From the dusty roads of
“I was 8 when I saw The Bicycle Thieves, and it was the first black-and-white film I had ever seen. It triggered my curiosity to start seeing European cinema. I knew early on that I was a nerd and that films were my refuge. I saw hundreds of films before I ever picked up a camera. I believe I took something away from each one.” Cuaron received a video camera for his eighth birthday and his strong desire to pursue a career in filmmaking led him to eventually study at the Centro Universitario de Estudios Cinematograficos, where he met a key player in his future success, long time friend and frequent cinematographer Emmanuel Lubeski.
In 1991, Cuaron and his brother Carlos wrote Solo Con Tu Pareja, a sex comedy about a womanising businessman which was released in
A Little Princess, adapted from Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic novel, follows the life of young Sarah Crewe who has been put in a boarding school while her father goes to fight in the First World War. The film focuses on the rites of passage, from the immaturity of adolescense to the awakening of adulthood, a journey that Cuaron returns to time and time again. Cuaron and Lubezski, in their second film collaboration, would also create the look of distilled light and blue hues that defines their collaborations. Cuaron also packs in beautifully subversive imagery for a mainstream Warner Bros. childrens film; note the marvelous moment in which a black balloon emerges from a sea of red balloons and explodes as Sarah is told the fate of her father in the trenches.
Cuaron’s next, somewhat rushed, production was a modernization of Great Expectations, updating the novel and transplanting it from Victorian London to 90s
Time away from
“Everything came down to the theme of it...the story of one kid trying to seek his identity as a teenager. And together with that is a journey of discovery; that there's an energy that he knows and identifies with and this is his father's. And he gets to learn that that same energy resides in him.” Despite some outraged Potter Maniacs, Cuaron’s second round in
With critical acclaim and a box office boost to his career, Cuaron triumphantly returned in 2006 with Children of Men, almost a companion piece to Y Tu Mama Tambien. Once again Cuaron takes us on a road trip, but this time things aren’t quite so relaxed as the fate of humanity is in the hands of lead character Theo Faron, who is trusted to protect the first pregnant woman in 18 years. The dystopian future is notably different to usual stab at Orwellian paranoia present in cinema; Cuaron presents a worst-case scenario development of our present situation.