize at Cannes. It certainly plays with the confidence of a film that turned out exactly as its maker intended. Outside the rarified air of the international festival circuit Jauja would probably be most at home as an installation projected on the wall of a modern art museum where patrons can be free to ponder Viggo speaking Danish and staggering over rocks until they feel they have gotten everything out of it they are going to get. (15 to 20 minutes is sufficient). As a movie, it reminds me of the classic intellectual defense of “You have to listen to the notes he’s not playing.” To find Jauja a rewarding experience you have to appreciate all the movie Alonso did not make.

 

 

 

P.S. It’s pronounced “How-huh” and it refers to the Spanish term for an idyllic utopia. How this relates to the film, like everything else in Jauja, is a bit tough to pinpoint. Jauja screens Tuesday October 7th (9 PM) with Viggo in attendance for a Q&A and Thursday Oct 9th (6 PM)

 

Friday
Sep052014

Review: The Two Faces of January

Michael Cusumano here to review the latest stylistic throwback based on the writing of Patricia Highsmith.

When people gripe “They don’t make ‘em like they used to” films like Hossein Amini’s The Two Faces of January are the kind of movie they mean. It’s adapted from the work of an acclaimed novelist whose books were the source of such beloved films as The Talented Mr. Ripley and Strangers on a Train. It features big stars in sumptuous foreign locales. It is made with a careful attention to detail. It doesn’t dumb things down or clutter the plot up with needless action. It is fair to say I was primed to love this movie, yet it never quite jolts to life. At some point my investment in the story passed from suspense to impatience. It never went so far as indifference, but I was pretty far from the edge of my seat. Rather, I was leaned back in my chair, head in my hand, thinking what a classy job everyone involved was doing and admiring the sumptuous visuals and thinking how this was going to end up being one of those reviews that used the word “sumptuous” a lot.

The key problem is that foreign intrigue of the Hitchcock variety requires storytelling that stays a few steps ahead of the audience, and it's easy to keep leaping ahead of January’s characters. Far too much time is spent with characters sitting in cafés, smoking, drinking, and eyeing each other suspiciously, when they should be trying to have sex with or murder one another, preferably both. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr182013

Moore Maps The Stars For Cronenberg

JA from MNPP here, checking in with some movie news while Nathaniel heads off to fair Nashville - have you been following the progress of David Cronenberg's next film, the one called Map to the Stars? He's been speaking of making this movie, apparently a Hollywood satire of some sort, since way back in 2006. His then-muse Viggo Mortensen was going to star; as time passed it looked like it would be Viggo alongside Cronenberg's now-muse Robert Pattinson, with Rachel Weisz as the female lead. About a month ago Weisz dropped out and we were worried that the movie might not be happening (especially since Cronenberg's trying acting again in Luca Guadagnino's next flick)...

... but fear no more! Deadline's got word that the goddess Julianne Moore and the, uh, not-goddess John Cusack have now joined the film, and that it will be filming in July (in Toronto, of course). Julianne Moore in a David Cronenberg movie just about makes me wanna click my heels together and perform a dance routine down the street, and is plenty to overcome my, uh, apathy, regarding Cusack. And yes, it does seem that Cusack is replacing Viggo in the picture, so it will be Robert Pattinson and John Cusack as the male leads. I'm sure some of you will not take kindly to that; I personally thought Pattinson was fantastic in Cosmopolis, though.

Also on board is Sarah Gadon - if you've seen anything made with the name "Cronenberg" on it in the past three years, you have seen her. She played Michael Fassbender's wife in A Dangerous Method, and Robert Pattinson's wife in Cosmopolis, and she was the virus-stricken celebrity at the center of David's son Brandon Cronenberg's body-horror piece Antiviral (which I just reviewed the other day). These fellas sure do love them some Sarah Gadon, it seems.

Saturday
Oct062012

Two Faces of January. Three Faces of Beauty

Two Faces of January, a thriller based on the Patricia Highsmith novel, has released its first official still which includes Two Faces of Obsession (Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst... Oscar Isaac, backgrounded, has a good one, too). Viggo and Kiki are also in On The Road together (in which Viggo is particularly fantastic in a showy small part) though they share no scenes.

No word yet on who did the costumes but I like 'em.

I read this novel at some point but I don't remember a thing about it other than the Greece setting, that it was moody and triangular, and that the ending disappointed me - don't remember why just that it did. Still. Highsmith transfers well to film (see her 'Ripliad' series which has been adapted a few times already)

 

(When I was researching that poll I was said to hear that Barry Pepper had also starred in a Mr. Ripley adaptation called  Ripley Under Ground (2005) but the movie was never released. Barry Pepper really needs a more fortunate career.)

