Entertainment

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

Anhelo Producciones / Y Tu Mamá También / filmstage / Instagram

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.

CREDIT: @mariaajudice / Twitter

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 And The World Mourn The Loss Of Celso Piña, One Of Mexico’s Greatest Musicians

Entertainment

Mexico And The World Mourn The Loss Of Celso Piña, One Of Mexico’s Greatest Musicians

wachamagazine / Instagram

If there’s one instrument that best describes Mexican music is has to be the accordion. While the musical key instrument known as a squeezebox has its origins in Europe, it indeed came alive in Mexico as the staple sound in rancheras and cumbias. There is only one musician who thrived through the accordion sound, though sadly that is now a thing of the past.

Celso Piña, known as the “The Accordion Rebel,” died yesterday at the age of 66.

Credit: Instagram/@danonewillrise297

The Mexican musician was in his hometown of Monterrey, Mexico, and was soon scheduled to g on tour, but had a heart attack and died at the hospital.

La Tuna Group, Piña’s record label, confirmed in a statement that he died yesterday at 12:38 p.m. after suffering a heart attack.

Credit: Instagram/@mexicoprimero_

“Today is a sad day for La Tuna Group,” they stated, “Our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and followers. We are left with an intense emptiness, but he leaves us his great legacy forever. We appreciate respecting the privacy of the family.”

Piña seemed to have been in good spirits earlier in the day and tweeted for the final time. “No one can resist the cumbia,” he said.

The self-taught musician had been touring off and on for months. He also had upcoming shows in Georgia and Texas.

The Grammy-award winning musician had a musical career that spanned 40 decades, and aside from his musical stylings as an accordion player, he was also a composer, singer, and arranger.

Credit: Instagram/@patanegra_mx

Piña had collaborated with several contemporary artists including Lila Downs, Julieta Venegas, Cafe Tacvba, and Gloria Trevi, Variety reports. He was also more than a cumbia musician. His sound also fused into other musical genres, including norteña music, hip-hop, ska, reggae, and more.

Several celebrity fans and collaborators tweeted their heartfelt condolences.

According to the Grammy Academy, Piña got his hands on his first accordion in 1980. He taught himself how to play and performed with his brothers. “Together, they went on to play norteña and tropical music, eventually adding cumbia to their style,” the Academy states. “The brothers became known as ‘Celso Piña Y Su Ronda Bogotá,’ giving a nod to cumbia’s motherland.”

Fans on social media also expressed how much Piña meant to them.

One fan, @iphadra, tweeted, “his greatness of # CelsoPiña is not due to its successes or fame in the 5 continents. It is because it was he who came to claim the music of the marginalized.” @JJ4rmCh tweeted, Rest In Peace Celso Piña, no one fucked it up on an accordion like u did.” But this tweet we could totally relate to from @jennjenn1_  who tweeted, “It wasn’t a real quince or wedding until you played some #CelsoPiña ❤️🇲🇽 🎶🎶🎶 may his music live on for generations to come.”

Writer Melissa del Bosque had the honor of being able to interview him. She tweeted, “Hearing ‘Barrio Bravo’ for the first time was a life-changing experience. Celso Piña and Toy Hernández, of Control Machete, had created a whole new hybrid mixing Colombian cumbia with the anarchy of urban streets. I went directly to Monterrey to interview El Rebelde del Acordeón. Here we are at Cafe Brasil, one of his favorite haunts. As I wrote then, when ‘Cumbia Sobre el Rio hit the airwaves there wasn’t a car from Chicago to Chiapas that didn’t have the bass booming and the sonic onslaught layered with accordion rattling their windows.’ #RipCelsoPina.”

Last year, Piña visited one of his biggest fans, who is also an accordion player just like him. The two performed in the streets of Tamaulipas, Mexico.

Herrera recalled what it was like hearing that his musical idol had died. The young musician told El Universal that he was with his daughter when he heard the news that Piña had died. He said he couldn’t believe it, and all the memories from his incredible visit with him last year rushed back to him. He said it was a dream to have been able to perform with him. 

Here’s a couple of his most beloved and hit songs.

Here’s “Cumbia Sobre el Rio Suena” live and with an orchestra! He had such a distinct voice and sound. There was no one else like him.

