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Light Festival: Viggo Mortensen, the Lord of Lyon

A regular at the Lumière festival in Lyon, actor Viggo Mortensen once again charmed the public. He came to present “Falling”, his very personal first film as a director.

Olivier Stone, Thomas Vinterberg, Mads Mikkelsen and many others … The big names in international cinema are present in Lyon for this 12 edition of the Lumière festival, which continues until October 18. This year, Belgian filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne will receive the Light Award. But between Rhône and Saône, the audience’s favorite is actor and director Viggo Mortensen. International star revealed in particular by the trilogy of Lord of the Rings by Peter Jackson, he captivates the public with his simplicity and benevolence.

Viggo Mortensen is a regular at the festival as an actor. But this year, he had the honor of unveiling a plaque in his name on the now famous filmmakers’ wall on rue du Premier Film, located at the exit of the former Lumière factory. Because in addition to a masterclass during which he shared many memories with the public, he also came to present his first feature film behind the camera. Falling. A personal story about old age and addiction. “History has to do with my memories, how I feel for my parents, what I learned from them for better or for worse”, he says in impeccable French. “I went through the process of dementia and the evolution of the relationship with my father. All of this helped me a lot to build Falling”.

Lyon 10/10/2020 – Opening of the Lumière Festival 2020 – Oliver Stone and Viggo Mortensen (JOEL PHILIPPON / MAXPPP)

Viggo Mortensen rose to global prominence with one of the greatest hits in film history, the Trilogy of Lord of the Rings, in which he played Aragorn. He was most recently nominated for an Oscar for his role in Green Book by Peter Farrelly and made an impression in Captain Fantastic by Matt Ross. But the Danish-American actor is not a Hollywood star, far from it. He has a very strong attraction for independent cinema. “I try to choose roles that I want to see in the cinema”, he explains. “I hope the Falling story can touch and interest the audience. I’m now putting this story in your hands, and now you do what you want with it,” he adds, laughing. Falling hits theaters on November 4th. Lyon fans will surely be there.

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