Hossein AminiTwo Faces of January is currently filming in Greece which surely can use all this movie-making revenue of late (see also: Before Midnight) but it isn't a stylistic choice. That's where a good portion of the travelogue thriller is set. This marks the feature directorial debut of Oscar nominated Iranian British screenwriter Hossein Amini -- my favorites from his work are Drive (2011), Jude (1996) and The Wings of the Dove (1997) -- so The Film Experience is officially rooting for success as he makes the jump behind cameras.

Wednesday
Jun272012

Link Me Like You Mean It

Scanners Alien (1979) in just one frame. On Ridley Scott's compositional skill.
Fug Girls well played, Elizabeth Banks 
My New Plaid Pants Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter in 150 words or less 
The Wrap Metropolis is the world's most valuable film poster. How much will it fetch at auction?
Indie Wire a ten wide Emmy nomination wishlist from Kathryn Hahn in Parks and Recreation (great choice) to Laura Dern in Enlightened "the most burrowing television performance since Tony Soprano" 

Guardian smart piece, neither fully pro nor con on Brave and the evolution of the action princess...

the studio whose most iconic heroes include a toy cowboy, a rat, a fish, a boy scout, and a lonely trash compactor (all male-identified, of course), couldn't figure out how to tell a story about a human girl without making her a princess. That's the problem in a nutshell: if the sparkling minds at Pixar can't imagine their way out of the princess paradigm, how can we expect girls to?

Flavorwire "actors with the worst onscreen love lives" - a fun (?) rundown of heartbreak for Michelle Williams, Leo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Ryan Gosling and more
Huffington Post Mike Ryan took a male stripper to Magic Mike and wrote about their "date". I had this idea too and even lined up TWO of them, former Chippendale's guys that a girlfriend of mine once worked with. But then they both cancelled on account of  'conflicted feelings'. Argh. From conflicted feelings are beautiful movie conversations born.
Coming Soon Angelina Jolie on the very green screen set of Maleficent 
Cinema Blend Viggo Mortensen may smuggle vampires in intriguiging sounding The Last Voyage of the Demeter 

Let's end with two random nifty visuals. THE FIRST ONE IS UNFORTUNATELY A HOAX.

1. It's supposedly a Back to the Future screenshot but I started hearing it was a hoax and I looked it up on The Movie Timeline and it is. The future they were going to was... NOT today :(  I apologize for tweeting and sharing.

2. The second was a birthday gif a reader "Mark the First" made me. xoxoxo Mark.

Isn't it cute?! It totally made my week. At the risk of sounding hopelessly narcissistic ["What else is new?" - all of Nathaniel's friends] I accept birthday gifts all June long  be they handmade and heartfelt blogging fuel like so, generously monetary (see sidebar -- it's only 10¢ a day to make my life way easier) or bartery for those of you with special skill sets in Manhattan; as always I need a photographer, stylist, publicist, massage therapist, yogi, etcetera... I know that you can't always get what you want ♪ but I'm a firm believer that you should try to get it anyway.

Sunday
Mar112012

Hello, I Must Be Linking

/Film Chris Hemsworth on the set of Ron Howard's Rush about race car drivers
Flavorwire Fun stories from Joss Whedon's SXSW Talk: The Avengers, Buffy, TV versus film, and more.
Ultra Culture puts 2012 releases thus far through the wonderful "Bechdel Test" in which a movie must have more than 1 female character and they must talk to each other... about something other than a man). Naturally most of them fail.

My Modern Met just incredible "Star Wars Identity" posters. I wish other films would inspire the kind of enduring creativity this franchise does from people... because given the developments of the past 30 years our global worship of this franchise is just, well, embarrassing.
THR Hello I Must Be Going, a hit at Sundance starring Melanie Lynskey (yay!), is getting a theatrical release later this year.
Wow Report ouch! (NSFW) A nasty accident for a son of a movie superstar. Guess who?
Movie|Line Tom Cruise is the latest star being talked up to play opposite Beyoncé in the A Star is Born. If it weren't a Clint Eastwood picture I'd assume this movie was never happening but since it's a Clint Eastwood picture some male star is eventually going to bite before Blue Ivy is old enough to take the role from Mama.

Oh look. It's Javier Bardem on the set of Skyfall. With blonde hair? 

Villains just can't be trusted with hair dye.

And I kept forgetting to post the Genie Award winners but Awards Daily did that duty. Here's Viggo Mortensen accepting Best Supporting Actor for A Dangerous Method. Good pick, Genie. He was great in that movie. Not that greatness is surprising these days from Viggo.

Viggo. Viggo. Viggo.