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Alejandro González Iñárritu Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (13) | Trivia (12) | Personal Quotes (9)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 15 August 1963Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico
Nickname El Negro
Height 6' 0½" (1.84 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Alejandro González Iñárritu (Spanish pronunciation, ih-nyar-ee-too; born August 15, 1963) is a Mexican film director.

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 five feature films Amores perros (2000), 21 Grams (2003), Babel (2006), Biutiful (2010), and Birdman (2014), have gained critical acclaim worldwide including two Academy Award nominations.

Alejandro González Iñárritu was born in Mexico City.

Crossing the Atlantic Ocean on a cargo ship at the age of 17 and 19, González Iñárritu worked his way across Europe and Africa. He himself has noted that these early travels as a young man have had a great influence on him as a filmmaker. The setting of his films have often been in the places he visited during this period.

After his travels, González Iñárritu returned to Mexico City and majored in communications at Universidad Iberoamericana. In 1984, he started his career as a radio host at the Mexican radio station WFM, a rock and eclectic music station. In 1988, he became the director of the station. Over the next five years, González Iñárritu spent his time interviewing rock stars, transmitting live concerts, and making WFM the number one radio station in Mexico. From 1987 to 1989, he composed music for six Mexican feature films. He has stated that he believes music has had a bigger influence on him as an artist than film itself.

In the nineties, González Iñárritu created Z films with Raul Olvera in Mexico. Under Z Films, he started writing, producing and directing short films and advertisements. Making the final transition into T.V Film directing, he studied under well-known Polish theater director Ludwik Margules, as well as Judith Weston in Los Angeles.

In 1995, González Iñárritu wrote and directed his first T.V pilot for Z Films, called Detras del dinero, -"Behind the Money", starring Miguel Bosé. Z Films went on to be one of the biggest and strongest film production companies in Mexico, launching seven young directors in the feature film arena. In 1999, González Iñárritu directed his first feature film Amores perros, written by Guillermo Arriaga. Amores perros explored Mexican society in Mexico City told via three intertwining stories. In 2000, Amores perros premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and won the Critics Weeks Grand Prize. It also introduced audiences for the first time to Gael García Bernal. Amores perros went on to be nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards.

After the success of Amores Perros, González Iñárritu and Guillermo Arriaga revisited the intersecting story structure of Amores perros in González Iñárritu's second film, 21 Grams. The film starred Benicio del Toro, Naomi Watts and Sean Penn, and 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.

In 2005 González Iñárritu embarked on his third film, Babel, set in 4 countries on 3 continents, and in 4 different languages. Babel consists of four stories set in Morocco, Mexico, the United States, and Japan. The film stars Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett and Adriana Barraza. The majority of the rest of the cast, however, was made up of non-professional actors and some new actors, such as Rinko Kikuchi. It was presented at Cannes 2006, where González Iñárritu 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. González Iñárritu is the first Mexican director nominated for a DGA award and for an Academy Award. Babel went on to win 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. After Babel, Alejandro and his writing partner Guillermo Arriaga professionally parted ways, following González Iñárritu barring Arriaga from the set during filming (Arriaga told the LA Times in 2009 "It had to come to an end, but I still respect González Iñárritu").

In 2008 and 2009, González Iñárritu directed and produced Biutiful, starring Javier Bardem, written by González Iñárritu, Armando Bo, and Nicolas Giacobone. The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festial on May 17, 2010. Bardem went on to win Best Actor (shared with Elio Germano for La nostra vita) at Cannes. Biutiful is González Iñárritu's first film in his native Spanish since his debut feature Amores perros. For the second time in his career his film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Academy Awards. It was also 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. Javier Bardem's performance was also nominated for Academy Award for Best Actor.

In 2014, González Iñárritu directed Birdman, starring Michael Keaton, Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, and Andrea Riseborough. The film is Iñárritu's first comedy. Birdman is about an actor who played an iconic superhero, and who tries to revive his career by doing a play based on the Raymond Carver short story What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. The film was released on October 17, 2014.

In April 2014, it was announced that González Iñárritu's next film as a director will be The Revenant, which he co-wrote with Mark L. Smith. It is based on the novel of same name by Michael Punke. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy and Will Poulter with shooting began in September 2014, for a December 25, 2015 release.The Revenant is being filmed in Alberta and B.C. with production scheduled to wrap in February 2015. The film will be a 19th Century period piece, and is described as a "gritty thriller" about a fur trapper who seeks revenge against a group of men who robbed and abandoned him after he was mauled by a grizzly bear.

From 2001 to 2011, González Iñárritu directed several short films.

In 2001, he directed an 11 minute film segment for 11.09.01- which is composed of several short films that explore the effects of the 9/11 terrorist attacks from different points of view around the world.

In 2007, he made ANNA which 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.

In 2012, he made the experimental short film Naran Ja: One Act Orange Dance - inspired by L.A Dance Project's premiere performance. The short features excerpts of the new choreography Benjamin Millepied crafted for Moving Parts. The story takes place in a secluded, dusty space and centers around LADP dancer Julia Eichten.

