Alfonso Cuaron Response Post – Due Tuesday, Feb. 21 by noon

1019872Read the Alfonson Cuaron article “The Filmmation Immigration” on our site, and watch the trailers and director commentaries on that same page. You also need to listed to the podcast interview of Oscar-winning composer for “Gravity” Steven Price also located on that same page.

Address any (3) three following questions at in the reply/response section at the bottom of this page. You are also welcome to respond to any of your classmates’ responses as well if you’d like. You should first attempt to answer an unanswered question before covering one another student has already addressed.  

This is due by noon on Feb. 21.

  1. What impressed you or intrigued you about Steven Price and his approach to 20-gravity-alfonso-cuaron-w1200-h630composing?
  2. Based on the interviews and article on Alfonson Cuaron, what do you think inspires him towards creating film as art? Why?
  3. What interests you the most about Alfonson Cuaron and his stylistic approach to filmmaking? Why?
  4. How were Steven Price & Alfonson Cuaron able to merge musical score and sound design into a seamless blend?
  5. Alfonson Cuaron has created films for children and strictly adult audiences, and has been successful with both. Based on the readings and interviews, why is that true? Explain.

    Steven Price, Abbey Road, July 29, 2014
    Steven Price
  6. Alfonson Cuaron broke new ground in Gravity & Children of Men, explain how that has paved the way for others (through technology & acting).
  7. What fascinated you about Alfonson Cuaron and his international success? Why?
  8. Based on your observations from the readings and videos, where do you feel that Alfonson Cuaron will find the most future success? Why?
  9. Where do you feel that Alfonson Cuaron’s style, approach and moral themes connect the most with previous filmmakers we’ve explored? Why?
  10. For Alfonson Cuaron –he has discovered a unique combination of movie art and movie science. Defend why that statement is true (with examples).
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20 thoughts on “Alfonso Cuaron Response Post – Due Tuesday, Feb. 21 by noon

  1. *Haley Walker*
    Alfonso Cuaron:

    Where do you feel that Alfonson Cuaron’s style, approach and moral themes connect the most with previous filmmakers we’ve explored? Why?

    Much like Woody Allen, Cuaron found it difficult to watch his movies post-production. He said he had a short attention span and would much rather take what he learned from that film and apply it to his next project. He also works closely with family members like Woody Allen.

    What interests you the most about Alfonson Cuaron and his stylistic approach to filmmaking? Why?

    I like that Cuaron explores the topics of hope and hopefulness. I like his ideas of breaking through the pain and suffering to provide a glimpse of what can be possible. “When you strip hope from people, it leaves a void, and that void needs to be filled. And very likely, that void is going to be filled by an ideology… Hope and faith are so connected. Now, when ideology connects with faith, the ideology becomes an item of faith, not a point of discussion,” said Cuaron. This speaks volumes on his ideas of religion.

    What fascinated you about Alfonson Cuaron and his international success? Why?

    I love the fact that Alfonso’s mother was so supportive of his hopes and dreams. She was the first motivator in his life who helped him to begin to explore his career goal. He had worked in film and TV for ten years before he finally got his big break, and that requires patience and determination. His 1995 biography, A Little Princess, was a critical success and gained him some fans. After that his movie Great Expectations didn’t get praised so highly, but he continued on (I would probably have been discouraged). After this, his movie Y Tu Mamá También skyrocketed him to success. He had 37 global film awards and it became the highest grossing film in Mexican History! I think this may have contributed to his decision to come back to America and see what he could do here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mallory Moore
      2. Based on the interviews and article on Alfonson Cuaron, what do you think inspires him towards creating film as art? Why?
      I think that he is inspired by societal issues and big intellectual questions that he observes around him. His comment about how everything in gravity relates back to the main character makes me think that he is really interested in people and their problems. It seems that he likes to explore those problems in films in creative ways. He doesn’t just say what those problems are, but uses cinematography as a metaphor for those problems.
      5. Alfonson Cuaron has created films for children and strictly adult audiences, and has been successful with both. Based on the readings and interviews, why is that true? Explain.
      It seems that Cuaron is very good at integrating themes of darkness or other intense themes without being very explicit. The Harry Potter film that he directed is appropriate for children, he manages to put in some dark and scary stuff, but he understands where to draw the line. I also noticed in that movie that he was able to inspire hope as well as discuss darkness.
      6. Alfonson Cuaron broke new ground in Gravity & Children of Men, explain how that has paved the way for others (through technology & acting).
      With Gravity, Cuaron seemed to introduce a new kind of filmmaking that relies on technology and acting equally. He allowed the actors to bring their own talents and skills into the scenes, like Sandra Bullock with her dancing background, while also figuring out how to make the technology work best. I think that Gravity proved how well actors and filmmakers can work with technology, and that there aren’t that many limits when it comes to the images that you can create in film.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Rachel Gann

    1. What impressed you or intrigued you about Steven Price and his approach to composing?

    I like that he thinks of composing not as a one man job but as a collaboration between different people. Every aspect of a film is a collaboration between all sorts of different people but there are times when you’ll have people who will try to do something entirely by themselves and a lot of the time you might end up getting something that is not entirely extraordinary. But Steven Price listens to other people’s opinions and even if he doesn’t agree or do what someone thinks he should, he still considers everyone opinions and looks at composing as a group project. Even though the job of composing the music for a film is on him he still sees some part of it as a team effort and that impressed me.

    2. Based on the interviews and article on Alfonson Cuaron, what do you think inspires him towards creating film as art? Why?

