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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.

Sources:

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?

Cuarón screenings in Monterrey and Hollywood

6 Sep

Lucky filmgoers in Monterrey and Hollywood have the opportunity to see some cinematic gems on the big screen this month. Every Wednesday this month (beginning yesterday, oops), the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey, MARCO, will be screening a film directed by Alfonso Cuarón and shot by Emmanuel Lubezki. The best part? (Besides getting to see these film on a proper screen, of course) Free admission.

The Ciclo de Cine Lubezki + Cuarón is curated by Juan Carlos Aguado Snyder.

In Hollywood, catch a double feature of Children of Men and dystopian classic Nineteen Eighty-Four next Wednesday, September 12 at Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre. This double feature is being presented as the ninth installment of the the American Cinematheque’s Mayan Calendar Countdown. There’s something special about London and our dystopian future/the end of the world. Visit the American Cinematheque for more details.

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In other news, Año uña, or Year of the Nail, is MUBI UK’s film of the day.

Cinema Havana on Vimeo

9 May

Did you miss out on these spots three years ago?  It doesn’t look like www.cinemahavana.com is active anymore, but Jonás Cuarón and José María Yazpil’s shorts – produced to promote the brand of rum – can now be seen on Vimeo, thanks to the Lift.  These three shorts were filmed in Cuba, Catalonia, Morocco, and the North Pole over the course of 14 days.  See the first one below, filmed in la Habana, and the rest below the cut.

The Lift is a production company and creative studio based on Barcelona and Mexico City.  Carlos and Jonás Cuarón are both represented in Mexico by the Lift.  Read more.

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Gravity to open with 17 minute long take

12 Apr

Bill Desowitz (Immersed in Movies) reports that Alfonso Cuarón is “turning production on its head” with his upcoming feature Gravity.

Last week, the 5D Institute in association with the USC School of Cinematic Arts and Autodesk hosted the 5D | Flux Conference, at which Chris deFaria (Warner Bros. visual effects and animation) gave us an impression of what went into the filmmaking process.

Instead of trying to create real people and what they’re doing, let’s turn it around and create almost an entirely animated film and then backwards engineer the people into that film. As a matter of fact, let’s not even engineer the people into the film, let’s engineer their faces. But there was a big hiccup that we came to I didn’t realize until later, which was that we began building it as an animated film and Alfonso had an idea that he wanted the shots to be incredibly long.

In the end, the two hour film will contain only 156 shots, including many long takes “six, eight, ten minutes long.” The film is being post-converted into 3D, with visual effects led by Framestore.

Drew McWeeny (HitFix) made it to the talk as well, and confirmed some more details about the film’s premise.

The screenplay, by Alfonso Cuarón, Jonas Cuarón, and Rodrigo Garcia, deals with how a team tries to survive when a missile is fired at a satellite while they’re all at the International Space Station, and the explosion creates a chain reaction of debris moving at 30,000 kph, threatening their ability to ever make their way back to Earth.

The lone survivor (Sandra Bullock) of the space mission desperately tries to return to Earth and reunite with her daughter.

Gravity is due to cinemas November 21st this year.

A Boy and his Shoe expected mid-2010

3 Sep

Milenio reports: Expect to see A Boy and his Shoe hit the big screens in mid-2010.

The story, written by the director and his son Jonás Cuarón, relates the experiences of a French employee who moves to Scotland with her two children who encounter a series of problems from the time they arrive culminating in great drama.

In addition to previously mentioned Charlotte Gainsbourg and Daniel Auteuil,  actors Guillaume Canet and Pam Ferris are now attached to the project, which should begin to film shortly (although it is not known whether it will film on location or in studio). Read more.

In other news, IndieWire reports that IFC has signed with Criterion to distribute a special Criterion edition of Y tu mamá también, among other films, for 2010 release.  “Criterion has always presented a mix of international classics and director-approved editions of important contemporary films, so this new slate of releases fits our mission perfectly. These films are future classics, and we’re very excited about the opportunity to work with the filmmakers to present them in great editions right from the start,” said Criterion’s Peter Becker.    Read more.

Also, Women & Hollywood (from a feminist perspective) have pointed out a recent Newsweek article profiling female directors from Mexico.  Says Melissa Silverstein from Women & Hollywood, “It’s interesting to note that the movies by the women described in the piece are more gritty and realistic and about life in Mexico whereas most of the film made by the prominent Mexican men and more fantasy and action drive.”

Mexican coverage for the Year of the Nail

16 Aug

There was a great deal of coverage in the Mexican press upon the domestic premiere of Año uña that I haven’t gotten to yet – some snippets and links in rougly chronlogical order follow:

Asked, “What’s next?” (El Universal), director Jonás Cuarón responded:

That is what we always talk about, my girlfriend and I, because what follows is no longer with snapshots, you write the script first, but I am interested in looking for ways to create an honest story, in an interesting way, but fun.

I want to continue in film, she wants to continue with photography and when she speaks of photography projects and concept talk, I believe that working together should not be forced […] we are not working together right now, we will always share opinions.

Salim Kury (Quién) caught up with both Cuarón and actress, co-producer, and editor Eireann Harper in a hotel suite around the premiere, and while the only news is that Cuarón is working on a script for his next feature and Harper is workign on her photography, Luis Ortiz Vargas took some new photos of the couple:



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