We left Alfonso Cuarón 5 years ago with “Gravity” and now is back with his most personal and awaited project: “Roma.” With the first, he took us to space, with “Roma” he brings us down to Earth to witness one of the most intense, intimate and human experiences.
We saw the International premiere at the 75th Venice Film Festival, here our review:
Behind and in Front of the Camera
After 5 years Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón is back at the Venice Film Festival and behind the camera with his most personal project ever, “Roma.”
On the screen, we see two powerful performances: Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo and Marina de Tavira as Sofia.
Who’s Got the Typewriter
Once again we find Cuarón who of the movie is the director, writer, producer, editor and also the cinematographer. Initially his longtime friend and collaborator Emmanuel Lubezki (3-times Academy Award winner, “Gravity,””Birdman”and “The Revenant”) was supposed to be the cinematographer but couldn’t make it in the end, so the director decided to do it himself with the support and help of many professionals around him.
What to Know (ABSOLUTELY NO SPOILERS)
A year in the life of a middle-class Mexican family in the early 70s living in the neighborhood called Roma, in Mexico City of which the director paints a picture of its cultural, political and social changes.
But for the Academy Award winner director it is something more, it is about remembering facts and events occurred some 50 years ago in his life, and it’s an ode to the two powerful women that raised him: Cleo, the young housemaid that helps raising the 4 children of the family, and Sofia, the mother who has to cope with the absence of her husband. The women with an undeniable strength face the changes in their personal life, Cuarón honors the matriarchy that has shaped his life. On the background a classist society and a political moment characterized by student protests and militias repressions.
What You’ll Need
Honestly? Absolutely nothing. As said, it’s an experience, and even though everything is based on Cuarón’s own memories, everyone can definitely relate to one of the many aspects of the film.
What They Say
During the press conference at the Venice Film Festival, Cuarón on the two women protagonist of the film but also of his life said, “Cleo is based on Lio, my nanny when I was a kid, she was part of the family. Everything for this film started with my memories of that time, but during the process I discovered Lio as a woman with her experiences and complexities through the role of Cleo because to me she was like a second mom, and it was all I needed to know. I found out early on that in my house the women were keeping us together and making everything work.”
On the stylistic choices, he said that at the base of everything there were 3 elements: Cleo, his memories and that the film would be in black and white, but not an old kind of nostalgic one, a digital and modern black and white,“ a digital format to talk about the past.”
One Last Thing…
Cuarón did not show the screenplay to anyone, the actors discovered it bit by bit, it was just a ”process.” This makes the work of Yalitza Aparicio (Cleo) and Nancy Garcia (Adele) even more noteworthy since it was their first role ever. On their role, they said that even though the film is set in the 70s, they could relate to the situation and contest since it is still like this for many women, just like them.
Out of 5 Lions (Venice Edition)