American press on Rudo y Cursi

15 May

There are far too many reviews and interviews to share (I’m tempted to unsubscribe from Carlos Cuarón coverage from Google Alerts), and a few repetitive questions, so my coverage won’t be so extensive.  Generally, good reviews with a few criticisms.  Generally, excitement for Cha Cha Cha’s first release.  Brotherhood>Soccer.  And so on.  Here are some interesting excerpts from interviews in reverse chronological order (ish):

CinemaBlend: Where did the inspiration of the story come from?

CC: I originally wanted to make a fake documentary about a soccer player who came from a humble backgrond and made it big, and when he was at the peak of his success, he mysteriously disappeared. I told this idea to Diego and Gael separately, and they both said, ‘I want to be that guy.’ It was great, because I had two actors, but I only had one character. I realized at that point that I wanted to work with both of them. So I made up a brother. I told them it was going to be a sibling rivalry story. I told Gael that I wanted him to play Cursi and Diego to play Rudo, and their first reaction was ‘No.’ They wanted to play the other guy. And I told them that I didn’t want to repeat myself, I didn’t want to make Y Tu Mama Tambien too. I wanted to cast them against type. They got it immediately.

Express: How did you come up with the characters’ names?

Alfonso and I were on a family vacation at the Grand Canyon. I was wearing this blue Australian-type hat, and, looking out at the canyon when two little gringo brothers, one about 12, the other 11, said to each other — “Hey, do you think that guy looks tough?” The other, “Nah, he looks corny.”

IESB: What would [you] like the audience to take away from this film?

GGB: First of all, I would like everyone to have a good time watching this movie. And then, it’s open for interpretation because there are many sides to it. Some people have even said that this is a great movie for audiences in the United States to watch because there is a really nice genesis that happens with the relationship between the United States and Latin America with bananas. The Imperialist Movement of the United States into Latin America was with bananas, and by  controlling the banana plantations. That was a nice interpretation, but we weren’t trying to do that. People can take a lot of things from this film, but what I would like is that they have a really good time watching it.

Speaking to CBS:

CC: I wanted to create a social portrait of my country. The Mexican dream has become a nightmare…There’s no opportunity for today’s youth.

For Hollywood & Fine:

CC: If you consider success a materialistic part of life, success can tear you apart and failure can bring you together.  If you understand success as more human, you can be very successful when you realise you have each other.  For each person it’s different.  That’s life.

To indieWire:

CC: After I saw ‘Funny Games’ – that great film by Michael Haneke in which is the most violent film you could ever see but all the violence is offscreen – I came up with the idea to do the same. There’s not much [football] in it, it’s more about the reactions.

indieWire: How did you get into filmmaking in the first place?

CC: When I was fourteen I decided I wanted to be a writer. So when Alfonso needed someone to write his scripts, he said, ‘hey you, you want to write? Come, help me.’ So that’s how we started to work together – I was nineteen back then. I decided to start directing in the mid ‘90s. I had lunch with Guillermo and Alfonso and I was depressed and Guillermo said, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ I said I’ve written all these scripts and they don’t get produced, it’s like giving birth to dead babies, and he said, ‘well why don’t you direct them?’ And I thought, ‘yeah, he’s right.’ The thought had never crossed my mind because I’d wanted to be a writer and that was that. So I started writing scripts for short films and I did eight.

Village Voice: You and Gael Garcia Bernal are sort of the Mexican version of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.

DL: [Laughs] I hate when…I would hate to think that way. Wait a second–my baby is eating the menu from the hotel. [So you don’t like that comparison?] No. In Mexico, you’re always asked where the other is, like if you’re by yourself then you are nothing. That happens a lot. Or they believe that I know where he is all the time and he knows where I am all the time. And that I can have conversations that he’s had with someone else and the other way around, like they see us as if we’re twins, like we’re attached.

ComingSoon:  Now  I understand you’re doing another movie with Alfonso, too, where he’s directing one of your scripts?  How’s that been going and is that something already underway?

CC: I’m very slowly writing that because it’s not going to be his next project.  It’s just something that we want to have a first draft and then in the future at one point we can set it up.  Right now, I’m in that process while Alfonso it trying to set up his next project.

Back Stage: Were you surprised when Rudo y Cursi became the third-highest-grossing film in Mexico?

GGB: Yeah, bronze medal.

DL: The first film, the one that got the gold medal, it’s a cartoon film [Una Película de Huevos], so we were bitten first by cartoons—

GGB: No, the first was [El Crimen del] Padre Amaro.

DL: Bueno, okay. Then the second is cartoons; the first one is Gael’s film about a priest, and the third is Rudo y Cursi, so you can see how [in Mexico it goes] religion, then cartoons, and then football. I was happy. Surprise is not the right word, because I saw the film with an audience and I realized how strong the audience was responding to the relationship of the brothers. It was like the perfect screening. It’s all about getting them the first weekend, and we worked a lot for that to happen. So I was happy for Carlos, also, and for Alfonso and Guillermo and Alejandro, because they have financial problems. They need the money.

There is also audio available for NPR‘s interview with the director.

[Edit] Additional interviews:

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