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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.



Alfonso Cuarón returning to the small screen with JJ Abrams

22 Sep

Last night, Deadline revealed that, “Alfonso Cuarón has teamed with J.J. Abrams for a high-concept drama, which just landed at NBC with a pilot production commitment.”  Cuarón will direct the pilot, which he will co-write with Mark Friedman (The Forgotten, Home of the Brave).

It is about a girl in possession of a great gift/powers — which will come into their own in seven years — and the man who is sprung from prison to protect her from those trying to hunt her down.

Warner Bros. and Abrams’ Bad Robot are producing, with Abrams, Cuarón, Friedman, Bryan Burk, and Kathy Lingg listed as executive producers.  Still no title yet.  Read more.

As the Playlist points out, this would be Cuarón’s first small screen gig in nearly a decade.  The filmmaker directed an episode of neo-noir Fallen Angels in 1993, reportedly recruited by director Sydney Pollack after the success of Sólo con tu pareja.  Before that, he directed six episodes of Hora Marcada, a Mexican television fantasy-horror-sci fi anthology, which also featured early in the careers of Emmanuel Lubezki, Guillermo del Toro, and Carlos Cuarón.  “… certainly genre elements [of this early television work] have always been a part of his work to some degree, so all of this is very intriguing.”  Read more.

Besos de azúcar now filming

24 Jun

Carlos Cuarón’s second feature Besos de azúcar (Sugar Kisses?) is now well into production, according to El Universal’s César Huerta.  The film will star 17 y.o. Chistian Ferrer (of El infierno and Sin nombre) as its villain, with Verónica Falcón as his mother.  Kevin Hernández will play an American teenager (Get the Gringo).

Besos is being produced by brothers Carlos and Alfonso Cuarón with support from Fidecine, Mexico’s Film Investment and Stimulus Fund.  Read more.  IMDb also lists production companies Vista Hermosas Films and Delicious Films.

Carlos Cuarón’s first feature Rudo y Cursi came out in 2008 with the 5th biggest box office opening in Mexican history.  Since then, he also wrote and directed a ten-minute English-language adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s The Second Bakery Attack, which screened around the world in 2010.

Cinema Havana on Vimeo

9 May

Did you miss out on these spots three years ago?  It doesn’t look like 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.

Continue reading

Kissing in the Rain and other long takes

6 May

Great Expectations is an imperfect film† and it isn’t put on lists of acclaim the way other Cuarón films are.  Nevertheless, it is still beautiful and I’m grateful to Jude Defensor of We Talk About Movies for reminding me.  For his submission to Encore’s All Wet blog-a-thon this week, he selected the scene below.

The rain is such a multi-sensorial experience that visuals alone don’t seem to do it justice. I ended up thinking of scenes that didn’t just show the rain but married it to music gorgeous enough to evoke that exquisite feeling of wet, cool drops falling on your skin and soaking into your clothes, or the even more exhilarating sensation of running through a wall of water.  Read more.

It is yet another beautiful long take, executed by who other than DP Emmanuel Lubezki, accompanied by Patrick Doyle’s unforgettable score. It’s actually because of the Scottish composer Doyle that I came to be interested in the work of Alfonso Cuarón.  Continue reading

Cuarón on Lionsgate wish list for Hunger Games sequel

13 Apr

Speculation about who might takeover Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire has been all over my Alfonso Cuarón Google News Alerts over the last week amid rumours that director Gary Ross was parting ways with the franchise, but that was when they were just rumours.

On Tuesday, Ross confirmed his departure in a statement released by the studio, saying, “Despite recent speculation in the media, and after difficult but sincere consideration, I have decided not to direct Catching Fire. As a writer and a director, I simply don’t have the time I need to write and prep the movie I would have wanted to make because of the fixed and tight production schedule.”

Lionsgate is now searching for a new director and already has a wishlist drawn up. Nicole Sperling (24 Frames) reports:

The master list is seven or eight names long, all men, and all have some significant credits to their name. Lionsgate is basically hoping to to re-create the “Harry Potter” moment when Warner Bros. brought Alfonso Cuaron to direct the third film in the series. (Chris Columbus left after helping the first two.) Cuaron was a creative choice who excited critics, journalists and author J.K. Rowling, who all were interested in what the director of “Y Tu Mama Tambien” would do with the series.

In fact, Cuaron is in the mix for “Catching Fire,” along with David Cronenberg and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, among others. All have been working in the industry for decades and trend more toward darker, indie fare than commercial hits.

Read more.

Catching Fire is scheduled for release November 22, 2013. So we know that Lionsgate wants Cuarón, Iñárritu, and Cronenberg, among others, but do they want Lionsgate back? And more importantly, the tight production schedule?

IndieWire update: “Sources close to the project tell The Playlist,” Bennett Miller (Moneyball) and Francis Lawrence (I am Legend) are also on Lionsgate’s wish list.  Read more.

THR’s Heat Vision update: Lawrence (represented by CAA and 3Arts) will receive the first offer,but Tomas Alfredson, Cary Fukunaga, and Duncan Jones on Lionsgate’s list.  Read more.

MTV final update:

The reaping has concluded, with Francis Lawrence officially named victor in the contest to direct “Catching Fire,” according to a release from Lionsgate.

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.