Quartet for the End of Time on DVD

31 Oct

In honour of the 17 November DVD release of Cinema 16: World Short Films, Wendy Ide of the the Times (UK) interviewed a few of the featured directors, including Alfonso Cuarón, to ask why short films still matter. Cuarón’s 1983 short film Cuarteto para el fin del tiempo is featured on the collection with some re-cutting as well as commentary recorded in London by the director. Read more or check out the project’s official site. Cuarteto is also available as a special feature on the Criterion release of Sólo con tu pareja.

Also… Olallo Rubio complains of the brain drain of Mexican talent as cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki talks about voting in the United States as an American citizen for the first time November 4th. Read more. However, Lubezki also tells El Universal that he’s soon taking a break from working in America and expecting to return to Mexico for a good shoot (I think?). Read more.





“A man sits alone in his apartment. Why does he watch as his goldfish washes down the drain? Why does he blow up balloons then release them out the window for no one to see? And for whom does he take out his clarinet to play ‘Quartet for the End of Time’?.

“Shot in 16mm, while Alfonso Cuarón was a film student, Cuarteto Para El Fin de Tiempo is a meditation on isolation and a young man’s withdrawal from the outside world. Using very few words, Cuarón relies on the power of the image to narrate the film, for which there was no written script:

“‘It was an emotion rather than an idea that drove the process, it was about improvising and trying different things every day, trying to blend the character and the location with this emotion.’

“Now, despite having achieved international recognition for his widely acclaimed features Y Tu Mamá También, Harry Potter and Children of Men, Cuarón still likes to submit his work to a second critical eye.

“‘Even now I have great people guiding me through the filmmaking process. Even now I cannot complete a film without people like Guillermo del Toro or Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu putting their touch on my work.’

“Commentary by Alfonso Cuarón, recorded in London, England”



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