Friday, January 28

Mexican cinema: Alejandro González Iñárritu returns to film in Mexico City


Alejandro González Iñárritu, during the 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival, in May 2019.
Alejandro González Iñárritu, during the 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival, in May 2019.Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

Two decades after filming Dog loves in Mexico City, one of the films that marked a before and after in the history of Mexican cinema and that catapulted its director to international cinema, Alejandro González Iñárritu has returned with his camera to the city where he was born 57 years ago . He is currently filming in the capital of the country his new feature film, temporarily titled Limbo.

Although Iñárritu and his team have been completely secretive about the subject of the film and the filming process – it is said that it is a film with a political focus based on the 80s, that very few people have read the entire script and that Iñárritu asked of him his team to sign a confidentiality contract so that information is not leaked to the press – there are secrets that are difficult to keep in the cinema when filming in such crowded and emblematic places of the capital, such as Isabel la Católica street, in the historic center .

The director chose key places in the city for his new project, such as the Zócalo Square or the Chapultepec Castle. On Wednesday, the interns at the center met dozens of extras lying on the street and watched by the film’s protagonist, actor Daniel Giménez Cacho – who has worked with the other greats of Mexican cinema, such as Alfonso Cuarón and Guillermo del Toro. , and more recently in Chicuarotes, directed by Gael García Bernal, who as an actor gained worldwide fame for starring Love Dogs.

“There were punk girls (with green or orange hair) to a builder with a helmet, students, office workers in suits, pre-Hispanic dancers and even a cotton man,” wrote the newspaper. Reform about Iñárritu’s extras in Wednesday’s filming. “Almost at all times, the director wore face masks, as did his entire cast, which was only removed when the clapperboard sounded and the shout of“ action! ”.

Thursday’s filming downtown on Madero Street led to the closure of a multi-block quadrant that angered passersby. “You and your fucking little movies that don’t think about people,” said a passerby to the newspaper The universal, bothered by the blocked streets. Another passerby was arrested after jumping the railings of the filming, and hitting one of the security guards.

Days before filming began, the Zócalo turned off the public lighting in the National Palace, government buildings or the Templo Mayor, at the request of the Limbo Films company and with the authorization of the Mexico City Filming Commission. The Metro transport closed these days a station in the Zócalo. After a year in which the pandemic put multiple filming projects on hold in Mexico City, the city will be now and for at least five more months with the filming of Limbo, pending how the city center will look under the eye of one of its most beloved directors.

Alejandro González Iñárritu, one of the three most internationally recognized Mexican directors, celebrated at the end of last year the anniversary of the film that catapulted him to fame and that, paradoxically, took him away from Mexican sets: Dog loves, which turned 20 years since its premiere in 2000. “This film did change my life, there was a before and after,” said the filmmaker at the beginning of the Morelia film festival, in October, when he presented a version restored. After that they came for him Babel (recorded in Mexico, the United States and Japan), Biutiful (with actor Javier Bardem in Spain), Birdman (on the streets of New York, with which he won an Oscar for best picture), and The Revenant (with Leonardo Di Caprio, who won him another Oscar for best director).

Now he returns to Mexico with a film in Spanish, and with a dazzling Mexican team. In the project Limbo There is also Tita Lombardo as a producer, who was part of the team of Dog loves Y Babel, and the art director Eugenio Caballero (winner of an Oscar for his work on the Pan’s Labyrinth by Guillermo del Toro, and who also worked on Roma, from Cuarón).

At the Morelia festival, without mentioning his name, the director made certain comments criticizing President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s cuts to the cultural sector. He spoke of “not giving up in the midst of these circumstances [de la pandemia], with little support from governments ”. At the time, there was talk of cutting several trusts that the Government planned to cancel, including those that support filmmakers. “A country without cinema is a blind country,” said the director. A country that will soon be seen again through the lens of Iñárritu.

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