Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's film "Babel" took home best director and jury prizes at Cannes and is up for a slew of Golden Globe awards, including best picture and best director. Alfonso Cuaron's "Children of Men" is at 91 percent on the critical opinion meter RottenTomatoes.com, making it one of the best-reviewed films of the year.Read More
But during their separate visits to the District this season, both directors took time out from promoting their own films to ask if I'd seen the work of someone else.
Mr. Inarritu assured me I'd be blown away by "Pan." Mr. Cuaron marveled, "Isn't it amazing? That ending is so fantastic. ... Very powerful."
These are some strangely uncompetitive filmmakers -- and very good friends.
Mr. Inarritu, Mr. Cuaron and "Pan" director Guillermo del Toro all hail from Mexico and all are in their early- to mid-40s. While they've left their native land, they remain friends who have established Mexico as a hotbed of film talent.
"It must be the water," laughs Mr. del Toro.
"There is a fierceness in how we express ourselves that comes from need and hunger," he says more seriously. "When Alfonso and I started doing films 25 years ago, it was almost impossible to make a Mexican film. It was almost unheard of for a Mexican film to open in America. So we came out of adversity. And I think that makes your voice stronger."
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