He’s holed up at his home like everyone else, but two-time Oscar-winning director Alejandro Gonzalez-Inarritu has been busy for the last six months restoring his first feature film, Amores Perros, on the occasion of its 20th birthday. The film won the Prize of the Critic’s Week at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival.
At a Zoom-based Spanish-language press conference for more than 20 Mexican journalists today, the ever-expressive filmmaker stressed that it was important to him to deliver a technically ideal version of his debut to “a whole generation that has now grown up since the release of the film,” which debuted to great acclaim. The film centered on dogs trained to viciously fight each other in private gambling venues, a practice that was finally outlawed in Mexico two years ago.
Gonzalez Inarritu, who made no mention of any future projects, has not made a feature film since snaring his second best picture Oscar for The Revenant in 2015 (his first came for Birdman the year before). Although it’s not at all clear whether the coronavirus plague will subside sufficiently to permit, the director has been aiming to debut the Amores Perros restoration at the Morelia Film Festival in October and follow with a giant screening in the Zocalo, at the giant public square in Mexico City, in December. A fresh commercial run would follow.
The director expounded on a wide range of assorted topics during his electronic press conference. He stressed the importance of “immediacy” in cinema, something reflected in his extraordinary 20-minute “experience” Carne y Arena, a virtual reality creation he presented at Cannes in 2017 and subsequently at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, in which visitors wearing audio-visual helmets made their way through a large studio space to explore the experience of Mexican migrants trying to make their way over the U.S. border.
Without tipping his hand about what he might do next, Gonzalez-Inarritu emphasized that, “We’re living in a critical moment,” with a new generation that is facing “new fears” that will result in very different kinds of cinema and visual expression. “What interests me in cinema now is completely different than it was 20 years ago.”