Desierto is Jonás Cuarón‘s sophomore effort as a filmmaker. The co-writer of Gravity made his directorial debut in 2007 with Year of the Nail, a movie he wrote, produced, shot, co-edited, and did the art design for. He had slightly fewer jobs to do on his second feature, but that doesn’t mean it was less of a challenge to make, thanks to some brutally hot weather.
But harsh weather conditions hardly compares to what the characters in Desierto experience. Cuarón’s lean thriller, which is almost more of a horror movie at times, follows a group of men and women illegally crossing the US-Mexico border, hoping to find better lives in the States. Most of the people Moises (Gael García Bernal) is traveling with are killed at the start of the film by a lone gunman (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), a deadly racist who ends up in a game of cat and mouse with Bernal’s character.
Cuarón recently made the time to discuss crafting his thriller with us. Below, read our Jonás Cuarón interview, in which he discusses the film’s unnerving use of sound, a horrific death scene, movies that inspired the thriller, the Zorro film he’s directing, and the significance of Steven Spielberg‘s Duel.
Below, read our Jonás Cuarón interview.
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Posted on Tuesday, September 27th, 2016 by Angie Han
Jeffrey Dean Morgan‘s got villainous swagger to spare, as anyone who’s seen his introduction in The Walking Dead can attest. And this fall he’ll put it to good use on the big screen in Desierto.
Produced by Alfonso Cuarón and directed by his son Jonás Cuarón, Desierto stars Morgan as a gun-toting vigilante who drives out to the U.S.-Mexico border, looking for migrants to use as human target practice. One morning, he sets his sights on a group of border-crossers led by Moises, played by Gael García Bernal, and a tense cat-and-mouse game ensues. Watch the Desierto trailer below. Read More »
There have been countless movies of all kinds featuring stories within stories. Adaptation, The Princess Bride, Synecdoche, New York and even Tropic Thunder all have layers of storytelling within them. Now a new film from director Pedro Morelli that premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last year takes that to the next level with one of the most meta narratives I’ve ever seen.
Zoom follows a comic book artist named Emma (Alison Pill) working in a sex doll factory who gets caught up in her desire to resemble the artificial, plastic fantasy of beauty that she sees everyday. Her only escape lies in a comic book where she controls a dreamy action filmmaker named Edward (Gael Garcia Bernal) who is working a more artistic film about a model named Michelle (Mariana Ximenes), who just happens to be working on a novel about a cartoonist named Emma. Yes, they’re all creating each other’s story, though you don’t get that sense at all in the first Zoom trailer after the jump. Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, May 10th, 2016 by Angie Han
The new Zorro has a new Zorro. Gael García Bernal has been cast as the legendary swashbuckler in Z, a futuristic reboot to be directed by García Bernal’s Desierto director Jonás Cuarón. (Because they don’t have Rs or Os in the future, I guess?) García Bernal was previously attached to an earlier iteration of this project which was in development several years ago. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015 by Jacob Hall
Is there anything more inherently cinematic than a good old fashioned “cat and mouse” story? One character wants to kill another. That other wants to stay alive at all costs. Put them in an interesting setting, ratchet up the emotional stakes, and watch humanity boil over for two hours or so.
Desierto, the feature directorial debut of Jonás Cuarón, son of Gravity director Alfonso Cuarón, looks familiar and fresh in all of the right ways. The mouse is a Mexican migrant played by Gael Garcia Bernal. The cat is a vigilante with a rifle and a willingness to pull the trigger played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Their maze is the arid desert of the American southwest.
Check out the new Desierto trailer after the jump.
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Earlier this week we ran a trailer and information about a new book titled I Lost It At The Video Store. The book by Tom Roston features a compilation of interviews with filmmakers such as John Sayles, Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, Darren Aronofsky, David O. Russell giving an oral history of the video store era of cinema history.
The Playlist published an excerpt from the book, but I wanted to highlight a few quotes from Pulp Fiction/Django Unchained filmmaker Quentin Tarantino and Requiem for a Dream/Noah director Darren Aronofsky talking about their relationships with streaming services like Netflix and the process of editing a film to be watched on an iPhone. Hit the jump to read the Quentin Tarantino Netflix comments and more.
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Jon Stewart of The Daily Show writes and directs Rosewater, which tells the story of Iranian-born Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari, who was arrested for espionage while covering the Iranian elections in 2009. He was held for 118 days, during which Bahari persistently interrogated by a man who had “proof” of Bahari’s bad intentions via the journalist’s Facebook page and, oddly, an appearance on The Daily Show. Gael García Bernal plays Bahari in the film, which just premiered at the Venice Film Festival and is headed to Telluride and Toronto before a November opening. The first Rosewater trailer is below, along with excerpts from the first reviews out of Venice. Read More »
Posted on Friday, August 1st, 2014 by Angie Han
Hot on the heels of yesterday’s release date announcement, Jon Stewart‘s directorial debut Rosewater has just revealed a few first-look pics. Gael Garcia Bernal leads the fact-based story as Maziar Bahari, an Iranian-Canadian journalist who imprisoned and tortured for 118 days in Iran.
As the subject matter suggests, Stewart’s Rosewater is a serious drama — quite unlike the political comedy we’re used to getting from Stewart on his nightly show. Hit the jump to see the first Rosewater images.
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Posted on Thursday, July 31st, 2014 by Angie Han
Jon Stewart is no stranger to the Oscars, having hosted the ceremony in 2006 and 2008. But next year could just turn out to be his first time going as a nominee.
Stewart’s directorial debut Rosewater has just been set a prestigious fall opening by Open Road Films, following its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. Get all the Rosewater release date details after the jump.
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Posted on Monday, May 19th, 2014 by Angie Han
Jonás Cuarón‘s last team-up with his father Alfonso Cuarón resulted in the smashingly successful Gravity. So it’s no surprise that his next film Forsaken, which also involves his dad, is being billed as a “de facto prequel to Gravity.” Even though, as far as we can tell, Forsaken doesn’t actually have anything to do with Gravity.
But that’s okay, because Forsaken sounds pretty interesting in its own right. Formerly titled Desierto, the chase thriller sends Gael García Bernal on a dangerous journey across the Mexican desert. Get more details after the jump.
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