Alejandro González Iñárritu
|Alejandro González Iñárritu|
Alejandro González Iñarritu during movie production
|Born||Alejandro González Iñárritu
August 15, 1963
Mexico City, Mexico
|Other names||El Negro,
One of the Three Amigos
|Occupation||Film director, Screenwriter, Producer, Composer|
|Spouse(s)||María Eladia Hagerman|
González Iñárritu is the first Mexican director to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director and by the Directors Guild of America for Best Director. He is also the first Mexican born director to have won the Prix de la mise en scene or best director award at Cannes (2006), the second one being Carlos Reygadas in 2012. His four feature films Amores perros (2000), 21 Grams (2003), Babel (2006) and Biutiful (2010) have gained critical acclaim worldwide including 12 Academy Award nominations. He is also friends with fellow Mexican directors Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso Cuarón and are described as "The Three Amigos of Cinema".
Early life and career
He was born in Mexico City to Hector González Gama and Luz María Iñárritu. He grew up in La Colonia Narvarte, a middle-class neighborhood near downtown Mexico City. His father used to be a rich banker, but when Alejandro was five or six years old, he went bankrupt and lost everything. Alejandro says his father has been his inspiration because he took care of his family "with the virtue of a warrior". His father started a business by himself, buying fruits and vegetables in the Central de Abasto market in order to sell them to restaurants during the day. Even though he faced some economic hardship he was very happy as a child. As an adolescent, first at seventeen then at nineteen years old, he crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a cargo boat working cleaning the floors and greasing the engines. The second time he went, he stayed in Europe and Africa staying one year surviving on just one thousand dollars. He attributes these physical and intellectual experiences during this time as a major influence in his work. He also believes that reading the classic existentialist writers during this period of his adolescence as greatly influential in his later film work.
He studied communications at Universidad Iberoamericana while simultaneously starting his career as a radio host in 1984 at the Mexican radio station WFM[disambiguation needed]. In 1988 he became the director of this rock and eclectic music station, becoming for five years the number one radio station in Mexico City for young audiences. From 1987 to 1989, he composed music for six Mexican feature films, including Garra de tigre (1989). He has called himself a frustrated musician and music has had more influence on him than film. He studied theater with well known Polish film director Ludwik Margules. He later studied directing actors in Maine and Los Angeles under Judith Weston. In the nineties he created Z films with Raul Olvera in order to start writing, producing and directing feature films, short films, audio, advertisements, and television programs. By 1995, Z films was one of the biggest and strongest film production companies in Mexico created with seven young directors that then all went on to direct feature films.
Path to fame
He met Guillermo Arriaga, after 3 years and 36 drafts with the screenwriter, he ended up with three stories into the feature-length film, Amores perros (2000) introducing Gael García Bernal in his first role in cinema. This gritty look at the underbelly of Mexican life garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film as well as a BAFTA Film Award for "Best Film not in the English Language", the Critics Week Grand Prize and Young Critics Award at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival. It was the most awarded film of that year with over sixty awards from film festivals worldwide.
González Iñárritu made the fifth short ("Powder Keg") in the BMW The Hire series along with Ang Lee, Wong Kar Wai, Guy Ritchie and John Frankenheimer. He also directed a segment of the independent feature 11'09"01 September 11 (2002), a collective movie about the influence of 9-11 on the world, along with Claude Lelouch, Shōhei Imamura, Ken Loach, Mira Nair, Amos Gitai and Sean Penn.
Move to Hollywood
After the success of Amores perros González Iñárritu decided to direct his second film, this time in the U.S., titled 21 Grams. Again written by Guillermo Arriaga based on an idea by both, it starred Benicio del Toro, Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. The film was presented at the Venice Film Festival, winning the Volpi Cup for actor Sean Penn. At the 2004 Academy Awards, Del Toro and Watts received nominations for their performances.
His project Babel consists of four stories set in Morocco, Mexico, the United States, and Japan, in four different time frames. The film stars Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett and Adriana Barraza but introduced a full cast of non- actors and some new actors such as Rinko Kikuchi. It was presented at Cannes 2006, where he earned the Best Director Prize (Prix de la mise en scène). Babel was released in November 2006 and received seven nominations at the 79th annual Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. It won the Best Motion Picture in the drama category at the Golden Globe Awards on January 15, 2007. Gustavo Santaolalla won the Academy Award that year for Best Original Score.
In 2006, Arriaga and González Iñárritu had a falling out when Arriaga started a personal campaign stating that screenwriters and directors should share credit as the auteur in the film industry. González Iñárritu pushed back by saying that someone who has never set foot on a set or directed an image of a film could not possibly claim auteurship of an audiovisual medium. Because the relation had ended long before the shooting of "Babel" started, Arriaga's behavior led to his dis-invitation from the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. Sources in the industry believe that it is unlikely that the pair will ever work together again.
In 2007, González Iñárritu made the short film, ANNA, which was screened at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival inside Chacun son cinéma. It was part of the 60th anniversary of the film festival and it was a series of shorts by 33 world-renown film directors such as Roman Polanski, Abbas Kiarostami, the Coen brothers, Theo Angelopoulos, David Cronenberg, the Dardenne brothers, Manoel de Oliveira, Hou Hsiao Hsien, Aki Kaurismaki, Takeshi Kitano, David Lynch, Nanni Moretti, Gus Van Sant, Lars Von Trier, Wim Wenders, and Zhang Yimou.
