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November 23, 2014
Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Mortensen’ s linguistic challenge

Viggo Mortensen’s Cannes film Juaja was made by an Argentine but partly in Danish — which presented some interesting challenges for the Danish-American actor.

“(It’s) kind of strange: I would have thought it would be in Denmark where I work in Danish first,” he quipped in an interview yesterday. In the experimental film, directed by Lisandro Alonso and written by Fabián Casas, Mortensen plays a 19th century captain searching for a mythical land in Patagonia. The actor says he chose the project because he was impressed director’s previous films, including Los Muertos and Liverpool.

Even though Mortensen spent the first 10 years of his life in Argentina, he still needed to be careful to make sure he didn’t mess up linguistically.

“It was a tall order in some ways, making sure the translation in Danish of the Argentine dialogue, Spanish dialogue, retained the poetry of Fabián’s writing and the ideas behind it, you know, the sort of existential side of things, and the humour,” he said.

“But it ended up being not such a hard thing and in a way it’s funnier than what they wrote, because there’s a particular sort of irony in Danish humour and sort of physical humor also that the Danes are really going to get — more so than other people because it’s very particular,” he added. —AP

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