Marshall Fine‘s interview with Biutiful director-cowriter Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, which he did, I suspect, at the same time I did my Inarritu chat in early November, has some truly sublime quotes:
(a) “I joke that 60 years ago, [Luis] Bunuel went to Mexico to shoot Los Olvidados and, 60 years later, this is my version, shot in Barcelona…I wanted to shoot in my own language[ and] it’s the first film I did in Europe, and the food is fantastic.”
(b) Biutiful‘s story “came from sitting in a doctor’s office [and] seeing another patient emerging after hearing obviously bad news. I thought about what it would be like going out knowing things were changed forever. So I asked the question: What if I knew I had 90 days to be on planet Earth? And that’s where everything departs from.
(c) “When someone says the film is bleak, I hate it. To me, bleakness is 20 or 30 lives being lost in a movie with lots of guns and explosions – and yet there’s not one life you care about. To me, that is bleakness. But this film is a celebration of how important one life is. I knew the consequences of making it. It was not accomplished easily to appeal to the taste of the Starbucks audience. I feel lighter, in a good way.”
(d) “Biutiful is about life, observed from an ending. If you put the camera at the end of the road and observe, it’s more profound. It’s not about death; it’s an homage to a life being lived.
(e) “I started shooting this the month of the financial collapse. This film is like wine that’s been aged for years. This is not a frappuccino, milk and honey and sugary for the audience. [But] just the release of Biutiful is a reason to celebrate…I would say that it is an act of resistance against the intoxicating culture we live under [and] the dictatorship of corporate thinking…at least it’s an attempt to survive.”
(f) “I would love, in a way, to find something that’s not mine, that would take me out of the burden of the personal journey, just to be a director for hire. I’d like to be a craftsman who’s putting together a table he didn’t design. But an apple tree produces apples. My process is very long and exhausting. I can’t escape from that.”