The Three Amigos — the nickname for the trio of Oscar-winning Mexican directors Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuarón — sat down for a rare 90-minute chat at the Academy Museum on Friday night, where longtime friends joking and chatting. into each other’s recent movies.
Iñárritu (with Bardo, The False Chronicle of a Few Truths) and del Toro (with Pinocchio) are all participating in this year’s award race for their Netflix projects; Cuarón acted as the moderator of the conversation following Ted Sarandos’ introduction.
“For the three of us we have in common that there is no difference between cinema and biography,” del Toro noted at the beginning of the night. “We make movies that reflect our lives [of] where we were in the beginning, and I think it would be nice to talk about where we went back 16 years ago. It was a really exciting time, we made some breakthroughs in a way.” In 2007, del Toro was nominated for an Oscar for Pan .’s Labyrinththe same year Iñárritu was nominated for Babel and Cuaron cho man’s child.
“I’m in my first marriage and my New Year’s commitment is to lose 20 pounds – I’ve gained 200 pounds and I’m getting married for the second time,” del Toro joked. “So it’s extremely important to say, what happened in those 16 years?” Iñárritu reveals how transparent Babel awards run, “I know it’s a good time to end something that in a way, I’ve explored to the bottom of what I could discover… In a way, it’s a It was a paradoxical moment that the film was noticed and nominated, but deep down in me, I knew that was the end of the story.”
After a clip showing highlights from Iñárritu’s films, Cuarón commented on how often he explores death figuratively and literally, which Iñárritu says “sprung from a fear and intention.” very, very primitive consciousness that we all share, regardless of race, nationality or whatever. political beliefs, we will all die,” with his films a way to visualize his own death more deeply.
He also admitted to having difficulty viewing scenes from his previous films, saying that “emotionally, they have some intensity that I sometimes don’t realize,” del Toro quickly cut in. , “I recognize that intensity. Everything he said was very intense.” This caused Iñárritu to jokingly shout, “Shut up!”
“When he talks about making guacamole, he says, ‘And then you take the avocado, and you slice it! And then the lemon gives you its life! And then you chop the onion, and the avocado is born!’” del Toro teased as Iñárritu replied, “And before I finished the avocado, he ate it — that’s why I was so excited. care about it.”
The jokes continued as del Toro explained how after both Shape of water and Pan .’s Labyrinthhe thought those were the last movies he made because he invested so much in them.
“You always say, ‘I’ll just do it one more time and that’s it,’ and suddenly, oh, you’re preparing again,” said Cuarón, as Iñárritu added, “Guillermo always said that this is the last time, and today he told me about three projects. I told you something that made me laugh because, like Mexicans, we say ‘OK, last drink, last drink.’ When your friend sits down, you know he’s going to have the next two bottles.”
Following the remarkable reel of his career, del Toro explains that he sees two themes throughout his work: “One of them is the virtue of disobedience, which I think is very important. important. To disobey is to be a thinking person. And I think what remains is the damned absolute right to be imperfect, which I defend.” He explains that like Iñárritu, he has been attached to death all his life, even calling himself “a group of death”.
“Like everyone waits for David Bowie to come to town, and I wait to die,” del Toro added, “Life has meaning, I really believe it.” He remembers that Cuarón once told him he was very Catholic because every character in his films died to be happy, and commented on his fascination with monsters: “I am completely I totally sympathize with them… I saw Frankenstein, I said it was my Jesus right there; that’s what I believe, that’s my saint.”
Bring the conversation around bardo – following a famous Mexican journalist and documentary filmmaker back home – Iñárritu said it was a personal, very introspective project and one he would not have been willing to undertake 5 years ago. or 10 years.
“This movie is about snorkeling — other movies, I always put people in the dark, diving type and I put a lot of pressure on,” he explains. “I think in this movie, I want to be snorkeling, that you can snorkel and see the depths but from the light and from the safety net, from the water and see the sun, then the light and then darkness, but from that point of view, that’s how I think about life. We can get through the pain but I think there’s always light.” Del Toro pointed out the similarities between bardo and Pinocchioboth reflect on becoming a father and son, adding that it’s been a key priority in his retelling of the classic story.
“This is just Pinocchio the film I know that the person studying is Geppetto,” he said. “It is not Pinocchio learning how to be a real boy, but Geppetto learning how to be a real father. And that is very important to me.”
After several attempts — and failures — to redirect the conversation to get Cuarón into his career (“I didn’t get the memo, ‘Three friends’ and this asshole didn’t say anything”), del Toro also spoke about the current state of animation, saying, “Unbelievably, so many people in the film business have kept in mind that animation is a genre for children and not a medium convenient to create beauty and movies and Fine Arts. I think it’s a battle that will last for years, but when you see things like that it’s as perfect as any good Miyazaki movie red turtleit’s an absolute masterpiece, or I lost my bodyand you know that this medium is not being used to its full potential.”
The filmmaker reflects on how he Pinocchio the idea was rejected by every studio for 10 years, joking that he was a bad salesman with the pitch: “I don’t make movies for kids, but kids can watch it.”
Iñárritu said he experienced a similar level of rejection for two years when trying to perform. bardo, explains that he “goes to the usual suspects and you think that because you have some awards and some Oscars, you get the green light — the bad news is that doesn’t exist.” Del Toro added, “Hi guys, this morning one of my movies was rejected. It never stops.”
To wrap up the event — which del Toro renamed “Two Friends” after Cuarón insisted on focusing on his friends — Pinocchio The director told his filmmaking colleagues, “I admire both of you. When they say, ‘Well, how is this?’ I think it’s about love, because I love you, and it’s about admiration, because I admire you. You inspire me every year of my life. We’ve been together since the beginning of our careers and you’ve always been an inspiration to me, and you’ve always been a companion, a teacher and a brother.”
Iñárritu especially appreciates Cuarón for his help and advice early in his career, who “since then has, in general, generously been essentially patron and counter-partner. To me, it’s been a blessing in my filmmaking life to be in a special job that we have, but it’s been difficult and sometimes lonely going down this road.” He continued, “Never be alone in your life, there are always two friends who can help you overcome failure and can celebrate success with you. These two people – without them, I wouldn’t exist.