Alejandro González Iñárritu The Poet of Fluid Motion

A far while back I started a showcase on the 23 best film directors working in the industry today, in this article I will study the impact of of Oscar winner Alejandro González Iñárritu.
An immersive director with an exceptional portfolio of masterful work all with one characteristic in common, impact, an impact to astound, to dramatize to a substantial degree and shock with selected great camera work.

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The director in question started out with two shorts before moving on to his first feature film and undoubtedly his greatest work ‘Amores Perros’.

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Released in the year 2000 it told three intertwining stories about love, loss and dogs, but not in the way some people may think, Alejandro left the shock factor in for all to see, depicting some extremely graphic scenes that I cannot mention due to the spoiler of the film and its main plot, but within the film one substantial event causes the catastrophic drive that immerses all three prime characters, he explored how love could cause people to act in certain ways, this isn’t exactly a romantic comedy, it’s as harsh as a tragic drama can be, its reality, so distressing you may even forget you’re watching a film at all but witnessing an unrelenting feature which launched Alejandro in the limelight in his chosen continent of South America, the feature of real life.
Three years later came his first Hollywood feature film starring Sean Penn, Naomi Watts and Benicio Del Toro, ’21 Grams’ told the story of a fateful accident which brought together these three people. A prime feature of Inarritu is combining characters and using them very well to drive a plot of a film, the unique factor of this film is that it was shot purely from hand held cameras in chronological but the final cut itself is not even chronological, which perfectly displays the prowess of storytelling by the director. Not quite as shocking as his previous feature back in 2000 but still as distressing, which is a phenomenal characteristic of the creative, truly magnifying the pain of the actors on screen to produce an engrossing feature such as ’21 Grams’ the title itself is taken from the work of Dr. Duncan MacDougall in the early twentieth century, he measured several dying objects portraying that the soul weighed 21 grams. There is certainly soul in this feature of Alejandro’s and it is a must watch for anyone who has not seen it.

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In 2006 ‘Babel’ was released, featuring notable cast members including Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett and the award winning Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal. The film tells the story of a tragedy which has an impact on four different families. Inarritu manages yet again to connect the lives of people across four different continents which in this film include North and South America, Asia and the Middle East, what is in fact interesting about this film is how seamlessly strangers can connect through harsh circumstances, yet again reflecting reality as part of the directors art, that is the impression that this director gives and the results he produces in this film are superb, it is not certainly a weak film from him but one he could have elaborated more on, take nothing away from him, still masterful from the Mexican artist.

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BABEL, Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Brad Pitt, on set, 2006. ©Paramount Classics

Just four years later came his first work focusing solely on one main protagonist, the film ‘Biutiful’ which starred Javier Bardem in what is perhaps one of his best ever roles since his Oscar winning one in ‘No Country for Old Men’ back in 2008.

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Set in Barcelona it tells the story of Uxbal played by Bardem as he struggles to deal with his crumbling life around him, the more and more we delve into his character the scarier we see the spiral that is surrounding him and the effect it has on those around him. The film was also written by Inarritu so it gives him the extra emotion to truly amplify his importance both in dialogue spoken and camera work selected for true substantial effect, quite definitely worth a watch but can be very unsettling for those not used to the directors’ style.

Birdman’ followed next in 2014 which earned him his first Oscar and propelled him into the Hollywood limelight, the same effect it had on Alfonso Cuaron when he made ‘Gravity’.

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To be honest it is not certainly his best work but it is a distinctive piece of work for the actors he chose to be in it, it’s quite unconventional to say the least following a Murphy’s Law-esque type of approach of anything that can go wrong does. I did enjoy this film in the sense its certainly the most comic one he has done, Alejandro may not be famous for this genre of film type as drama does exist in this film too with a hint of surrealism, his relationship with Michael Keaton worked very well, thrusting Keaton further and using his Batman background as groundwork for this film and an homage too. The relationship and chemistry of the actors on screen is brilliant also, using the theatre both front and back of house to drive the plot of the film along with the disastrous results that come from it.

