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October update

11 Oct

In my last post, optimistic-but-ultimately-naïve that I would get to see Gravity from the TIFF rush line (did not, obviously), I ended with a link to ScreenRant’s summary of early reviews/previews.  Per the archival aspirations of this blog, I’ve since begun collecting reviews from Venice (I started with Sandy Schaefer’s original list, and kept going with whatever Google turned up in my inbox) and from Telluride.  Toronto’s next (and I’ll tell you about how I waited for three hours only to not see Gravity).

By the way, I feel really good about my decision to avoid all the reviews and promotional interviews and other news alerts. ;)

September update

4 Sep

I could be one of the laziest fanbloggers around. I guess there’s a reason why this blog is called an Alfonso Cuarón Archive. ;)

David Heyman, Alfonso Cuarón, Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, and Jonás Cuarón on the red carpet at Venice

David Heyman, Alfonso Cuarón, Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, and Jonás Cuarón
on the red carpet at Venice

I was going to tell you that I’ve been having a very busy summer, but to tell you the truth, as I began to catch up with the clippings for Gravity from the last month (from Venice and from Telluride), I realised that I don’t really want to read the reviews before I get to see the movie for myself. I’ve been sitting on a copy of the screenplay for months for the same reason.

Fortunately, I am writing from my hometown Toronto, home of the Toronto International Film Festival where Gravity will receive a red carpet Canadian premiere this Sunday evening (September 8), and screen another three times before the festival closing (September 5 to 15).  I’ll do my best to get myself a ticket for one of the screenings, and do some red carpet creeping this weekend. It won’t be long now. :)

Besides Venice, Telluride, and Toronto, Gravity will screen at San Sebastian and Zurich before its commercial release October 4 (and then London and Morelia). I’ll be sure to catch up on archiving before then. In the meantime, I will leave you with this Daily Mail link: good ol’ red carpet fun: Sandra Bullock stuns in a scarlet strapless dress as she joins George Clooney at the Venice Film Festival premiere of Gravity

If you are really desperate to know, ScreenRant began summing up the many positive reviews from Venice (August 28) almost as soon as the critics hit send: ‘Gravity’ Early Reviews: Is Alfonso Cuarón’s Space Thriller a 3D Masterpiece?

Gravity to premiere at Venice, and the first official still

11 Jul
The first still from Gravity, featuring Sandra Bullock as medical engineer Ryan Stone

The first official still from Gravity, featuring Sandra Bullock as medical engineer Ryan Stone

The marketing machine has begun for Gravity, with a couple weeks of rumours followed by an official announcements last week that the film would premiere at, and indeed open, the 70th edition of the Venice International Film Festival on August 28; and that Cuarón personally show off exclusive footage from the film at ComicCon in San Diego, the weekend of July 18-21.

Earlier this week, Warner Bros. released this first still from Gravity, featuring Sandra Bullock ~floating in the doomed space station. Cuarón told USA Today:

She’s confronted with the idea that Earth is so far away. She can see the whole Earth and she doesn’t belong to it. What is really scary for people is being lost or alone in the immensity of the void.

He also spoke to the depiction of Earth, which film writer Bryan Alexander described as a a major character in the movie, “When you see this Earth from outer space with all of its beauty and colors, you don’t see all of these separations between these countries. Earth is just one organic, beautiful thing. We happen to live in a very stunning and beautiful place.” Continue reading

Besos de azúcar premieres at Guadalajara

26 Mar
Carlos Cuarón con el equipo de Besos de azúcar (indierocks.mx)

Carlos Cuarón con el equipo de Besos de azúcar (indierocks.mx)

Earlier this month, Carlos Cuarón’s Besos de azúcar premiered at el Festival Internacional de Cine en Guadalajara (announcement).  Of course, all the coverage was in Spanish, but from what I’ve gleaned from Twitter and Google Translate, audiences were pleased, while critics had mixed feelings.  If you can read Spanish, you may be interested to check out some of the links below:

About the production:

  • Cuarón presenta “Besos de azúcar” en Guadalajara: “I always wanted to do a remake of Melody,” Cuarón tells César Huerta (El Universal).
  • Presenta Carlos Cuarón “Besos de azúcar” en el 28FICG: “I hope [teens] see the movie, get excited and see themselves in the story and the way it enters crude realism and humour that lightens dark situations,” says Luis Usabiaga. (Notimex) Continue reading

Short Shorts to honour Cuarón

4 Sep

The 7th edition of Short Shorts Film Festival Mexico will honour Carlos Cuarón next week with a retrospective of five of his short films.

RETROSPECTVA CARLOS CUARÓN 50 min.

  1. Sístole, diástole (1997)
  2. Juego de Niños (2002)
  3. Noche de Bodas (2002)
  4. Me la debes (2002)
  5. Ofelia (2005)

If you’re in Mexico City, you have two opportunities to see these five short films on the big screen: 20h30 Sunday night, 9 September, at Cinemex Insurgentes; and 16h00 Tuesday afternoon, 12 September at Lumiere Reforma.

OEM (and Kroma Film) also reports that Alfonso Cuarón will also be honoured with a retrospective, but I can’t find anything about it on the program (Alfonso has writing credit on the 1997 short, which stars Salma Hayek in the first decade of her career).  Read more.

The Short Shorts Film Festival begins Thursday, 6 September and runs through to the 14th.  The federal capital’s Ministry of Culture will also be hosting special screenings at public parks, squares, and cultural centres.  Enjoy!

In case you missed it, you can get a taste of the Cuarón retrospective here.

Valladolid to honour Mexican cinema

13 May

EFE: The 57th edition of the Semana Internacional de Cine de Valladolid (a.k.a. la Seminici) will honour Mexico with a retrospective of twenty feature films, and screen a number of short films by Mexican filmmakers never before seen in Spain, including undistributed works by Iñárritu, Cuarón, and del Toro.

Festival director Javier Angulo explained that the retrospective will cover three generations of Mexican cinema, beginning with “first generation” director Jorge Fons, and including films produced before 2010.

The program is being coordinated by Iván Trujillo, currently director of the Guadalajara International Film Festival and former director of Mexico’s National Film Archive.  It will include panel discussion with directors, actors, and experts in Mexican cinema, including representatives from IMCINE (Instituto Mexicano de Cinematografía) and the Spanish press.  In recent years, Valladolid also hosted retrospectives of Indian, Swedish, and Brazilian cinemas.

The retrospective will take place 20-27 October.  Read more.

The official program is still TBA but the festival website is already up. 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