“No Sea Conmigo”

This was his collaboration with Cafe Tacvba. So lovely! We dare you not to dance to this one.

What’s your favorite Celso Piña track? Let us know in the comment section below. Rest in power, Celso!!

READ: This Isn’t Your Mama’s Cumbia: The Eclectic History Of Latin America’s Classic Music Genre

A Judge In Mexico City Has Approved One Couple’s Request For Recreational Cocaine

Things That Matter

A Judge In Mexico City Has Approved One Couple’s Request For Recreational Cocaine

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In a historic step toward ending the country’s deadly “war on drugs”, a judge in Mexico has approved the request of two people to legally possess, transport and use cocaine. Víctor Octavio Luna Escobedo, an administrative court judge in Mexico City, made the historic decisions saying “the consumption of cocaine doesn’t put one’s health in great risk, except in the case that it’s used chronically and excessively.”

Mexico United Against Crime (MUCD), a nongovernmental organization filed injunction requests on behalf of the two individuals. It pursued the case with goals to trying to change Mexico’s drug policy. At the core of the organization’s argument is that criminalizing consumers causes even more violence. If the ruling is ratified by a higher court, it would be the first time any cocaine use has been legal in Mexico.

According to Mexico Daily News, the Mexico City judge set a string of stipulations for the unidentified couple in order for them to use the cocaine. This includes regulating the amount they intake to 500 milligrams per day and not working, driving or operating heavy machinery while under the influence of the substance. This also includes not being able to consume cocaine in public, in the presence of children, or even encourage others to consume it.

So is cocaine really legal in Mexico? Here’s what you need to know. 

Credit: @CNN / Twitter

The order by the judge to the country’s health authority has many wondering if one day Mexico could, at some point, legalize cocaine use, but only on a case-by-case basis. As of now, the judge’s ruling must be reviewed by a higher court panel of judges for the case to move forward. 

“We have been working for a safer, more just and peaceful Mexico for years, and with this case we insist on the need to stop criminalizing users of drugs other than marijuana and design better public policies that explore all available options, including the regulation,” Lisa Sanchez, director of MUAC, said in a statement.

The judge wrote in his ruling that the use of cocaine has certain benefits if consumed responsibly. “Ingestion can have various results, including alleviating tension, intensification of perceptions and the desire for new personal and spiritual experiences,” the judge said.

While two people have been allowed to take the drug, there is a bevy of injunctions and court orders that have followed. Which means the judge’s decisions could still be overturned.

Credit: @Vice / Twitter

 Cofepris, Mexico’s national health regulator, is being ordered to authorize the two people to legally possess, transport and use cocaine. But Cofepris says that such authorization is outside its power and has now blocked the court order as a result. The rulings are set to be reviewed by three collegiate court judges that will then set forth the legal standing of judges ruling.

The next step in the decision will be an appeal to the circuit court. This essentially means that the case could land all the way up to Mexico’s Supreme Court. Even if the decision is then upheld, cocaine wouldn’t suddenly become legal in Mexico. While in the U.S., a Supreme Court ruling makes it the law of the land, In Mexico the Supreme Court must hand down similar rulings in at least four other cases.

“This case is about insisting on the need to stop criminalizing users of drugs… and design better public policies that explore all the available options, including regulation,” Sanchez said.

The ruling could be a landmark moment and opportunity for debate in Mexico, where a 15 year-long drug war has taken the lives of many. 

Credit: @standardnews / Twitter

Mexico has become a central battleground and transit point for cocaine being transported to the United States. Trafficking gangs have also grown immensely since 2006 when then-President Felipe Calderón sent in the country’s army to fight drug traffickers. More than 20,000 people have been killed and 40,000 disappeared since then. This year has already been a stark reminder of the deadly drug war as Mexico is on pace to have the most murders on record.

“This case represents another step in the fight to construct alternative drug policies that allow [Mexico] to redirect its security efforts and better address public health,” Sanchez said. “We have spent years working for a more secure, just and peaceful Mexico.” 

READ: This Shipment Of Jalapeños Turned Out To Be One Of The Year’s Biggest Marijuana Bust

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