Entertainment

Here Are All Of The Things Alfonso Cuaron Did To Make The Chemistry On ‘Y Tu Mamá También’ Real

If you haven’t seen Y Tu Mamá También, the 2001 LGBTQ classic Mexican film directed by Alfonso Cuarón, you should probably look it up. Back then, the explicit sex and drugs used in the film caused so much controversy, people had no idea how to rate the film. Today, it is the undisputed most poignant Mexican film of the era.

With director Cuarón’s rising fame with his latest film, Roma, even more juicy details have come out about his experience with Y Tu Mamá También.

First and foremost, Y Tu Mamá También is streaming on Netflix right now. 

CREDIT: @TheFilmCritic_ / Twitter

Trust, you need to know that this is accessible to you before embarking on this journey. It’s been 18 years since it was first released and is a timeless classic to this day.

Brothers Carlos and Alfonso Cuarón worked on the film together.

CREDIT: @latimes / Twitter

The two had written the film ten years prior and they both finally had the means and name to make it happen.

The whole movie was shot with handheld cameras.

CREDIT: @FilmLinc / Twitter

Cuarón decided that it would give more freedom to the artistic angle and to the actors. To avoid dizzying sequences, they decided to pose it as if watching from a distance.

“It looks like shit; it’s great!”

CREDIT: @24TweetsPF / Twitter

They took a documentary style approach to film the feature, something that wouldn’t have been done even four years prior. Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki would be filming and Cuarón would ask how it looks. He told IndieWire how it went down:

“And he would say, ‘It looks like shit. And I was like, ‘What’s wrong?’ And he’d be like, ‘No, let’s shoot it. It looks like shit; it’s great!’ And that was the philosophy.”

The film was shot in sequence, a rarity in production.

CREDIT: @CarliG7 / Twitter

It’s in part due to the nature of the movie, set as a road trip, so they just followed the same map as in the film. The only scene shot out of sequence was the very last scene in the coffee shop to get the climactic moment out of the way, and the pressure off as the last scene shot.

Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna are childhood best friends IRL.

CREDIT: @ymaaaanmadjilon / Twitter

Just like in the movie, the two grew up together. This genius move allows for the chemistry to already be there, like watching the two friends in a past life.

Maribel Verdú is a Spanish actress, not Mexican.

CREDIT: @jujefriedman / Twitter

Just like her character Luisa Cortés, who is visiting Mexico from Spain, the actress fell in love with the country as she discovered it. A true parallel to her character’s discovery. This is not a coincidence.

Cuarón intentionally kept the three stars from getting too comfortable with each other before shooting.

CREDIT: @IuvmepIease / Twitter

He told IndieWire, “Gael and Diego have known each other since they were kids and they didn’t know Maribel [Verdú]. There were only two rehearsals with the three of them. We were supposed to have more, but I didn’t want the ice to be broken. So they used that as a tool. So as the ice melts between the characters, it was happening in real life, in the same way Maribel was feeling more comfortable in Mexico, the character of Luisa is feeling more comfortable in Mexico.”

Much of the film is unscripted.

CREDIT: @Scene360 / Twitter

Apparently, they had the idea 15 years prior to do a road trip movie that would just follow young actors with a barebones storyline. They wanted to see where the actors would take it.

The narrator idea was inspired by Masculin, Feminin.

CREDIT: @cats0Nmars / Twitter

At first, Carlos didn’t like the idea. Alfonso tells IndieWire,

“I set out with Carlos to do something very objective. I said, ‘We need a narrator, a third-person narrator.’ And he said, ‘No it won’t work; we need a first person narrator.’ Then I showed him Masculin, Feminin, and the first time that Godard uses the third-person narrator, hewas like, ‘Okay, play no more, I get it.'”

Cuarón returned to his home country Mexico for the first time in ten years during filming.

CREDIT: @ebcartwright144 / Twitter

Cuarón considers this a return to his roots not because of his return to Mexico, but to his creative roots. He told IndieWire that he wanted “to make a film that we would have loved to do before going to film school, when you don’t know how to shoot a movie or compose a shot. It was going to be a film school teacher’s nightmare. It was not about breaking the rules, but about not knowing the rules ever existed.”

The film broke box office records in Mexico.

CREDIT: @Into / Twitter

In the first weekend alone, it earned $2.2 million, a never before seen feat. It was later distributed to over 40 countries, and made another $13.62 million in the United States alone.

Since Bernal’s appearance in Y Tu Mamá También, he’s been named one of Time’s 100 most influential people.

CREDIT: @IuvmepIease / Twitter

He’s worked on Coco and Babel on the big screen, and his English-language performance on Mozart in the Jungle earned him his first Golden Globe Award for Best Actor. Also, he’s obviously a model, so that helps with fame and all.

The film was nominated for eight major awards and won three.

CREDIT: @FilmLinc / Twitter

All of which were for “Best Foreign Language Film” at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards, Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards and the Independent Spirit Awards. It’s soundtrack was nominated at the Grammys.

Y Tu Mamá También won the Best Screenplay Award at the Venice Film Festival.

