Alfonso Cuaron quotes and sayings
November 28, 1961
When you're doing a film, narrative is your most important tool, but it's a tool to create a cinematographic experience, to create those moments that are beyond narrative, that are almost an abstraction of that moment that hits your psyche.
For me, my films are not like my children. They are like my ex-wife. They gave me so much; I gave them so much; I loved them so much; we part ways, and it's OK, we part ways.
I have my misgivings about 3-D. I don't like the lack of blacks and whites, how it dulls the image, how the color gets corrupted. I don't necessarily like the experience of having heavy glasses in front of me.
No 'rules.' What are you, British or something? I guess I'm too nice... No wonder people take advantage of me.
I have to say, 'Gravity' is better in 3-D, even though in 2-D the quality of the picture is better. But the 3-D is better.
This is the thing I have with awards: If awards would make your movie more pretty, I would really get super excited about it. But your movie's done. You get awards, you don't get awards... They don't make your movie more ugly or pretty.
As a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut. And my own passion was that I wanted to be a film director. I realized that being an astronaut was not going to be an option, so I said, "Well, I'm going to be a director and do films in space.".
I produce the way I would love to be produced: In ways to create the best conditions to make your movie, but also to create a space in which the director calls the shots.
Technology is technology. Technology doesn't have a, it is not good or bad. Technologies are tools.
I believe that human beings are born first and given passports later. I'm really thankful for my journey. And it's a journey I didn't design.
If you want to keep on being relevant as a director, I think you have to embrace the times. And with the times come technologies and formats.
A lot of the films I like are more than fantasies - they're movies fascinated by the technology of space exploration, and they try to honor the laws of physics. I watched the Gregory Peck movie 'Marooned' over and over when I was a kid.
I think it is something that is so important, to be very aware of the direction in which the 21st century is going with all this blind faith in democracy. And by the way, I am not against democracy - I am against the blind faith that is being put in democracy.
I left Mexico for artistic survival. If I had stayed, I would have been forced by the government, who control the movie business, to direct TV shows or commercials or infomercials for the government.
Every film is difficult. Making films, you're always going to have problems, there's always going to be challenges.
I love L.A. I always have such a great time in L.A. The way I kind of define me and L.A. is the noise of the factory doesn't let me sleep well.
Dramatically, the moment in 'Gravity' that was hardest to nail down is when Ryan is in the Soyuz capsule and she realizes that she's out of fuel. That's when the character's arc gets defined.
It's seldom that you find great moments in television. Usually you remember - in 'Breaking Bad' or any of these other great shows - you remember situations or characters. Not moments. But I have to say, I can make the same argument for mainstream movies, which have bad narratives and also no memorable moments.
Historically, there is a fight between the sound designer and the composer. You see them in the mixing room and they're always fighting because the composer wants the music to be heard and the sound designer wants the sound to be heard.
'Y Tu Mama Tambien' is one of the first unrated movies to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. But many video stores won't take a movie that's not rated, so I had to make the movie an R.
Space fascinated me because I'm from the generation that saw Neil Armstrong walk on the moon live on TV. I was 7 at the time. Also, 'Lost in Space' was one of my favorite shows on TV back then.
I'm very aware that the future of any film is not necessarily the theatrical experience, it's the home video experience because that is the one that is going to be presented for years to come. So you want to make sure that you push your movie, but you're talking about a movie that you finished months ago. And your head is trying to move into new grounds and you're still pushing for the other one. That's the tough element of it.
There are fewer established rules in the way you tell a story for commercials than in features. It's a great little short story you get to play with.
There is a certain thing that you have to just stick to the plan, stick to what you want to do, and you try to work with studios and executives that they get it.
I love that process in which there is no safety net. Then the actor also can allow mistakes, because there's no such a thing as a mistake. You're working with good actors, that thing that starts as a mistake becomes actually the life of what is going to follow in the scene. I find that it is fantastic, and for me it is easier than for the actors.
I have my set rigged with the biggest sound system possible and have a mini jack for my iPod attached to my director's chair. I find playing music is a very direct way to communicate with actors and the crew, especially those crew members who are on the periphery of the set. I like dancing on set too, it's a good way to release tension.
Most people just half-watch TV. They watch TV while they are doing many other things in the environment of their home. So, what they are doing goes through their ears as much as through their eyes. In television, the narrative and characters are in the foreground of everything, because you are watching TV as you do other stuff.
When I finish a movie, I don't ever see the movie again. The moment I finish the color correction and the mix, I never seen any of my movies ever again. I just try to explore what I can learn from the experience and move on.
