Praise for 2006's Mexican Powerhouse Directors: del Toro, Inarritu, and Cuaron
by Alex Billington
January 16, 2007
Friends (from left to right) del Toro, Cuaron, and Inarritu.
There are plenty of phenomenal filmmakers out there, including Martin Scorsese, but none of them are as visionary and as revolutionary as these three Mexico-born directors who've created some of the greatest masterpieces of 2006: Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, and Alfonso Cuaron. Finally they're getting some recognition, with Babel, Innaritu's film, receiving the Golden Globe for Best Drama. I must take this moment to praise these powerhouse directors for their achievements and recognize them for their excellence.
The funny thing is all three of these guys are great friends. They know that their films are very powerful representations of Mexican cinema, they've said it in interviews and speeches, and I certainly agree. It was quite stimulating to begin ourselves in the same year that these three put out some of the finest films of their careers. The shocking and vibrant Pan's Labyrinth, the emotional and worldly Babel, and the revolutionary and futuristic Children of Men. All three of them took spots quite high on my own list of the Top 15 Movies of 2006. They are undeniably amazing - you can't go see any one of them and not be moved or even just intrigued at what cinema is capable of.
One of the most interesting observations from these films is that none of them got an incredibly wide theatrical release as, at least I believe, they deserved. The subject matter and content, especially with Pan's Labyrinth, means that a typical American audience won't necessarily "enjoy" the films, however that doesn't mean they are some of the best. Even reflecting back on my screening experiences for the three films was amazing.
I saw Babel the morning after the midnight showings of Saw III; Children of Men on November 15th in between screenings of Rescue Dawn and Dreamgirls; and Pan's Labyrinth at the Denver Film Festival. All of them had amazing image quality, crisp, clear sound, and everything you'd expect for an unforgettable theatrical experience for some of the best films of 2006.
I hope that these films will not go unrecognized further and will become a strong point of recognition for Mexican cinema and the immense capabilities of the three of them. It's unfortunate that Pan's Labyrinth did not win the Foreign Language Golden Globe, as it was expected to, and even more devastating to see Children of Men absent from the nominations at all. The least I can do is share my praise for them and build awareness for the three of them, either individually or combined, and especially to support their films.
If you haven't already, make it a goal to see all three of these films, if possible in theaters. I know Pan's Labyrinth is just opening wide in plenty of cities this coming weekend, and Children of Men should still be playing on 1500 screens. The three of them, del Toro, Inarritu, and Cuaron, are visionary filmmakers who've helped us take another step forward in the cinematic world, and will continue to innovate, define, and revolutionize this industry that I so very much love.