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Iñarritu: 'Every day I'm further removed from mainstream cinema'

Iñarritu: 'Every day I'm further removed from mainstream cinema'

Posted by PanamericanWorld on January 04, 2016

Mexican director Alejandro González Iñarritu has pulled off a sort of miracle with his latest picture "The Revenant," an ambitious film with a huge budget yet one that features an old-fashioned storyline and is devoid of superheroes.

The filmmaker said he opted for this specific challenge precisely because of his distaste for present-day Hollywood blockbuster fare.

"We're living at a time in which ambition is punished," the 52-year-old director said.

"Nearly all the films, whether good or bad, must fulfill certain parameters: they have to be straightforward, they can't make you uncomfortable, they can't be mysterious, they can't be hard to read ... Any contrary ambition is punished, and that's why every day I find myself further removed from mainstream cinema," the Mexico City-born filmmaker said.

"My particular taste and that of the people is increasingly different. That's very clear to me. And I like to be far removed from what's happening now," he said.

Based on real-life events, "The Revenant" tells the story of Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio), a 19th-century American explorer and fur trapper who was mauled by a bear and left for dead by the other members of his expedition team and whose desire for revenge kept him going on a trek spanning hundreds of miles.

"The goal was to film a type of historical document in real time, like the memory of a ghost. I didn't want it to have the look of a film, but rather of a dream," González Iñarritu said.

The difficulties overcome during the film's production have been well documented in the specialized media: crew who quit or were fired, below-zero temperatures, exclusive use of natural light during shooting (the work of Mexican cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki) and the relocation of the cast and crew to Argentina's Patagonia region in search of snow in mid-July.

The series of obstacles and challenges, which caused the budget to soar to more than $130 million, make González Iñarritu consider "The Revenant" to be his own particular "Lawrence of Arabia," although with one key difference.

"I can't imagine David Lean having to justify why he went to the desert to shoot his film."

"The exaggerated reaction to why we went to real places is really sad. It seems like movies today have to be with artificial light, green screen and pixels. Going to real places and filming with sunlight is apparently crazy. That's the world we live in," the filmmaker said.

The notion of death has often hovered over González Iñarritu's films, and the director said he considered cinema his best tool to combat the inevitable.

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