Tag Archives: Alfonso Cuaron

Alfonso Cuaron’s ROMA evoking Oscar and more

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Alfonso Cuaron’s latest diatribe of Mexican life, Roma, winner of the 74th Venice International Film Festival’s top prize, the Golden Lion, and favorite of the Chicago Film Critics Association, is on display at a theatre near you. While it is streaming on Netflix, its full flavor is best enjoyed in a theatrical experience where sounds abound, camera movements mesmerize, performances loom large and the mise-en-scene transports. I had the good fortune to view the cinematic treat at the new home of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF), the Riviera Theatre, recently renamed the Lynda and Bruce’s Rivera Theatre in honor of SBIFF philanthropic benefactors, Lynda Weinman and husband, Bruce Heavin.



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Set in Mexico City during the politically turbulent time of the 1970’s, Roma follows the life of a young servant, Celo, portrayed by first-time actress, Yalitza Aparicio. In homage to classical Italian Neo-Realism, Cuaron infuses Roma with elemental characteristics of Neo-Realism with his choice of a first-time, non-professional actress, a seemingly realistic setting and exhibits the film in black and white.


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Yet, Roma, is a highly crafted, highly orchestrated work of art. Cuaron makes every shot count, every moment a well-conceived and executed thought brought to fruition enticing the viewer to suspend disbelief. Cuaron then, and only then, deftly adds a shot to remind the viewer that Roma is a film. That’s how masterful Cuaron has become with his filmmaking craft.


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Photo courtesy of Netflix


And, that’s not to take anything away from the film’s narrative. Highly autobiographical, Cuaron draws scenes from his memory and manages to wrap them around his central character, Celo, then slowly allows the layers to melt away leaving the viewer with an exaltation that must be seen and experienced to be believed. Highly recommended on a cinematic screen!

One of the year’s best films….if not the very best.

Until next time, I’ll see you at the movies!



Chaitanya Tamhane Is On This Year’s Venice Film Festival Jury

Good news for Indian indie lovers: filmmaker Chaitanya Tamhane will be on the jury of the Orizzonti (Horizons) section of this year’s Venice International Film Festival, as per a report by Variety.

His debut film Court, a multilingual courtroom drama, had won two awards at the prestigious festival in 2014 — the Lion Of The Future for Tamhane and Best Film – Orizzonti. It later went on to win many awards at festivals all around the world before winning the National Award for Best Feature Film in 2015.

Court was officially selected as India’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Award at the 88th Academy Awards. However, it failed to garner a nomination.

The Horizons section at Venice, the oldest film festival in the world, is dedicated to the discovery of cutting-edge cinema. Tamhane’s fellow jury members include American film critic and historian Jim Hoberman, Egyptian actress Nelly Karim, Italian actress Valentina Lodovini, South Korean actress-director Moon So-ri, and Spanish critic Jose Maria Prado.

In June, Tamhane was selected to be mentored by Oscar-winning Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón under the Rolex Mentor & Protégé Arts Initiative for 2016–17.

*Featured photo: Writer and director Chaitanya Tamhane poses with the Orizzonti Award for Best Film and the Lion of the Future for a debut film (Luigi De Laurentis) for his movie ‘Court’ during a photocall following the awards ceremony on the closing day of the 71st Venice Film Festival on September 6, 2014 at Venice Lido. Photo credit: GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images

(Source: www.huffingtonpost.in)