When you strip hope from people, it leaves a void, and that void needs to be filled. And very likely, that void is going to be filled by an ideology... Hope and faith are so connected. Now, when ideology connects with faith, the ideology becomes an item of faith, not a point of discussion.
We're born first humans then after they stamp our passport.
I really believe there is the possibility of something great that can happen in the right hands.
I guess I have a short attention span! I'm interested in new worlds, new universes, new challenges.
I have to confess that I don't read much of what is written about me.
The only reason you make a movie is not to make or set out to do a good or a bad movie, it's just to see what you learn for the next one.
Story is important but the most important is the theme and how you're going to convey theme cinematically. I'm a believer also.
I've been very lucky in that the studios really respect me and they give me all my creative freedom. But nevertheless, they are inputs, they have opinions. It's the same thing for me as if you're in a shower and you're coming up with a tune, with a melody, but there are 70 people trying to sing their own melody at the same time. So you have to focus and concentrate, and not lose the track of your melody.
It's a cliche, but Americans are puritanical. In their movies, they are scared of sex, but they overindulge in violence. I could have cut a G-rated version of 'Y Tu Mama Tambien' that would have pleased the American ratings board, but it would have been five minutes long.
I'm interested in new worlds, new universes, new challenges. I always said the only reason to make a film is not for the result but for what you learn for the next one.
Once I finish a film, I don't ever see it again. Never ever. I have never seen any of my films since I finished them.
Wow, I wish I could have done something like that. That's the thing, with other filmmakers, if I like them I just feel admiration. And yes, I usually say, I wish I could have been part of that creative process, because the films I admire like that are so specific that I know the creative process is also so specific, it's nothing you could just imitate.
Learn from your experience shooting your film, and then move on to the next.
Cautionary tales were fantastic in the '70s.
The most important thematics in humanity I think that are completely universal and completely relatable from one person to the other. As long as, one more time going to back to the thematic, as long as you're truthful to that thematic, you can trust that that is going to transcend.
If I would rescue one of my movies, it would be 'A Little Princess.'.
I was 8 when we landed on the moon. I was so into the space program as a kid. Eventually, I realized it was very unlikely that a Mexican kid in the early '70s was going to be an astronaut.
When I learned to switch jealousy for admiration, it unblocked a lot of things.
I used to be very controlling with visuals and editing, and I would pretty much craft the performances; now I have learned to trust the material and the actors.
As a director, you're only as good as your collaborators. You surround with collaborators that are going to understand what you're trying to do. Not only that, they're going to push and fight for what you're trying to do.
A budget is not an issue. I mean a budget is used if you need more weeks or more time or more elements, but the creative process is exactly the same. In some instances you become more of a boss when you are doing a small movie. So that is not so relevant. The only thing is that the bigger a movie is in terms of budget, is that there are more people giving opinions.
I have this thing that, once I finish a movie, I never see it again.
In 'Gravity,' nearly everything is a metaphor for the main character. The way I tend to approach a film is that character and background are equally important; one informs the other. Here, Sandra Bullock is caught between Earth and the void of the universe, just floating there in between. We use the debris as a metaphor for adversity.
What's the point of being an Australian guy traveling through India if you are going to go to India to meet other Australians?
I understand the bad rap that 3-D is getting because the conversions are crappy and because the films aren't designed for 3-D. It's a completely different medium.
You can write a whole fiction, and you're talking to people who have gone through that, in real life. But the truth of it is that when you're talking to those people, you don't care about your movie anymore. You just want to hear about what they have gone through. You want all of the details. It's amazing.
I learned there's an amazing unexplored territory in terms of narrative. Before, I thought the unexplored territory was the form, the way you shoot a movie. Now, I'm learning about the beautiful marriage between form and narrative.
I find it very stupid that teenagers could only see caricatures of teenagers but they couldn't see films that you try to be a truthful context, a truthful portrayal of teenagers.
You have to be very focused about the music that you have inside.
The long takes process doesn't allow for that many takes. In the past I have shot over 50 takes of different shots. Sometimes you end up using take 64, sometimes take four.
My mom, she was, she studied chemistry. And later on she changed and majored, she changed later in her career, in her life and studied philosophy and then she did a perfect clash, connection between chemistry and philosophy and she became a witch.
I was not aware of how much I loved 'Canoa' until I saw it after doing 'Y Tu Mama Tambien' and realized that my voice - over about the story's historical context - that narrator - came from 'Canoa'.
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