Video Interview: 'Gravity' Director Alfonso Cuarón Talks Pure Cinema
by Alex Billington
October 3, 2013
"Pure cinema is its own language." It's time to experience Gravity. After years of waiting, years of anticipation, it's finally arriving in theaters. The man behind this exhilarating experience is none other than Alfonso Cuarón, the talented Mexican filmmaker behind A Little Princess, Y Tu Mamá También, Prisoner of Azkaban and Children of Men. I have been a big fan of Cuarón for many years and have been waiting to meet him and interview him and I finally got the opportunity of a lifetime. Not only is he an incredibly nice, very humble filmmaker, but he spoke openly about many different topics, from sci-fi to cinema to spectacle.
Cuarón is originally from Mexico and English is not his first language, so it may occasionally be a bit hard to understand what he's trying to say. That said, it's still a fascinating interview and I covered most of the key questions I was hoping to ask (but, as I state near the end, I could've talked with him for hours). I think his greatest insight came when I asked about working with his son Jonás on Gravity. "He brought back in me… the fearlessness of embracing spectacle entertainment. That whole thing of excitement, a joyful experience of going to the theater and watching a movie, and getting immersed in amazing cinematic spectacle. That's something that I grew up loving…" Me, too. Without further ado, launch the full 15-minute interview below.
Watch my video interview with Gravity writer/director Alfonso Cuarón, shot on Flipcam in New York:
Timeline of questions: 0:50 - Did you have an "eureka" moment while making this? 4:25 - Are the quality of visual effects linked with time? 5:20 - How do you know when the VFX are good enough? 6:03 - Do you think Gravity is "science fiction" or not? 8:17 - I appreciate that your films represent sci-fi in their own way. 9:16 - What insight did you gain working with your son Jonas that you wouldn't have gained without him? 12:02 - What were you obsessed with getting perfect in Gravity? 12:58 - Was NASA involved? How did you get the micro-gravity perfect? 14:14 - Is there anything you haven't been asked but want to be asked about?
A big thank you to Alfonso Cuarón for his time, and thank you to Warner Bros for arranging the interview. It was a tremendous honor and pleasure to chat with the master himself and I couldn't be happier with how this turned out. I geeked out so much with him that I had to ask to get a photo with Alfonso - seen here. I love that he makes a Buster Keaton reference. Gravity is easily my #1 movie of 2013 and will likely keep that spot throughout the rest of the year. I wrote in my initial review, "it is a visually groundbreaking, epic cinematic experience unlike any in film history." See it on the biggest screen around for the best experience.
Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity arrives in IMAX & regular theaters everywhere in 3D on Friday, October 4th this week. Be sure to catch it on the biggest screen near you for the best experience. See it, then Sound Off here.