A nice companion piece to the NYT article I posted earlier today. Alfonso Cuaron asserts that the popularity of his and his friends’ films (you know which ones) are not some kind of legitimisation of Mexican cinema.
I have a huge appreciation of backgrounds. What I have a problem with is borders. The language of cinema is cinema itself: it doesn’t matter whether it is filmed in Spanish or English or French or Japanese. The same goes for the people who make it. Yes, I’m a film-maker from Mexico. But I also belong to the world.
On a side note, I thought Babel was overhyped. Just because you chop up a narrative and mix up the sections to mess with the chronology doesn’t make you brilliant. Most of the edits destroyed the pacing of each section and distracted the audience. Sections were juxtaposed but without informing each other. The result? Audiences who know what’s going to happen already and have little incentive to be interested in watching characters they don’t identify with suffer.
The Tokyo sequence is the sole exception. Having the audience follow deaf-mute Chieko (played by Rinko Kikuchi)’s desperate search for communication helps save the film from falling apart under its ambition.