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Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu

Cannes 2010: The (partial) reinvention of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

May 19, 2010 |  5:20 pm

 With his new film "Biutiful," Alejandro González Iñárritu, the director of such ambitious multicultural movies as "Amores Perros" and "Babel," shows he hasn't changed at all.

Well, maybe a little bit.

The Mexico City-born, Los Angeles-based filmmaker premiered his new movie — a story of a low-level hustler with a righteous streak (Javier Bardem) — on Monday night at the Cannes Film Festival. The Spanish-language movie features no structural sleight-of-hand or interlocking stories in the manner of his three previous pictures (the Sean Penn-Benicio del Toro drama "21 Grams" preceded "Babel") — a function, in part, of González Iñárritu's messy divorce with triptych-happy writer Guillermo Arriaga after the release of "Babel."

Instead, "Biutiful," which González Iñárritu co-wrote with two new partners, moves pretty much directly forward in time and is centered intently on one man.

"After ‘Babel,’ I was very interested in showing one point of view and one character, which I've never

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Cannes 2010: 'Biutiful' writer Armando Bo, all shook up

May 19, 2010 |  5:00 am

We'll have more on the Cannes drama "Biutiful" and its director, Alejando Gonzales Inarritu, very shortly. But a little tip on a personality connected to the film: Armando Bo, one of Inarritu's two credited co-writers on "Biutiful."

Elv Inarritu, as you may recall, famously split with his former writing partner Guillermo Ariaga after "Babel." (Ariaga went on to direct "The Burning Plain") and brought on Bo and Nicolas Giacabone. Now Bo will pursue his own passion project, a movie called "The Last Elvis," which will focus on the cottage industry of Elvis impersonators in Buenos Aires (who knew?), with Bo writing the script and directing the movie. Despite the comedic-sounding premise, it's actually a drama, with one hook that the production will cast a real-life Elvis impersonator to play the lead role.

Fernando Sulichin, Oliver Stone's producing partner on the upcoming "South of the Border" and other documentary fare, will produce "Elvis," giving it some big-name cachet. The idea is to shoot the film later this year.

That probably means Bo won't collaborate again with Inarritu, at least right now. As for the "Babel" auteur, we sat down and spoke with him on Tuesday. Highlights on that conversation, as well as a chat with star Javier Bardem, shortly, but one nugget in the meantime. When we asked Inarritu why he decided to stay in the mode of heavy drama for this new film, he replied, "I'm an apple tree. I produce apples. I cannot produce any other fruit."

--Steven Zeitchik, reporting from Cannes, France


Photo: Elvis impersonator. Credit: elvisimpersonators.biz

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