Category Archives: movies

In Pursuit of Silence

(More info.)

Highlights from Esquire’s Viggo Mortensen Profile

Some highlights from Esquire’s recently-published profile of Viggo Mortensen:

  • “He’s the kind of guy who picks you up at the airport….”
  • “Viggo loves to drive. Sometimes he drives cross-country, just for the hell of it. And yet he has rented a Ford Fusion. ‘They always do this thing where they try to upgrade me to some fancy fucking car.’ But he doesn’t want a fancy fucking car. At times, he spontaneously pulls over to the side of the road for a good five or ten minutes to finish a train of thought—about life or death or demons or fears or his favorite soccer team in Argentina, San Lorenzo. About the time in the wilds of New Zealand when he skinned, cooked, and ate his own roadkill. (‘It was there.’)”
  • “He just doesn’t scream ‘I’m famous.’ Plus, he’s dressed like everyone around him, in a plaid flannel shirt, generic jeans (they’re not even Levi’s), and old black sneakers he got in Denmark a couple decades ago. (Mortensen doesn’t go in much for trappings. He has a flip phone!)”
  • “He lives in Madrid, and he works when he wants to work, doing whatever he feels like doing.”
  • “Mortensen is fifty-seven and has been at this drill since 1982—choosing to become an actor at age twenty-three after watching too many movies and thinking, I can do that.”
  • “His previous careers included driving a truck, delivering flowers, and loading ships in Denmark. For years he lived from gig to gig, check to check, mostly broke. It probably didn’t help that, on a whim, he left L. A. and moved to Idaho. He supported his acting career for years by bartending and waiting tables.”
  • “He had the world by the balls, with his pick of roles—big studio stuff, Clooney kind of stuff, paycheck stuff. He turned all of it down, choosing instead to do what he wanted to do, little of which was lucrative. ‘I mean, how much fucking money do you need?’ he asks.”
  • “He used some of his Lord of the Rings loot to start a publishing company—yes, a publishing company; it’s called Perceval Press, after one of King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table—that would publish poets and other writers who might not otherwise get a book deal, and do so without having them ‘compromise.’ He could also afford to spend time on his other interests—writing poetry, taking photographs, painting.”
  • “…his ability to speak eight languages”
  • “‘I think about death all the time,’ he tells me as we both fire up another cigarette.”
  • “…the well-worn leather-bound journal he carries with him everywhere. He wants to ‘record life.’”

Writer’s Block

(Via Slate.)

De Palma

The Lobster

A Guide for the Perplexed

“Always take the initiative. There is nothing wrong with spending a night in a jail cell if it means getting the shot you need. Send out all your dogs and one might return with prey. Beware of the cliché. Never wallow in your troubles; despair must be kept private and brief. Learn to live with your mistakes. Study the law and scrutinize contracts. Expand your knowledge and understanding of music and literature, old and modern. Keep your eyes open. That roll of unexposed celluloid you have in your hand might be the last in existence, so do something impressive with it. There is never an excuse not to finish a film. Carry bolt cutters everywhere. Thwart institutional cowardice. Ask for forgiveness, not permission. Take your fate into your own hands. Don’t preach on deaf ears. Learn to read the inner essence of a landscape. Ignite the fire within and explore unknown territory. Walk straight ahead, never detour. Learn on the job. Maneuver and mislead, but always deliver. Don’t be fearful of rejection. Develop your own voice. Day one is the point of no return. Know how to act alone and in a group. Guard your time carefully. A badge of honor is to fail a film-theory class. Chance is the lifeblood of cinema. Guerrilla tactics are best. Take revenge if need be. Get used to the bear behind you.”

—Werner Herzog, Werner Herzog: A Guide for the Perplexed: Conversations with Paul Cronin

The Hunter

Trailer for The Hunter (1980), Steve McQueen’s final film:

“He’s not a cop, he’s America’s last bounty hunter.”

From Wikipedia’s entry for the film:

At home in Los Angeles, Thorson is an old-fashioned guy who has a love of antiques and classical music, drives a 1950s convertible and keeps an antique gasoline pump in his house. His schoolteacher girlfriend Dotty is pregnant and would like “Papa” to be there for her when the baby is born, but his work continually keeps him on the road.

McQueen’s boots, jeans, MA-1 flight jacket combo is very on trend right now.