CREDIT: @bmlmxx / Twitter

It also earned a nomination for Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards, a big step for any foreign film to be recognized by heavily English language focused market. In fact, the film caused huge controversy in the U.S.

It was released without a rating in the U.S.

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Movie critic Roger Ebert tried to rally movie industry execs to become outraged at this double standard in accepting violence for minors but not the depiction of sex (homoerotic sex, at that). He told the Chicago Sun Times, “Why do serious film people not rise up in rage and tear down the rating system that infantilizes their work?”

Cuarón sued the Mexican Directorate of Radio, Television and Cinema (RTC) for it’s 18+ rating in Mexico.

CREDIT: @TheFilmCritic_ / Twitter

They considered it illegal political censorship, though the board was considering explicit language, sexual content involving teens and drug use. Cuarón cited RTC for denying parents the responsibility of choosing what their child can watch.

While the film is centered around sex, you barely have to read between the lines to see the real message.

CREDIT: @CineeGeek / Twitter

This woman enters their lives with a dark secret, in the middle of a divorce, but is able to enjoy life moment by moment with the adolescent drive to keep things light and physical. She plays into it, which allows the boys to keep things light and physical with each other.

After the road trip is over, the magic lifts.

CREDIT: @Into / Twitter

They pretend their encounter never happened, and find out a year later that Luisa died a month after their escapade from cancer. The two move on with different girls, never to touch that side of themselves again.

Bernal and Luna’s kiss was nominated for the MTV Movie Awards for Best Kiss.

CREDIT: @hindiakosimacky / Twitter

In real life, the two compadres have founded Canana Films together, based in Mexico City. That means we can expect more poignant, artistic films and actors coming out of Mexico.


READ: This Diego Luna Movie Quiz Will Separate The Real Fans From The Wannabes

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Mexico’s Newest Growing Cartel Ambushed Mexican Police Killing 14 And Injuring 9

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Mexico’s Newest Growing Cartel Ambushed Mexican Police Killing 14 And Injuring 9

lopezobrador / Instagram

Minutes after Mexico’s President Lopez Obrador told reporters that his new approach to curb cartel violence is working, Mexico’s fast-growing threat, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), killed 14 police officers and set their cars on fire during a deadly ambush. The police convoy was passing through El Aguaje, a small town in the state of Michoacan, to serve a warrant when 20 armed vehicles ambushed the officers. Fourteen officers were declared dead and another nine were injured.

“You can’t fight fire with fire. You can’t fight violence with violence … you have to fight evil by doing good.” Obrador said at a news conference on Monday morning. While Obrador, a year into his term, continued to speak about how his new policy is affecting change, police officers were calling for backup. “I’m dying,” one officer barely blurted on his radio, according to audio recordings of police scanners at the time.

As first responders arrived on the scene, they found handwritten messages, signed “CJNG.”

Credit: @AlertaGDL / Twitter

Families of the victims are angry that their loved ones weren’t more heavily armed to defend themselves against the thirty gunmen who attacked the police convoy from behind. One day after the attack, a memorial service became a town hall of sorts. Grieving family members shouted at Michoacán Governor Silvano Aureoles, “Like sheep to the slaughter!” 

Five families refused to allow the coffins of their loved ones to be present in the company of those they feel were responsible for the deaths: the officials who didn’t adequately arm the police to defend themselves. 

Obrador’s strategy to end cartel violence is two-fold: end corruption and provide resources to poverty-stricken regions.

Credit: lopezobrador / Instagram

“We are going to continue with our strategy,” López Obrador later said. “For us it is very important for there to be well-being, that peace with justice can be achieved … and also avoiding that authorities mix with crime.” Experts think Obrador’s strategy is smart for long-term success in stabilizing Mexico. Still, in the short-term, murders have only increased in Mexico. Last year, a record number of 29,000 murders were recorded, and 2019 may just break that record.

Falko Ernst, a Mexican analyst for the International Crisis Group, says Michoacán will continue to be “deep narco-war territory” until the state develops a strategy to de-signify the land.

Credit: @falko_ernst / Twitter

In a Twitter thread, Ernst recalled the decades-long history of cartel conflict in a small, rural village called El Aguaje. It “sits on a key overland road connecting the Hot Land region with the Sierra Madre, and was once a stronghold of the Milenio Cartel, big-time coke runners in the ’90s/early 2000s,” Ernst tweeted. At the time, a young Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, who would later become “El Mencho” and the boss of CJNG, was a member of the Milenio cartel. 

Ernst was there in 2011 when Milenio drug lords were dragged out of their mansions and executed. “La Familia” then took over the town, until it split into two conflicting gangs. That’s when El Mencho broke away to form the Jalisco (or CJNG) cartel.

Now, El Mencho, personally ousted by La Familia, is warring for their territory, leaving civilians in the crossfire.

Credit: lopezobrador / Instagram

El Mencho lived in the U.S. at one point, without papers, and served three years in prison for selling drugs stateside. As soon as he was released in 1997, he was deported to Mexico, where he went on to serve on the Jalisco state police force. For some reason, he left the force to join the Milenio cartel. El Mencho was born just a few miles away from El Aguaje. Now, he’s leading CJNG to reclaim what they think belongs to them–la puebla del Aguaje. 

