The Three Amigos of Cinema

By Daniel Fordham

The past five Best Director Oscars have been won by three Mexican directors: Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and Guillermo del Toro. Together, they are known as the “Three Amigos of Cinema,” as they are all good friends, are about the same age, are from Mexico, and help each other out with their movies.

Cuarón was the first to win the Best Director award with 2013’s sci-fi Gravity. Iñárritu then won the next two with his black comedy Birdman and his neo-western The Revenant. Two years later (Damien Chazelle won for 2016’s musical La La Land) del Toro won for his romantic fantasy movie The Shape of Water. Finally, Cuarón won again for last year’s Roma.

Overall, the three are known for particular styles of films. Cuarón is known for drams (Roma), sci-fi (Children of Men, Gravity), and for directing the third Harry Potter film, The Prisoner of Azkaban. Iñárritu is mainly known for his dark dramas. Del Toro is one of the biggest horror directors today, with all of his films featuring horror and fantasy elements within them.

This is a rather interesting turn in Hollywood. All three of these directors have been praised for making unique and complex films. They don’t make run-of-the-mill films and put all their heart and soul into whatever they’re directing.

Their films are also known for their unique visual style, with del Toro being known for his use of color and visual effects, and Cuarón and Iñárritu being known for using long takes and working with cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, another native of Mexico. Birdman is known for looking like it was shot all in one take. Children of Men has two different tense moments of actions where the shot doesn’t cut for over three minutes.

When a new movie from them comes out, audiences will be hyped and will want to see what these revolutionary filmmakers from Mexico have in store for them.

Feature image from New York Times story.

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