In 2001/2002, González Iñárritu directed "Powder Keg", an episode for the BMW film series The Hire, starring Clive Owen as the driver.

In 2010, González Iñárritu directed Write the Future, a football-themed commercial for Nike ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which went on to win Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions advertising festival.

In 2012, he directed Procter and Gamble's "Best Job" commercial spot for the 2012 Olympic Ceremonies. It went on to win the Best Primetime Commercial Emmy at Creative Arts Emmy Awards.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Alejandro González Iñárritu

Spouse (1)

Maria Eladia (? - present) (2 children)

Trade Mark (13)

Music from composer Gustavo Santaolalla
Uses cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto in all his films
Frequently casts Gael García Bernal
Films frequently involve tragic events (accident, death) bringing together different characters.
Often focuses on the theme of human connection. Examples include Babel (2006), 21 Grams (2003), and Amores Perros (2000).
Complex overlapping storylines which can span entire cities or even continents
His characters are often trying to atone for past misdeeds
Recurring examination of Language and its effect on human interaction
Stories are often told in a non linear structure
His characters are often unsympathetic and prone to mistakes
His characters are often criminals or engage in illegal activities and often try to atone for Them
Uses very little Music to keep his films realistic.
Films often take place in settings of poverty, squalor, and urban decay

Trivia (12)

He is friends with fellow successful Mexican directors Alfonso Cuarón and Guillermo del Toro. The three often produce & support each other in their cinematic projects.
Children: Maria Eladia and Eliseo.
Very first Mexican to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Director.
Was part of the jury of the 2007 Venice Film Festival.
Is also the first Mexican director to have won the Prix de la mise en scene at Cannes (2006).
Crossing the Atlantic Ocean on a cargo ship at the age of 17 and 19 have had a great influence on him as a filmmaker.
Was the youngest child of seven siblings.
Was DJ at the Mexican radio station WFM, of which he later became the director, a rock and eclectic music station.
As a musician, he scored six Mexican films in the late 1980s.
Studied filmmaking under Polish director Ludwik Margules.

Personal Quotes (9)

"(On why did he not record an audio commentary for 21 Grams (2003)) I don't like them. I feel that if you have to explain something, it loses strength. It's like a magician trying to explain his magic, in a way. Those kind of things make me feel like I've lost something special about the film. The film should explain itself".
Directing non-actors is difficult. Directing actors in a foreign language is even more difficult. Directing non-actors in a language that you yourself don't understand is the craziest thing you can possibly think of. But I would do it again in a minute.
My cinema is an extension of myself. A sort of life-testimony of my vital experience, with my few virtues and my numerous limitations.
One gets lost easily when he is seeking so many things in this carnival of memories of intense moments and beautiful people. Places so far away, so exotic, cultures that are so different from each other. So many human experiences on an emotional level, on an intellectual and spiritual level. So much intensity, so much beauty... Not only can one get lost, but where do you store all those wonderful things? My heart is heavy with all this beauty and nostalgia of knowing that it will soon be lost forever and never be lived again.
I think that in order to be a film director, one has to be a warrior who shouldn't be defeated by the daily onslaught of problems. We are all hanging by threads and are the mercy of various elements, if one fails the whole flight could come crashing down, and like a good warrior I'm not going to break down.
[observation, 2014] I think everybody now is a celebrity. They want a space in social media. Everybody is looking for validation, no matter who you are, and I think that's a need of the human condition - to look for affection or recognition or validation. I think just the ways people are getting it is different [in this] self-absorbed society.
[on Bridman] I think the film dealt with that a lot - what is art and what is commerciality, and when you're an artist and when you're a whore. All the time, artists are dealing with that question, especially in film, when there's money involved in the process. That's the tragedy of film, which is an industry and an art and a tool of personal expression, and at the same time a way to entertain the masses. That's a very difficult kind of balance to navigate, especially today, with the rules of the game.
Biutiful is not about death, It's about life. It's a hymn to life.
[on superhero movies] For me superheroes represent that vision of humans as flawless and certain, and all those things that are a delusional projection of how human beings should be. It's almost fascist-there's something very scary about that, the vanity. And for me, humans are exactly contrary to all that. I've never met a human like that. And I'm much more interested in humans, which I find much more dimensional and contradictory and flawed and driven by fears and anxiety, but at the same time, beautiful, pathetic, lovable creatures that I find fascinating. I think the values of the superheroes are in a way affecting the way the military mind works. So I have a conflict, philosophically, with the generations today not being fascinated by our human flaws and possibilities, and everything that's human seems to be boring now. It's scary for me. That's my conflict-that humans seem to be now no longer subject to analysis and observation, and we cannot see ourselves in films because we feel so bad about ourselves. We have been acting so bad in the last years, the world is in such bad shape, that probably the reason (for the superhero craze)-I'm being outspoken here-is there's a shame about seeing humans on the screen. And that's sad.

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