Alejandro González Iñárritu is not just a director; he’s a filmmaker, an auteur in the traditional sense of the word. His three films to date, all collaborations with screenwriter and novelist Guillermo Arriaga, have been conceived and developed by the duo, sidestepping the lure of big studio productions, as a director-for-hire, that most successful directors in Hollywood follow.Read More
Not that he is opposed to it. “Well, there is always an idea, a subject, that I want to tackle,” he says about his choice of films, adding, “fortunately, or unfortunately, I just haven’t had the time, or perhaps the luck, to find something that interests me more than what I am working on. If it does, of course, I’d be open to it.”
His latest endeavor, Babel, distributed by Paramount Vantage, the specialty distribution arm of Paramount Pictures, is indeed a studio film. But just like 21 Grams, its predecessor, it was developed by Iñárritu and Arriaga, based on their own ideas.
Babel, the third in a trilogy that began over six years ago with Amores Perros, followed by the 2003 sensation 21 Grams, borrows the fractured narrative style of its predecessors. And like them, it is an exploration of human relations, of cause and effect, and of the way in which our destiny is the random end result of circumstances beyond our control. “Life is a sum of accidents,” says González Iñárritu, sitting in a plush sofa, legs propped on a chair, at the offices of Paramount Vantage in New York where we met to discuss his film. “It’s a series of extraordinary events that we’ve lost the ability to question,” he asserts, adding: “A Cuban friend of mine says: ‘If a second is enough to end our lives, then it is certainly enough to change it.’ I think there are events and actions that determine our lives, and that of others, even across the world.”
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Latin American Cinema