You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cannes: Alfonso Cuaron on Guillermo del Toro, Emmanuel Lubezki and Giving It All He’s Got

The Mexican filmmaker delivers stories about childhood, friendship and filmmaking at a packed-out masterclass at Cannes

In Cannes Wednesday Alfonso Cuarón gave a Masterclass spanning his life and passions: friendships and films, made in both Mexico and Hollywood.

As Cuarón gave the class, he said – proving humble throughout his interview with Michel Simon – that the “true masters” were elsewhere in the festival, hinting that he doesn’t count himself among them. He pointed out that his was “a journey filled with insecurities,” which he considers a catalyst for his friendship with fellow Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, who Cuarón called a fellow “blue collar” filmmaker.

The two met making TV when del Toro complimented the Steven King story which Cuarón had based one of his pieces on, commenting that, “The story is so good, so why did your short suck so bad?” Although the words surprised Cuarón he says del Toro was right, and since then the two have been fast friends.

Born in a neighborhood in Mexico City with a number of commercial film studios, Cuarón learned early on how to sneak in, eventually getting into the famed Churubusco Studios where he never really left. The director recalled a time when he would operate boom mics, photograph, or write, any job that would get him paid and get him experience. All the while, however, he says he was considered within the industry as someone that had potential. “My goal was always to become a director.”

Once his potential turned into filmmaking, Cuarón says he and long time friend Emmanuel Lubezki, or “Chivo” as he refers to the legendary cinematographer, wasted as many as ten years of their careers trying to right the wrongs of former “lost” generations of Mexican filmmakers.

He recounted time and again stories of films and series done as a means of survival, a paycheck. He did note, however, that “I had the wisdom and the security to say it’s going to be on my terms,” a wisdom which lead to commercial successes with films like “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” critical acclaim for films like “Y Tu Mamá También,” and “Children of Men,” and two Academy Awards for “Gravity.”

In perhaps the best received story of the night, Cuarón talked about why, unlike other directors, he never watches any of his films. “For them,” peers del Toro and Alejandro G. Iñarritu, “their films are their babies, they nurture them and they love them. For me it’s more like ex-wives. I gave them as much as I could.”

More Film

  • Danny Glover

    Danny Glover Joins 'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle' Sequel

    Danny Glover has joined the cast of Sony’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” sequel. His role is being kept under wraps, as is the storyline. Glover will star opposite Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan, all of whom are set to return. Awkwafina is in final negotiations for a significant part in [...]

  • DJ Khaled Bad Boys

    DJ Khaled Joins 'Bad Boys' Sequel (EXCLUSIVE)

    DJ Khaled has rounded out the cast of Sony’s upcoming “Bad Boys” sequel “Bad Boys for Life,” joining returning stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. Khaled will also join series newcomers Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig, Charles Melton, Jacob Scipio, and Paola Nuñez. Joe Pantoliano is on board to return as Captain Howard. Production is currently [...]

  • SAMUEL L. JACKSON in Glass. M.

    M. Night Shyamalan's 'Glass' to Break January's Slow Box Office Streak

    No plot twist here: M. Night Shyamalan’s thriller “Glass” will dominate the domestic box office. As this weekend’s lone wide release, “Glass” looks to be the de facto choice for moviegoers during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Now the only question is: how big of an opening can “Glass” pull off? Mediocre reviews don’t [...]

  • Iranian Film Festival NY Review: 'Sheeple'

    Iranian Film Festival New York Review: 'Sheeple'

    The cinema of Iran has often been marked by stylistic qualities of delicacy and restraint. It has found ways to speak loudly with a whisper. But “Sheeple,” the traumatically explosive closing-night selection of 1st Iranian Film Festival New York, amounts to a rather spectacular counterexample. It’s a drama set in the lower depths of society [...]

  • Sundance Film Festival Placeholder

    Sundance Film Festival Launches Talent Forum for Indie Creators

    The Sundance Film Festival is launching a new program to offer industry mentoring to under-represented and indie creators, the festival announced Tuesday. Based out of Park City, Utah’s Kimball Art Center, the program will include focused mentoring for filmmakers, writers, producers, and beyond, as well as keynote events with “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler and [...]

  • Aisha Tyler

    Aisha Tyler to Host 2019 Directors Guild Awards

    The Directors Guild of America has selected Aisha Tyler to host its 71st annual DGA Awards on Feb. 2 at the Hollywood & Highland Center’s Ray Dolby Ballroom in Los Angeles. “We’re excited to have Aisha on board for the 71st annual DGA Awards,” said DGA president Thomas Schlamme. “She is ideally suited to host [...]

  • Caleb Landry JonesNY Premiere of "Three

    Caleb Landry Jones Joins Ralph Fiennes in 'The Forgiven' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Caleb Landry Jones will co-star with Ralph Fiennes, Rebecca Hall, and Mark Strong in “The Forgiven.” John Michael McDonagh is directing the film, which is an adaptation of the novel by Lawrence Osborne. It deals with the reverberations of a random accident on the lives of an English couple, their friends and local Moroccans who [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content