The Mexican filmmakers cumulate to them three ten Oscars. They were reunited on stage in Los Angeles as awards season is in full swing.
These are the three musketeers of the Mexican seventh art who conquered Hollywood. Called the “Three Amigos”, in reference to an American film featuring three vigilantes in Mexico, directors Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Alfonso Cuaron met on Friday in Los Angeles on the stage of the Academy of Oscars.
This masterclass celebrated their prolific filmography. Between them, they accumulate ten Oscars. And their shelves can hope for new ones at the end of this price season. Alejandro Inarritu is in contention with the semi-autobiographical narrative bardo and Guillermo del Toro delights with a stop motion re-reading of Pinocchio which he inscribes in Mussolini’s Italy. Two Netflix movies. The platform was the organizer of these public reunions.
The three acolytes told AFP that their long-standing friendship has been an essential ingredient in their respective success. “Amigo (number) one is calling amigo (number) two!”, launches Guillermo del Toro to encourage Alfonso Cuaron. “I could have been a good director without them intervening. But they intervened and I survived!”jokes Alejandro Inarritu.
The bond that unites the directors – born a few years apart – goes back several decades. Before embarking on cinema, all three shone in other fields: Alfonso Cuaron and Guillermo del Toro enjoyed success together on television, and Alejandro Inarritu on radio.
After hit movies like loves female dogs directed by Alejandro Inarritu in 2000, the three artists often exchanged ideas on new projects, and even participated in the complete re-edition of their respective works. “I sincerely think it was crucial… For us, not being alone in your work is a very nice gift, reacts Alejandro Inarritu. “Whether we speak or not, I know the other two are there no matter what”adds Alfonso Cuaron. “Sometimes you even avoid asking their opinion! You say to yourself, ‘I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing because I know what they’re going to tell me!’laughs del Toro.
In 2018, Alfonso Cuaron – the oldest of the trio – caused a stir in Hollywood after his collaboration with Netflix to create Rome, an intimate black-and-white drama that won him his second Best Director Oscar (following his space survival tale Gravity). Alejandro Inarritu and Guillermo del Toro recently followed suit by agreeing to partner with the streaming giant.
According to Alejandro Inarritu, who won back-to-back Oscars with Birdman or (The Surprising Virtue of Ignorance) and The Revenant with Leonardo DiCaprio, Netflix gave him the opportunity to direct his most personal film to date. The sprawling and dreamlike Bardo, false chronicle of a handful of truths follows a famous Mexican journalist as he explores the blurred boundaries between reality and memory, life and death, the United States and Mexico. The main character of the film is even awarded a prestigious world prize by an American institution, not without evoking a parallel with the career of the “three friends”.
“I don’t think success has changed us as filmmakers… But certainly recognition like the Oscars or prizes sometimes makes the journey a little easier“, notes Alfonso Cuaron. For Guillermo del Toro, the Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director for The Shape of Water in 2018 have “changed his life”: “It was beautiful. And it was very, very, very upsetting.”
The secret to their success? “Our craving for tacos maybe, that’s what we have in common…”, replies, in a pirouette, Alejandro Inarritu. “I think it’s humor”, retorts in turn Guillermo del Toro, before adding: “And a good breath!”.
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Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Alfonso Cuaron owe their Hollywood success to their “friendship”