Jonas Cuaron Discusses Power of Silence as ‘Desierto’ Closes LA Film Festival

The sound of silence dominated ArcLight Cinemas in Culver City as the LA Film Festival closed out its 22nd edition with the U.S. premiere of Jonas Cuaron‘s taut immigration  thriller “Desierto.”

“I did the film to have the audience on the edge of their seats from beginning to end,” Cuaron admitted to the audience in introducing the film.

He began working in 2008 on the story about illegal Mexican immigrants, led by Gael Garcia Bernal’s character, facing a nightmarish scenario in the desert north of the border due to a rifle-toting vigilante (played by #). He then teamed with his father Alfonso for the “Gravity” script before turning back to “Desierto.”

His father admitted that he was still struck by the contrast in terms of the amount of verbiage in each movie.

“Unlike ‘Gravity,’ which is very driven by dialogue, he decided to strip it of dialogue so it’s very visceral,” Alfonso asserted. “If there’s too much dialogue, there’s no room for poetry.”

The younger Cuaron noted that the location was essential to the movie. “I scouted deserts for two years — Almeria, Anza-Borrego, the Mojave — but southern Baja California worked best.”

STX Entertainment, which acquired the U.S. rights following its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival,  decided this week to launch the film on Oct. 14 — just three weeks before a presidential election in which Republican nominee Donald Trump has made stopping illegal immigration a cornerstone of his campaign.

Carlos Cuaron, an uncle of Jonas and a producer on the film, said on the red carpet that the election-season date makers sense. “My first reaction five years ago when I read the script was that here was an action story with a real social conscience,” he added.

More Scene

  • Atmosphere91st Annual Academy Awards, Governors Ball

    Inside the 2019 Oscar Parties

    Stars party all around Hollywood before, during, and after the Oscars. Here, Variety hits the town to give you the inside scoop on all the star-studded soirées. Keep checking back throughout the weekend for the latest updates… Oscar Wilde Awards Bad Robot, Santa Monica, Feb 21 Irish eyes were smiling in Santa Monica for the [...]

  • Speaker of the United States House

    Nancy Pelosi, Ava DuVernay Honored at VH1 Trailblazers Event

    Cher is feeling a little better about what’s happening in Washington, D.C. “When I see Trump spew his hate and tell his gazillion lies, I get pissed off and feel uneasy at the same time,” the Oscar winner and frequent Trump critic said Wednesday while introducing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi at VH1 Trailblazers [...]

  • Karl Lagerfeld'Lagerfeld Confidential' Photocall at the

    Karl Lagerfeld Remembered at Costume Designers Guild Awards

    The death of fashion and costume designer Karl Lagerfeld cast somewhat of a shadow over the usually jubilant Costume Designers Guild Awards — the only award show where clothes literally steal the spotlight away from actors — which was held at the Beverly Hilton on Tuesday night. Here it was obvious that Lagerfeld’s impact on [...]

  • Kate Bosworth'Nona' film premiere, New York,

    Kate Bosworth Helps Launch Campaign for Female Filmmakers

    In her 20-year career in Hollywood, Kate Bosworth has starred in blockbusters like “Superman Returns” as well as indie darlings like 2014’s “Still Alice.” But the actress has always had a desire to get more involved from the ground up. Now, she is partnering with Women In Film and Chloe Wine Collection to launch the [...]

  • Amandla Stenberg and Sofia CarsonVanity Fair

    Oscar Week Kicks Off With Vanity Fair's New Hollywood Party

    The night was definitely still young Tuesday at Vanity Fair’s New Hollywood party in Los Angeles. The magazine kicked off Oscar week with a party — the first of its three-event Campaign Hollywood series — at Ysabel in West Hollywood to celebrate new and emerging talent. Co-hosted by Yalitza Aparicio, Henry Golding and Amandla Stenberg [...]

  • Oscars Ultimate Party Guide

    Oscars Ultimate Party Guide 2019

    Welcome to Oscar week. It’s the time of year when Hollywood’s film industry celebrates all things movies. But it’s certainly not just the big show everyone is looking forward to. With voting closed, it’s all about the parties now. Who’s doing what and where and when are they doing it are the questions everyone is [...]

  • Yalitza AparicioTeen Vogue Young Hollywood Party,

    'Roma' Star Yalitza Aparicio, 'Central Park Five's' Jharrel Jerome Sound Off on Trump

    Yalitza Aparicio recently reunited with Alfonso Cuarón, who directed her in “Roma,” for a W magazine photo project that featured her standing at various barriers built at the border between Mexico and the United States. The message? “You can make a name for yourself despite the differences,” Aparicio told Variety on Friday at Teen Vogue’s Young [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content