It turns out that the cinema is also like a box. The mother of Forrest Gump does not say it, and the chocolates have nothing to do with it. The director affirms it Alfonso Cuaron, stealing the simile of a friend and companion of profession: "Guillermo del Toro maintains that there are films that correspond to a wrapping full of cereals; you eat them all for the promise of the gift that you are going to find. " In his case, he put on his boots in 2013 with Gravity: Hollywood, deep space, 3D, budget and fundraising millions, Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, seven Oscars. "Later, they offered me great films, with stars, more money, and other more personal projects, but always in a certain context. I understood that I did not have to do that, but to return to Mexico to shoot the work I should have done for decades, "he says. After the binge, it was time to collect the prize. At the bottom of the empty box, I expected him Rome.
"The Oscar [él ganó los de mejor dirección y montaje, junto con Mark Sanger] It's fantastic, but even more its side effects. It allowed me to achieve both the security and the resources to shoot a film in black and white, in Spanish and Mixtec, in my country ", described the filmmaker (Mexico City, 1961) to a group of journalists in September at the Venice Festival , where Rome He took the Golden Lion. And it started a tour of applause half the world, so much that it is considered as the favorite for the statuettes of 2019. The most personal and difficult movie of the director of Children of men or And Your Mother Too is on the way to becoming the most successful. However, the verdict of the public is missing: Rome it premieres only in a handful of cinemas – at the Verdi, in Madrid and Barcelona, from Wednesday 5th and from Friday 14, debuts on-line: the 125 million Netflix users are waiting for it.
In the large and small screens, only the talent of the Mexican will not be paraded. He has written, directed and assembled the film, but his imprint is much deeper: Rome it's your life, as real as the furniture from his home that make up the set. It's been 10 years since Cuarón dreamed of filming the story of his childhood. And, above all, that of Liboria Rodríguez, Libo, the Mixteca nana that lives in her house and her soul since he was nine months old. "The DNA of the film always had three indisputable pillars: it would focus on Cleo (the alter ego of Libo), one of the human beings that I love the most; I would speak of my memory, literally; and it would be black and white ", clarifies Cuarón. Finally, he added secrecy: fHe wrote in chronological order and unveiled the script to the interpreters little by little, and only roughly. Sometimes he even deceived them on purpose to achieve more authentic reactions, as Yalitza Aparicio recognizes, the debutante who left an indigenous village and climbed castings to the role of Cleo.
Thus, the camera follows the nanny in her day-to-day life: taking care of the house and the children of a bourgeois family. Cleanliness, duties, patience and smile, from dawn to dusk. The first to get up, the last to go to bed. One more of the Orozco Cuarón and, nevertheless, never the same as them. "I talked a lot with Libo. I forced myself to observe everything from its prism, not to see it as a model but through reality, of its triple pressure as a woman, a lower class and indigenous origin that lives in a completely different social and economic environment ", explains the director. Around Cleo, in addition, Cuarón shows a family and a whole country. How they move. And how they collapse.
Rome He talks about the Mexico of 1970, about what is no longer there but also about what never went away. The cinema Las Américas, which enchanted to the small Cuarón, nowadays it is a commercial center. Machismo, inequality and social hypocrisy, however, have taken root, along with violence. The recording equipment itself suffered the aggression of municipal authorities during the filming. And the memory of the paramilitaries and the massacre of Corpus Thursday in 1971 also remains alive in every Mexican.
To all this, Rome adds another debate, which from his native land travels to the rest of the world. Because its distributor is the main audiovisual colossus of the Internet. And Netflix offers creators millions and freedom, but demands to respect its golden formula: the priority is the premiere on-line, to which sometimes a handful of rooms are added. Cuarón has achieved that Rome pass (fleetingly) through the cinemas, and consider that this is the "optimal" way to enjoy it. However, he adds: "There are people who do not go to the movies anymore and I want them to see it too. The journey of a film, in any case, ends up being largely after and far from the halls. Most masterpieces that I love the most I have not seen on the big screen. " TO Rome seems to expect the same fate.
Cuarón fió to Twitter, on November 20, a mixture of anger and disappointment: "I want many more functions in Mexico, we have all the rooms we could get, sadly, they are 40. To put things in perspective, in Poland it will be shown in 57 rooms and in South Korea in 50. Rome It is available to all the rooms that want to exhibit it. "The director has personally turned to inform about the film's journey in his country, announced a free screening and even published a email to write him any interested cinema.
They responded mostly small and independent rooms. But the two main chains of the country, Cinépolis and Cinemex, owners of 90% of the cinemas, have turned their backs on Rome. Or, rather, to Netflix. Something similar happens with the two colossi of the Spanish exhibition (Yelmo, owned by Cinépolis, and Cinesa), which will not release it either. In Spain, it will only be held in five rooms: two in Madrid, others in Barcelona and one in Malaga.
In a statement, Cinépolis stressed that the Netflix model is opposite to that of the cinemas, and harmful to them: they do not intend to host a film that will shortly be on-line and they require 90 days between the physical launch and on the Net. Against this, Cuarón highlighted that Netflix has made an unprecedented concession – in Mexico, as in New York or Los Angeles, Rome he arrived at the halls three weeks before the Internet; The ballad of Buster Scruggs, of the Coen, for example, barely had seven days – and criticized the immobility of the big chains.