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Desierto to begin production this month

11 Oct

Early on during the Venice Biennale, Variety announced Jonás Cuarón’s next feature, Desierto. The film, about a pair of undocumented immigrants crossing the border into the United States on the run for their lives from a drunk American who has taken border control into his own hands, will be produced by Esperanto (Alfonso Cuarón), Ítaca (Alex Garcia), BN Films (Carlos Cuarón and Lucas Akoskin), and Canana (Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, and Pablo Cruz). The screenplay was written by Jonás Cuarón and Mateo Garcia (who appeared in Cuarón’s first feature, Año uña).

According to the LA Times, Alfonso Cuarón was inspired by script’s stripped-down narrative and immersive character experience to invite his son Jonás to collaborate on Gravity with him.  Desierto will star Gael García Bernal as Moises, one of the two migrants who, fighting for their lives, learn to fight for each other.

Production begins in Mexico this month.



Mexicans who shone in 2011

2 Jan

Excelsior has listed Alfonso Cuarón and Guillermo del Toro, for their work on two of 2012’s most highly anticipated movies Gravity and Pacific Rim, as two of the Mexican stars who shone brightest in 2011, alongside actress Salma Hayek, director Gerardo Naranjo, and actors conquering new territory, Demian Bichir, Kuno Becker, Martha Higareda, and Paulina Gaitán.  Charolastras Gael García Berna and Diego Luna were also lauded for their Canana Films productions this year as well as their acting.  Read more.

More mindblowing

18 Dec

So, he is not directing the Twilight Zone but Alfonso Cuarón has a huge year ahead with one of the most highly anticipated films of 2012 (scheduled for a November 21 release).

We’ve already heard Guillermo del Toro describe Gravity on MTV as “completely mindblowing” filmmaking, but recently main actress Sandra Bullock is insisting the same, while promoting her upcoming feature, an adaptation of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.  In addition to describing the isolation of filming her character along in space, she told MTV News’ Josh Horowitz:

It is going to be so profoundly silent and big and loud. I don’t know how to explain it, because I have never seen anything like it. I never experienced anything like it. There are no words in my mental dictionary that can describe what this experience was, but once you see it, you’re, you’re just going to be like, ‘Oh my f—ing God.’

Cuarón celebrated his 50th birthday last month (November 28) and in the wave of Happy Birthdays, I nearly missed this:

Disclaimer: “Looks real but I’m just not sure,” the uploader says, but “it still looks cool though.” Regardless of whether it’s fan made or for real, I am certainly ready to have my mind blown (soooo excited). Continue reading

Luna’s “Abel” meets success in domestic market

5 Jun

EUROPA PRESS: From 7 to 11 June, Bilbao will host the General Assembly of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), bringing together two hundred representatives of over 3 million creators and publishers, from 225 member institutions in 118 countries. In addition to discussing the status of creators in new delivery platforms and the evolution of intellectual property law, delegates will also elect a new president and vice-president for the next three years, positions currently occupied by Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees and filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón respectively (elected in 2007). Read more.

EFE/LEER: In its second weekend since opening, Diego Luna’s directorial debut Abel will be receiving increased distribution to more than one hundred screens across fourteen cities, a rare feat for a domestic release in Mexico where cinemas are dominated by Hollywood films. Last weekend’s premiere sold 61 000 tickets, breaking the record for releases of between 60 and 65 copies, previously held by Shakespeare in Love (1998). Abel is a co-production of Canana Films (MX) and Mr. Mudd (US) and stars Christopher Ruiz-Esparza and José María Yazpik. Abel (Ruiz-Esparza) returns from the psychiatric ward to fill the shoes of household patriarch until his father Anselmo (Yazpik) comes back into the fold. The film screened earlier this year at the Sundance and Cannes film festivals and has been well-received by critics and audiences. Thanks to Jacki for her help with the Spanish. Read more.

See also:

There has also been some coverage of this spring’s Cha Cha Cha releases Biutiful: “If there is no crisis, I have failed” (El Universal interview with director Alejandro González Iñárritu); and Mother and Child: “Rodrigo Garcia no movies purist” (Chicago Tribune).

The upcoming World Cup also brings us another Wieden+Kennedy Nike ad filmed by El Chivo Emmanuel Lubezki, this time directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, entitled “Write the Future”:

Continue reading

AXN winners, Carlos Cuarón news, and decade’s end

22 Dec

The winners of the AXN Film Festival were announced at the Teatro Ángela Peralta  last week, selected from over five hundred short films entered from across Latin America by a jury which included Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, Eduardo Noriega, Demián Bichir, Cecilia Roth, Alex Brendemuhl, Carlos Cuarón, Fina Torres, José Padilha, Marcos Jorge, and Simon Brand.  Read more here and here.

