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MOVIE SHOT IN SULTAN, GOLD BAR AREA NOW AT SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL
January 28, 2016
This report first appeared Jan. 26, 206 in the Chronicle's Breaking News column
Viggo Mortensen in promo shot from the movie "Captain Fantastic," shot partly on location in Sultan and Gold Bar here in the Sky Valley. CLICK TO ENLARGE
SULTAN WA) -- Have you ever wondered how long it takes the average non-blockbuster Hollywood movie to go from the location shooting stage through editing and other post-production to finally land on a flat screen in a dark theater?
Think 18 months. That's how long it's taken a movie shot partly in Sultan and Gold Bar in July of 2014 to land on stage at the Sundance Film Festival, which is where the movie is now.
The film "Captain Fantastic," starring Viggo Mortensen (that would be the Viggo of "Carlito's Way," "Lord Of The Rings," "A History of Violence" and many other movie and TV productions) who did some location shooting in Sultan and Gold Bar in the summer of 2014.
The 37-day shoot began in June 2014 and had location shots in Washington State and in New Mexico. The movie was written and directed by actor-writer-director Matt Ross ("28 Rooms").
See link to interview with Ross and Mortensen below. It was posted online yesterday.
In the movie Mortensen plays Ben Cash who, along with his wife Leslie, and their six children live in a Tepee (for ten years) deep in the wilderness of Washington State.
Ben and Leslie home school their kids to be smart, independent, strong and resourceful in order to flourish in the world without modern technologies. The problem comes in when the kids have to interact with other kids who do know all about those modern technologies (and nothing about surving in woods) and Ben realizes he may have done a diservivce to his kids because in the modern world they are fish out of water.
According to the movie's synopsis: "When Ben's wife Leslie commits suicide after a long battle with manic depression, Leslie's parents bar the family from attending her funeral, and Ben is forced to leave their self-created paradise. Thus begins a journey into the outside world that challenges Ben's unorthodox parenting, brings into question everything he's taught his kids, and will ultimately alter the course of all their lives. "
The movie's at Sundance now. And what kind of reviews is it generating?
Variety says "Viggo Mortensen gets the role he may well have been born to play, not as a superhero, but as a super-dad determined to raise his kids on his own terms." It also says, “Captain Fantastic” easily ranks among the most polished and relatable of this year’s Sundance offerings...Captain Fantastic should connect in a major way with those looking to be swept up and moved by such a fundamental human experience. The fact that it looks and sounds so great in the process...makes for an experience that feels as luminous and enriching as practically every widescreen frame."
Indie Wire says, "Captain Fantastic" looks terrific, and from the perspective of craft is well-made overall...Ross isn't quick to build momentum, but once the road trip is underway and his ensemble is all together in that bus, an easy, contagious energy glows from the screen."
However the BBC says, "There’s the kind of mediocre Sundance movie that just dribbles along, limp and meandering, with telegraphed insights and punchlines. And then there’s the kind that knows exactly what it’s doing – that understands how to take an audience on a ride, to appear authentic. Captain Fantastic, starring Viggo Mortensen as a hippie dropout living in the woods with his six children, represents the latter variety of competent, second-tier Sundance film. It’s a crock, but a clever, halfway likable one. You can reject the way it plays you and still feel that you’ve been effectively played"
So you pays your money and you takes your chances.
Here's the interview with Ross and Mortensen: