Early this afternoon I stepped into in a palatial reception room inside the Four Seasons hotel for a chat with one of the nicest and most large-of-spirit guys I know in this town — Birdman director and cowriter Alejandro G. Inarritu. He’s on a break from filming The Revenant, a rugged revenge drama with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy, in a really cold elevated area an hour or two from Calgary. He called Birdman “an unhappy comedy”, and Michael Keaton has said that Inarritu was drawing from his heart and mind when he created the somber and somewhat dour Riggan Thomson. And yet on his own Inarritu is alert, brilliant, good-humored, thoughtful. My initial impression when I first met him, 13 years ago at a Hollywood party for Amores perros, was that he seemed delighted….enjoying the moment, his work, his life. “There’s nothing downish in your personality,” I said, “or not in public at least, so why did it take four films for you to crack out a comedy…a movie with mirth, snark, wit and subversion? Inarritu basically said that the mirth is a front: “You know me and what I can be…I can be extremely dark and down…I have a complex, multi-dimensional personality that I embrace…I have to navigate through that and I don’t quit, I don’t surrender, but there’s an underlying negative [that] I’m fighting all the time.” But I’ll never think of him in this light. And I think Birdman is by far the most enjoyable, electric, live-wire film of the year. Again, the mp3.

Birdman director Alejandro G. Inarritu at the Four Seasons hotel — Tuesday, 12.16. 2:05 pm.