Already a glowing portfolio Alejandro G Inarritu had one more name to cross of his list of having worked with, and who better than one of the greatest of his generation Leonardo DiCaprio in ‘The Revenant’.

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Inarritu wanted to reflect a new reality, a new harsh truth on screen and its poetry that his films had made on the past, with this film he utilised that to its fullest every effect, putting not just the protagonist but the entire personnel who worked alongside him in this film through their paces and making them suffer but always with an extraordinary outcome in mind.

Working alongside a great cinematographer too in ‘Emmanuel Lubezki’, Inarittu showed us some spectacular scenery and natural lighting to fully immerse us in the novel of Hugh Glass and his vicious bear attack as well as his vengeance and survival. This is certainly one of his greatest efforts, unquestionably in his top three films, with this feature he managed to create an astonishing experience while draining the life out of DiCaprio, it was brutal, malevolent and exponential.

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarittu manages to get the best out of the talent he works with, not only that he manages to make them go beyond, which makes him go beyond his vision and consciousness, his auteur style can be identified from a large distance, his portfolio of films tell us this, his poetry within them, their raw emotions, their harsh truths and distressing depictions the directors stories he has chosen to showcase on screen, an absolutely meticulous artist that still has saved his greatest work for last I am sure, a shining example to aspiring directors who wish to apply poetry to moving art in motion.

“When we are looking for validation that will never satisfy us, when we are looking for affection, for love, a little bit of that will be enough to be complete..”

 

– Alejandro Gonzalez Inarittu

 

 

10 Spoof Comedies That Redefined the Comic Genre

A spoof comedy by definition is a film that parodies other films or genres, they are works that are created by imitation of the style of many different films reassembled together.

Below are some of the most memorable and brilliant ones that also gave comedy a visual and hilarious style.

1. Airplane! (1980)

airplane-1980-cockpitHailed as one of the greatest comedies ever made, this entertaining filled movie features an outrageous plot and memorable catchphrases, it is certainly one of the more smarter and outlandish films, full of laughs & great comic performances, in my opinion the benchmark standard for comedy spoofs.

2. The Naked Gun (1988)

Naked-GunThis was originally a TV series that later became a feature film trilogy , Leslie Nielsen gives a landmark performance as Lieutenant Frank Drebin, One of the first comedies I watched growing up and I laughed as hard back then as I do today, a classic.

3. The Naked Gun II (1991)

Naked Gun 2___The Smell of FearFrank Drebin does it again with the help of the iconic spoof team of David Zucker & Jim Abrahams, a worthy sequel that features great laughs yet again, sadly the third did not make it, but still a worthy mention.

4. Top Secret! (1984)

movie titleOne of Val Kilmer’s first films, he plays an American rock and roll singer who becomes involved in a Resistance plot to rescue a scientist imprisoned in East Germany, the same team consisting of Zucker and Abrahams provide us a with a parody of WWII movies with memorable scenes and laugh out loud scenarios, highly recommended if you haven’t seen it, comic brilliance.

5. Blazing Saddles (1977)

bzAn outstanding Western parody,  Blazing Saddles is a film that takes us back to a more innocent era, An era where PC was just a couple of letters stuck together. The film provides an endless stream of laughter, and if you watched you would understand the hilarity and parody of it, and you could forget about a remake, not in this day and age.

 

6. Spaceballs (1987)

spaceballs_blu-ray_hdrAfter the first Star Wars Trilogy Episode IV-VI,  and before the Family guy remakes, Spaceballs was the first film of its kind to rip into Star Wars, featuring a great cast of John Candy, Rick Moranis, Mel Brooks and others, it manages to be quite an entertaining parody of the sci-fi films. As with Mel Brooks the jokes come quick and in the case of all spoof films always keep an eye on the background, highly recommended if you fancy a sci-fi parody.

