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Camus’ Birthday Celebration with Viggo Mortensen – 2019


  • Reda Kateb and Viggo Mortensen from Far from Men

    David Oelhoffen’s latest film, Far From Men, is based on Albert Camus’ short story “The Guest.” Set during the Algerian War and shot in the manner of a Western, the film features a French and Arabic-speaking Viggo Mortensen as Daru, a schoolteacher in remote Algeria required, against his will, to transport murderous prisoner Mohamed (Reda Kateb) to meet his justice. The two men must confront their own morality and each other against a backdrop of the Atlas Mountains.

    Reda Kateb describes him as “like an actor-citizen in his sense of responsibility”.
    That kind of immersion means that his roles, especially if they are physically or emotionally gruelling, become part of his life. His last spoken-word album, Under the Weather, was dedicated to Albert Camus, whom he greatly admires for taking a principled stance against Stalin even though it cost him his closest friendships on the French left. “He suffered during his lifetime by being honest, by being true to himself, by staying in the moment,” says Mortensen reverently.(Mortensen on Camus via )

  • Viggo Mortensen, Camus Again

    Reading

    Alajbegovic was at Columbia to meet the actor Viggo Mortensen, who, that evening, was to reënact a lecture that Camus had given at the university during his trip, on no less a topic than “The Crisis of Humankind.” Camus’s daughter, Catherine, who also lives in Lourmarin, had sensed something in Mortensen’s pensive performance in a film adaptation of her father’s short story “The Guest.” Alajbegovic had reached out to Mortensen—“I just threw my bottle at Viggo’s sea,” he said—and a week later had a response in the affirmative.

    After the talk, which he delivered before an enchanted crowd, Mortensen suddenly realized he had to get going. As part of his attire for the evening, he’d left off an article of clothing that he holds dear—his Bernie Sanders watch.

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