In 2010, González Iñárritu directed Write the Future, a football-themed commercial for Nike ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which featured footballers Didier Drogba, Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott, Franck Ribéry, Ronaldinho, Cristiano Ronaldo, Fabio Cannavaro, Andrés Iniesta, Gerard Piqué, Cesc Fàbregas, Landon Donovan, Tim Howard, tennis player Roger Federer, basketball player Kobe Bryant, the famous cartoon character Homer Simpson, and long-time González Iñárritu collaborator Gael García Bernal, among several others.
His most recent film, Biutiful, starring Javier Bardem, premiered at Cannes on May 17, 2010, with Bardem winning for Best Actor (shared with Elio Germano for La Nostra Vita). It is his first film in his native language since his debut feature Amores perros. It has been selected as the Mexican entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Academy Awards. It made the January shortlist and then made the final list of five nominees. It was also been nominated for the 2011 Golden Globes in the category of Best Foreign Film, for the 2011 BAFTA awards in the category of Best Film Not in the English Language and Best Actor, and for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film and Best Actor.
He now lives in Los Angeles with his wife María Eladia Hagerman de González and their two children María Eladia and Eliseo.
- Death Trilogy
a series of three films that share the theme of death.
- Amores perros (2000)
A highly acclaimed film from 2000 set in Mexico City. Three individuals are connected by the event of a violent car crash.
- 21 Grams (2003)
The 2003 film was nominated for two acting Academy Awards. In this particular tale, three individuals are connected by a violent accident involving an automobile as well.
- Babel (2006)
Taking place in Mexico, Japan, Morocco and the United States, this interconnecting story tells of four families that face a tragedy that begins with the purchasing of a rifle and traverses across four countries in three different continents. Inarritu was awarded the best director honour at the Cannes Film Festival for this highly acclaimed film. The film won and was nominated for many awards from respectable Film institutions (including the Academy Awards).
- Other Feature Length Films
- Biutiful (2010)
Javier Bardem as Uxbal attempts to atone for his life's mishaps as a blackmarketeer in the slums of Barcelona, and faces death. Uxbal is diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer and faced with the difficult task to find closure in his life. Balancing a dysfunctional home life rooted by his unfaithful, bi-polar ex-wife, Uxbal tries to raise his young son and daughter without his ex-wife's abuse. As a blackmarketeer, Uxbal scrambles to make amends for exploiting illegal immigrants that he traffics yet also befriends. He has the ability to usher spirits to their resting peace. Biutiful was given the Oscar and Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. The film, like the Death trilogy, also has a strong theme of mortality.
- Birdman (2014)
- Detrás del dinero (1995) (TV)
- El Timbre (1996)
- Powder Keg (2001) ("The Hire" series for BMW)
- 11'09"01 September 11 (2002)
- Chacun son cinema (2007) (segment "ANNA")
Awards and nominations
He has been nominated for many awards including: Academy Award, Palme d'Or, Golden Lion, European Film Award, DGA Award, PGA Award, César Award, Silver Ribbon, Prix de la mise en scène, BAFTA, Ariel Award, Golden Globe, David di Donatello and ALFS Award.
- 2001: Best Foreign Language Film (Amores perros - Mexico, nominated)
- 2007: Best Director (Babel, nominated)
- 2007: Best Picture (Babel, nominated)
- 2011: Best Foreign Language Film ("Biutiful"-Mexico, nominated)
- 2002: Best Film Not in the English Language (Amores perros, won)
- 2007: Best Film (Babel, nominated)
- 2007: David Lean Award for Direction (Babel, nominated)
- 2011: Best Film Not in the English Language (Biutiful, nominated)
- 2000: Critics Week Grand Prize (Amores perros, won)
- 2000: Young Critics Award - Best Feature (Amores perros, won)
- 2006: Golden Palm (Babel, nominated)
- 2006: Prize of the Ecumenical Jury (Babel, won)
- 2006: Best Director (Babel, won)
- 2010: Golden Palm ('Biutiful, nominated)
- 2007: Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures (Babel, nominated)
- 2007: Best Picture - Drama (Babel, won)
- 2007: Best Director (Babel, nominated)
- 2011: Best Foreign Film (Biutiful, nominated)
- 2002: Best Foreign Film (Amores perros, nominated)
- 2004: Special Distinction Award (21 Grams, won)
- 2007: Motion Picture Producer of the Year Award - Theatrical (Babel, nominated)
- 2002: UNESCO Award (September 11, won)
- 2003: Golden Lion (21 Grams, nominated)
- Terrence Rafferty, 2006-10-22. Auteur vs. Auteur. New York Times.
- "Nike's World Cup commercial showcases González Iñárritu's filmmaking flair". Los Angeles Times. 2010-05-20. Archived from the original on 24 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-22.
- "9 Foreign Language Films Continue to Oscar Race". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-01-19.
- "Nominees for the 83rd Academy Awards". oscars.org. Archived from the original on 25 January 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-25.
- Liner notes for the US release of the original soundtrack album (Concord Records catalog number CCD2-30191-2)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Alejandro González Iñárritu|
- Alejandro González Iñarritu at Biosstars International
- Alejandro González Iñárritu at the Internet Movie Database
- Alejandro González Iñárritu at AllRovi
- Alejandro González Iñárritu at Rotten Tomatoes
- Moving Pictures Magazine interview
- Guardian interview, discussing Amores Perros
- IndieWire interview, discussing Amores Perros
- IndieWire interview, Interview discussing 21 Grams
- Sounds and Colours interview, discussing Biutiful