Alejandro González Iñárritu is an opinionated filmmaker. We have seen this quite a bit over the past several weeks, after the festival debut of his most recent film, “Bardo.” When critics initially panned his film, he got very defensive and even talked about underlying racism in the reviews. Now, the filmmaker is opening up about why he isn’t pleased with the high-gloss modern cinema we see in 2022.
Speaking at an event in London, filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu talked about his views on modern filmmaking. He admits that young directors are able to craft visually superb features, but he questions whether or not those films have any soul.
“I don’t care about the quality of things,” said the filmmaker. “When I see young filmmakers, I’m very connected to the way they express themselves. Nowadays, a lot of things look beautiful but there’s a lack of soul.”
He added that more “demanding” content, such as in his film, “21 Grams,” can’t be made today “because audiences would be very irritated by it. People need to be fed by the hand so much more.”
It would appear that Iñárritu has another “demanding” film on his hands with this year’s “Bardo.” What was initially expected to be an Oscar front-runner, given the filmmaker’s award-winning pedigree, “Bardo” was given surprisingly mixed-to-negative reviews after its debut in Venice. The film is being compared to Federico Fellini’s “8 ½” quite often given the premise of the feature, following the story of a renowned Mexican journalist and documentary filmmaker, Silverio, who has to return to his native country to accept an award after spending years in Los Angeles. One of the major criticisms of the film is the run-time, which is just below three hours.
Since the festival debut, Iñárritu has been tinkering with “Bardo,” trimming the film by a reported 22 minutes. He describes the film as much more “tightened” than the previous version, which may help its awards season chances.
“I put everything that I have into ‘Bardo,’” he said. “I have nothing more to give at this moment. I gave everything: in terms of heart, in terms of soul, in terms of attention… I didn’t want to make [‘Bardo’], I needed to make it.”
“Bardo” is expected to hit theaters on November 4 before arriving on Netflix on December 16.