In a masterclass held in partnership with NFTS and The Script Factory, Alejandro González Iñárritu presents a brilliant and comprehensive account of his approach to filmmaking. An hour in his company reveals an eloquence to match his passion for the medium as he tells the story of his career and his practice. His fertile imagination is allied to a rare ability to animate the abstractions of the creative process through anecdote and metaphor.
Beginning with a discussion of his new feature Biutiful, Iñárritu explains the decision to move away from complex, multilinear narratives to its single perspective, character driven story. Analysis follows of the implications of this departure and an account of how the "visible and fragile purity" of a film with such a singular focus and point of view threatens to show up any imperfections. The consolation for this, he says, is room for a greater sense of internal life and emotional depth. Reflections are offered on tragedy and duality in the film as well as the practical decisions that were involved in its production.
Once the conversation is opened up to review his work more broadly, his technical and theoretical insight is brought to the fore. Thoughts on Amorres Perros stimulate reflections on his schooling in commercial direction and how that informed his sense of visual narrative. A discussion of 21 Grams segues into a personal, poetic interpretation of the limitations of a script and the transcendence of the editing process. He is captivating on the way photography can narrate; how sound can create an extra dimension; how communication with actors must be pared to the bone; how to explore thematic territory; and how the subconscious is, for him, a reliable guiding force.