  • First Prize: Carlos Hernández (Colombia), Marina, la esposa del pescador
  • Second Prize: Juan Manuel Betancourt (Colombia) , Rojo Red
  • Third Prize: Maricarmen Merino (Costa Rica), El mar

Another short film recently receiving attention online is Carlos Cuarón’s  Juego de niños (2002).

Originally published in the journal Generación, the Quiñonera blog has recently posted online an essay by the filmmaker about his experience with the nonprofit community created to disseminate contemporary art engaged with the real world.  “The Quiñonera is a place of convergence and divergence, loves and heartbreaks, friendships and hatreds, work and leisure. It is a space of creation and recreation.”  Read more.

More recently, the Cuarón has been promoting his book on his most recent work and first feature film Rudo y Cursi, due for release in Spain and across Latin America.   The text includes not only production notes and exclusive photos, but also essays on fraternity, soccer, and society by Félix Fernández and Sabina Berman  Read more.

Unsurprisingly, Alfonso Cuarón’s films have made a number of “decade’s best” lists drawn up as the year comes to an end, notably Y tu mamá también and Children of Men.  There is little new said about these awesome films, but IndieWire has republished its 2002 interview entitled ‘Not Another Teen Movie: Alfonso Cuarón on Truth, Style and “Y Tu Mamá También”.’ Check it out.

Catching up (I)

14 Nov

Since September, Cuarón made the news not only by signing a controversial petition by the Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques’ (SACD) protesting the extradition of Roman Polanski from Switzerland for an outstanding warrant dating back to his 1977 rape conviction but also for his participation in  Autism Speaks‘ “I am Autism” campaign (details below the cut).

More recently, HR reported that the director was in early stage talks to direct the remake of Jérôme Salle’s The Tourist (original title: Anthony Zimmer) , replacing Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (The Lives of Others), originally attached to the project.  Variety reports that the production is to finally begin in February after a number of cast and crew changes since 2005.  However, as recently as last week, von Donnersmarck asserted that he was still attached to the project.  “In the trades, everything they say…I think you can discount a lot of it.  It’s just a way of talking about the business, and sometimes things get out about heated points of discussion. We’ll see how it plays out with that one.”

In October, the finalists for the AXN Film Festival were announced.  Jury members – including Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, and Carlos Cuarón, among others – selected ten short films from across South America which will air on AXN from 15th November to to 6th December in Brazil, Mexico, Columbia, Argentina, and Venezuela.  The winner will be announced Sunday, 13th December.  Read moreThe Sunday Times carried an interview with Carlos and Alfonso Cuarón by Beverley D’Silva ahead of of the DVD release of Rudo y Cursi in the UK mid-November.  The brothers discussed their relationship growing up and making films, “Writing [Y tu mamá también], we were laughing like crazy and getting very excited. We learnt that the only way to make things happen is to take control of your material from the get-go. And it all happened from there.”

Apologies for the great delay! Continue reading

A few notes before going on hiatus

16 Aug

I will be leaving this week for a gap year behind the Great Firewall of China, where unfortunately, wordpress is blocked.  This fanblog will therefore be on hold for a while, unless I find a reliable proxy, but even then my internet access will not be as consistent as at home in Canada while I travel.  I hope to continue reporting blogging when I can, and most definitely when I return.  Cheers.


El Economista and El Mercurio report: In ten short films, ten Mexican filmmakers will be putting together a film in the style of Paris, je t’aime to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the Mexican Revolution.  Produced by IMCINE, Canana, and Mantarraya Producciones, each film will discuss the significance of the Revolution today.  “Imagine the potential for controversey,” said Gerardo Naranjo (Voy a explotar) who begins work on his contributiont next month, “I’m going to make something dynamic and violent that reflects what I think about the country.”  Other names attached include Spanish director Isabel Coixet, Alfonso Cuarón, the American Coen brothers, Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, Carlos Reygadas, Amat Escalante, and Fernando Eimbcke.

Monsters & Critics reports that Alfonso Cuarón, as well as John Woo, among others, has expressed interest in an 80 million USD Hollywood adaptation of Hong Kong fantasy graphic novel series DevaShard.  Subsidiary of NBC Universal, CastleBright Studios bought the rights to the fantasty series feeling that a storyline based on Asian mythology would be the next big thing.  DevaShard is inspired by the Sanscrit epic, the Mahabharata, an important part of Hindu mythology.

Noticine reveals that Cha Cha Cha production Mother and Child, directed by Rodrigo García, will make its world premiere with a gala screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, which runs from 10 to 19 September.  Budgeted at 7 million USD, it was filmed in Los Angeles and concerns three women played by Annette Benning, Naomi Watts, and Kerry Washington, whose character is looking to adopt.