7. Scary Movie (2000)

1The modern slasher horror movies were coming thick and fast, imitation after imitation some audiences still kept going, that was until in 2000 when The Wayans family stepped up and released an outrageous and brilliant parody of horror films and similar blockbusters around that time, a brilliant satire that spawned a mixed spoof horror series, with number six over the horizon, what was once a fun satire comic series has become an abysmal array of pointless gags and failed jokes.

An honourable mention to Scary Movie 3, what I believe to be the best in the series, but the first one really paved the way of this horror spoof franchise.

 

8. Hot Shots (1991)

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Jim Abrahams was on hand once again to bring a Top Gun filled spoof, Charlie Sheen does very well as the “serious” actor in this hilarity filled film, as with any spoof film, the jokes are smart and hysterical, the sequel itself doesn’t come close to the first but a great effort, for those who haven’t seen Hot Shots, I recommend watching Top Gun first with Hot Shots straight after, Overall comically decent.

9. Shaun of the Dead (2004)

shaun-of-the-deadAt the time of Scary Movie, and zombie flicks came an absolute brilliant parody of the horror genre, it really feels like a romantic comedy set amongst the backdrop of a zombie apocalypse, brilliant chemistry from the cast makes this an entertaining film with great comedy and drama aswell, the balance of those too is shown greatly. Edgar Wright’s best film, one of the best horror zombie spoofs made.

10. Young Frankenstein (1974)

yfBefore the time of Abrahams and Zucker, there was Mel Brooks who I believe started the modern movement of the Spoof comedy, his tribute of the Frankenstein films of the 40’s is done with such detail and comic accuracy this has become one of the first spoof classics and back then had audiences in pieces, a highly recommended comedy, the first comedy spoof of its kind, outstanding.

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5 Underrated Films You Must Watch

Below is a list of films you may or may not have watched that some people including myself have deemed them to be underrated but are equally watchable and brilliant.

1. Interstate 60 (2002)

600A majestic film that has to do with existence and our purpose in the world, you may recognize certain stars in this film including Gary Oldman playing the “genie” guidance role, A fascinating and thought provoking film that is recommended for repeat viewing, the music throughout accompanies the movie perfectly and the flow is also brilliant as well as inspiring, highly recommended.

2. The Party (1968)

the20partyOne of the funniest films ever made, hilarity ensues when Peter Sellers playing a famous Indian actor gets invited by accident to a lavish Hollywood party, the pace of the film is terrific and you cannot help but laugh at the limited but outstanding scenarios in one space, make the comedies of nowadays seem small in comparison to this film, and if there was a remake it wouldn’t come close, an extraordinarily funny feature.

3. Equilibrium (2002)

equilibrium-2Christian Bale stars in what is perhaps one of the most action filled and carefully planned films of all time. Kurt Wimmer’s film set in the distant future where all forms of feeling are illegal, Christian Bale who is a man in charge of enforcing the law rises to overthrow the system in absolutely spectacular fashion. The gunfight scenes are some of the greatest since “The Matrix”, one to see purely for the combat and “1984” style plot.

4. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

Basic CMYKAn ultra-cool mystery crime caper starring Val Kilmer & Robert Downey Jr in what I believe is the movie that helped relaunch his career, fantastically written by Shane Black who also directed and wrote the new Iron Man film, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a modern noir which brings mutually together a private eye, a struggling actress, and a thief imitating an actor. Smart as well as funny, it is an entertaining film purely to watch for the chemistry of Kilmer and Downey Jr as well as for the performances, slick, clever & well-acted.

5. What Dreams May Come (1998)

what-dreams-may-comeA deeply engrossing and vision of a film it tells the story of Robin Williams who dies in a car accident (shown in trailer) link here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmZ-FuBThuQ

Not aware that he is dead his vision of the afterlife is that of his wife paintings, the film shows the undying bond between a man and his wife and how an individual envisions the afterlife. Extremely visionary to say the least, Robin Williams gives a great performance and the scenery depicted in the film is certainly not too bad either, a must watch.

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