Entries in Viggo Mortensen (21)
Our celebration of Actors this month continues with Lynn Lee on Viggo
Is Viggo Mortensen the most interesting man in the world? Based on his peripatetic history and eclectic interests, he’s certainly a contender. In addition to acting, he’s a prolific painter, photographer, composer, and poet who founded his own publishing house. A dual American and Danish citizen who spent his early childhood in South America and Denmark before returning to his native New York, he speaks multiple languages, with greatest fluency in English, Spanish, and Danish. Oh, and his ex-wife is punk singer Exene Cervenko, with whom he has a son.
As my husband put it, “Viggo Mortensen is who James Franco wishes he was.”
I can’t speak to the artistic merits of Viggo’s off-screen pursuits, but I do see him as a kind of anti-Franco in keeping them largely off the public radar. And 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. (Well, that plus the rugged Scandinavian good looks and dimpled chin don't hurt, either.) More...
The Daily Beast the Coen Bros on diversity vs the Oscars. But they don't take kindly to complaints about Hail, Caesar!'s whiteness
Decider Joe Reid ranks the top 50 performances in Coen Bros movies. Much to argue with but also to agree with. The #1 is indisputable.
i09 Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) signed as the male lead of X-Men spinoff tv series Legion who may or may not be insane
Variety Jake Gyllenhaal's Boston Marathon bombing movie is a go
Decider "Let My People F***" amusing piece on the conservative sexual morality of the Duplass Brothers filmography
IndieWire Viggo Mortensen's new film Captain Fantastic, which sounds intriguing, will open on July 8th. It co-stars Frank Langella, Kathryn Hahn, and George Mackay (who played the young photographer in Pride)
Theater Mania Mark Rylance, fresh off his Oscar nomination, returns to the New York stage with Nice Fish (and possibly Farinelli and the King)
THR Bel Powley and Martin Wallström who both broke out this past year in Diary of a Teenage Girl and Mr Robot, respectively, will costar in WWII drama Ashes in the Snow
Playbill Oooh, look. They're putting up the marquee for American Psycho on Broadway. Benjamin Walker, currently in theaters in The Choice (and who is a singing charisma machine onstage) is playing Patrick Bateman
Interview Peter Dinklage interviews Paul Dano
DANO: I just did this film, called Youth, that Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel and Jane Fonda are in. And I have to tell you, Michael Caine is so happy. Happy and healthy. I think he enjoys life. I think he's 82 now, and I have no clue if I'll be working at that age, but it was amazing and inspiring to see him bring it, because you know that the search never ends. I talked to Jane Fonda about acting and about what we want to work on, and I was like, "Jane Fonda and I are talking about how to be better actors."
DINKLAGE: It never stops.
DANO: Which I also find so beautiful and healthy to see in people who have had so much success. They still have skin in the game.
Our Tribeca coverage is wrapping up. Here's Abstew on two new features starring Oscar Isaac and Viggo Mortensen respectively...
You have to admire a film that trusts its audience enough to not spell things out for them. Writer/director William Monahan (who won an Oscar for his screenplay for The Departed) allows his film Mojave to unfold like a crazy fever dream as two opposing men in the desert (Garrett Hedlund and Oscar Isaac) wax on poetically about everything from Jesus' temptation to...god only knows what. As a drifter with a gravelly voice and tendency to call everyone brother, Isaac relishes the opportunity to play his unhinged character, making choices that are anything but safe. But Hedlund's straight man is overshadowed by Isaac's wild-eyed stalker, never making them feel evenly matched. And as the film plays out, it starts to feel like perhaps nothing has been spelled out for us because there's nothing actually happening - populated with indie movie eccentrics (Walter Goggins briefly shows up in his tightey whiteys to spout some random thoughts) and a story that can only be described as convoluted...
Editor's Note: We're thrilled to have Missi Pyle guest-blogging for a day. I made her do this topic!
What I am working on now
-by Missi Pyle
So yes. I sing. 'You sing?' People often ask? Yes. I do. I write (mostly) silly songs and I sing them. For awhile I had a band with Shawnee Smith. We did a pilot together and we got to talking one day and she asked me what I really wanted. And I said. To be in a band. That would be heaven. and she said. "OK. I'll do it with you. But just know. Its not all its cracked up to be. You'll be disappointed."
And we did. We made an album with Chris Goss, another genius human I have been lucky enough to work with. Shawnee and I's band was "Smith and Pyle". The album is It's OK to be Happy and you can get it on Itunes. Since then, I have been writing songs with a few other people and I have been working on an album for 4 years again with Chris Goss and I have about 20 songs. Ranging from titles like "I wanna fuck you up" to "Armageddon Excited" and there are a few simple (hopefully) sweet ones in there, too. I am terrible at self promotion but I WILL get this album out in 2015. I am making a video for "I wanna fuck you up" in January and hopefully someone will watch it.
I had a crazy busy year. I have done more movies this year than in the last five combined. It has been wonderful. My agents keep telling me to say no. but I'm scared of another dry spell I guess.
- Highly Functional ...is a sweet roadtrip movie about a kid with Autism and I have a couple scenes with Bruce Campbell. He is a trip. And the movie will be great.
- Captain Fantastic ...is written and directed by another modern day genius Matt Ross. The script is so fucking good and I get to (almost) make out with Viggo Mortensen.
- Another Period ...is a new show coming out on Comedy Central starring Natasha Leggero and Riki Lindhome. It spoofs period dramas. I play the local society queen bee Celery. It is soooo funny and I get to wear super great costumes and be a total bitch. I worked with Tom Lennon who is the greatest master of improv of all time.
- Bordertown ...is a new animated series on Fox. I think we got pushed so we are airing in the fall now? But it is the story of a fictional town called Mexifornia on the border of California and you know, Mexico. It is HILARIOus. I play a 200 pound 5 year old named Gert who is like honey boo boo on steroids. It stars Hank Azaria and Alex Borstein. It has been super dreamy!
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.
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)