The DEA has dubbed El Mencho one of their “most wanted,” and has offered a $10 million bounty for his arrest.

“El Chapo was violent, but El Mencho has taken it to a new level,” the lead DEA agent told Univision.

Credit: @KonnieMoments1 / Twitter

“Decapitations, dissolving bodies in acid, public executions, ripping out the heart, killing women and children, bombings against people. It happens almost every day,” DEA agent Kyle Mori told Univision. “El Chapo was violent, but El Mencho has taken it to a new level.” 

In August, CJNG hung nine bodies from a bridge in Uruapan, Michoacán, and hung up a large banner that read, “Lovely people. Carry on with your day.” Ten other bodies were dumped on the road nearby.

READ: Mexico Is Reeling After A Massive Gun Battle Over The Capture Of El Chapo’s Son

Mexicans Are Questioning Their Government’s Decision To Release El Chapo’s Son After A Massive Gun Battle

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Mexicans Are Questioning Their Government’s Decision To Release El Chapo’s Son After A Massive Gun Battle

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An operation to capture one of Mexico’s most powerful drug lords failed disastrously Thursday as several Mexican security officers were held hostage by heavily armed cartel fighters who laid siege to the northern Mexican city of Culiacan.

Authorities had sought to detain Ovidio Guzman Lopez, a leader of the powerful Sinaloa cartel and the son of notorious drug boss Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. But after briefly capturing their target, security forces ultimately retreated without him, a move Mexico’s leaders defended as necessary to save lives.

Police had attempted to capture one of El Chapo’s sons but a massive gun battle took place across the capital of Sinaloa – Culiacán.

When authorities arrived at the home in an upscale Culiacan neighborhood where Guzman was staying, they were fired upon, Mexican Security Minister Alfonso Durazo said at a news conference. Authorities returned fire, took control of the house and found four occupants inside, including 28-year-old Guzman, he said.

But soon, Guzman’s defenders arrived and “surrounded the house with a greater force,” Durazo said. It was then, apparently, that cartel gunman took several soldiers or National Guard members hostage.

Videos published on social media showed a scene resembling a war zone, with gunmen, some wearing black ski masks over their faces, riding in the back of trucks firing mounted machine guns as vehicles burned. People could be seen running for cover as machine gun fire rattled around them. Drivers drove in reverse frantically to get away from the clashes.

“With the goal of safeguarding the well-being and tranquillity of Culiacan society, officials in the security Cabinet decided to suspend the actions,” Durazo said.

The cartel’s victory in subduing authorities was a stunning humiliation for the Mexican government, which has struggled to quell growing violence across the country.

Credit: AP / Scott Reusak

On Friday, security officials gave more details about exactly how Mexican authorities found themselves so overpowered.

Secretary of Defense Luis Cresencio Sandoval said at a news conference in Culiacan that members of the army and the newly formed National Guard were seeking to execute an extradition arrest warrant for Guzman that was issued by a federal judge in the United States.

The security forces decided to try to capture Guzman without authorization from their supervisors, he said.

“The group responsible for this action, in eagerness to achieve positive results, acted in a hasty manner, with poor planning,” he said, adding that the troops who carried out the operation had failed to obtain approval from a command superior.

Though Mexican President AMLO has declared the operation a success and praised his forces for having freed El Chapo’s son.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Friday that he backed the decisions of his security officials, and added that the army operation was based on an arrest warrant.

“The capture of one criminal cannot be worth more than the lives of people,” López Obrador said, calling the response to the operation “very violent” and saying many lives were put at risk.

“This decision was made to protect citizens. … You cannot fight fire with fire,” he added. “We do not want deaths. We do not want war.”

But many Mexicans took to social media to express their outrage and embarrassment over the failed operation.

Many expressed disappointment in the decision to release Guzman while recognizing that it may have been the only option to protect those living in the city. Some also pointed out that the failure of the operation and the poor planning that must of gone into such a massive operation for it to have failed so terribly.

Others expressed doubt in their ability to trust the government to protect them and whether or not the government can even claim sovereignty over a state that the cartel seems to control.

And if the whole situation couldn’t get more intense, El Chapo’s family is holding a press conference to thank the Mexican President.

El Chapo’s family, who are high-profile celebrities in their home state of Sinaloa, held a press conference to thank the President for supporting the release of one of their own.

Guzman had been wanted by authorities in the United States, but despite his extradition request, Mexican authorities said they had no choice but to release him to avoid further bloodshed.

Gun violence driven by Mexico’s thriving drug cartels has been spiraling out of control for months.

In fact, 2019 is set to break records when it comes to the number of homicides across the country. So far there have been more than 15,000 homicides – putting the country on course to surpass the 29,111 murders of last year, an all-time high.

That’s what makes this story all that more startling. It’s another massive shoot out involving police and drug cartels, but it’s making headlines around the world because of its intensity and the fact that one of El Chapo’s sons was the intended target.