    I have always considered film as a type of art because it takes talent, concentration and a lot of hard work to put together a successful film. But I think Cuaron creates it as art because that’s how he always saw it. People use art as a type of refuge, they use it to bring them peace, to get away from their problems for a while and Cuaron’s refuge were inside movie theaters watching movies. I think he creates film as art because he wants people to be able to use his films as their own refuge. He wants to create hope for those who might be in a seemingly hopeless situation, he wants to create adventure in people’s lives. I think he creates film as art because as a kid he saw films as a work of art and that’s what he wants people to see when they watch his films, he wants them to see films as he saw them; as a work of art.

    5. Alfonson Cuaron has created films for children and strictly adult audiences, and has been successful with both. Based on the readings and interviews, why is that true? Explain.

    I think he is so successful with both children and adult movies because of the themes of hope. I love the film “A Little Princess” and I recently went back and watched it again and I felt hope. I was taken back to my child hood and I felt hope for that little girl even when the situation seemed hopeless. I think he is successful with any type of film he does because no matter if its for kids or adults there is always that element of hope even in the midst of hopelessness. I always get a chill during movies when there seems to be hope even if its not obvious because I am excited to see what will become of the characters, what is going to change in the situation in order for the tables to turn. Cuaron definitely succeeds at creating that feeling of hope even when there seems to be none and I think that is why his films are so successful.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Will Braunlich:

    1. What impressed me the most about Steven Price, was how he worked with some big names in some big movies. When you hear the name of Steven Price, the name probably wouldn’t sound very familiar. He worked with Hans Zimmer in Batman Begins and with Trevor Jones in Lord of the Rings. Now, Steven Price has made a name for himself by composing the music for Gravity. So now, he’s a bit of a well known composer, just like how Cuaron is getting a following as a really good director.

    7. What fascinated me about Alfonso Cuaron and his international success, was when he directed a movie in Mexico, called ‘Y Tu Mama Tambien’ in 2001. That movie ended up being so successful that he was then called to take Chris Columbus’s place as director of the Harry Potter films with The Prisoner of Azkaban. And through that movie, he brought in a more darker perspective into what many considered a family friendly adventure.

    9. I feel like Cuaron’s style is a little bit similar to that of Tim Burton. He takes something that seems light-hearted, and instead ushers it into a more darker period, completely changing our perspective on the whole idea. He also had a little bit of Woody Allen as well, when he struggled to make movies to make enough money to provide for himself. So, I could see a few well known filmmakers in Mr. Cuaron, and we could eventually see Cuaron in newer filmmakers.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Based on the interviews and article on Alfonson Cuaron, what do you think inspires him towards creating film as art? Why?

    In the article, it discusses how Cuaron always viewed film as art because of the magic it brought to audiences. Magic in a way that brings them peace in mind or to get away from their problems. Like it was discussed in the comment above, he uses it as a refugee for people. He wants people to view his films as art.

    What interests you the most about Alfonson Cuaron and his stylistic approach to filmmaking? Why?

    I like how he uses themes of hope and faith that shine through despite when dark things are overcoming the character. It gives that sense of a person still fighting all of his problems with just a little bit of hope that he or she may win in the end of the conflict. I like films that use these themes because they are always used in great story lines that create the emotional effect for the entire movie.

    Where do you feel that Alfonson Cuaron’s style, approach and moral themes connect the most with previous filmmakers we’ve explored? Why?

    Cuaron connects with Woody Allen on not wanting to watch their own productions so that they will not feel upset that they left out something or get the feeling they could do way better. Cuaron said he had “a short attention span and would much rather take what he learned from that film and apply it to his next project.” He also worked with family members as well as Woody Allen. In some of his movies, he takes a dark approach like Tim Burton only Burton’s are more dark than Cuaron.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sthefany Flores
    3. What interests you the most about Alfonso Cuarón and his stylistic approach to filmmaking? Why?
    Personally I believe that Cuarón’s shooting style is one of the most unique parts of his stylistic approach to filmmaking. There something just so elegant in the way that he shoots in which it allows the viewer to experience the movie in fluid motion. Instead of sharp cuts to see a continuous motion following a character. There is a fine line between gaining elegance in this method and trying to imitate a roller coaster and Cuarón achieves this distinction. It also caught my attention that Sandra Bullock in her interview about Gravity said, “These were all unique creations of brilliant people who had to think of something that doesn’t exist in order to make a movie that Alfonso was told couldn’t be done.”

    9. Where do you feel that Alfonson Cuaron’s style, approach and moral themes connect the most with previous filmmakers we’ve explored? Why?
    When I think back to what I have learned about Cuarón and the film I watched by him, I can’t help but be reminded of Alfred Hitchcock. Their movie themes are very different but it is their shooting style that caught my attention. They are both visionaries in their approach to cinematography and the fluidity of a shot. When I was watching the scene in Gravity when Sandra Bullock pushes forward in the space shuttle and the camera follows her motion seamlessly I couldn’t help but to remember that the same idea was seen in The Rope. His closeups of eyes in the movie Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was also very reminiscent of Hitchcock.

    2. Based on the interviews and article on Alfonson Cuaron, what do you think inspires him towards creating film as art? Why?
    I think it is about showing people what he sees and showing them something that he loves to do. He spoke of the fact that he had read the Great Expectations many times in his childhood and how he wanted to show what he saw. Art is always tricky, specially when there is a source material that is already so popular and I believe that he wants to bring his ideas and his own interpretations to life. This in itself is the heart of art, expression, and Cuarón does this seamlessly through all the different genres he has worked with. He has created words or continued universes but it is always about showing the word what can be done and what can be seen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I first discovered a love for Cuaron’s technical (and artistic) command of cinema while watching “Children of Men” – that film is on my all-time favorite’s list for several reasons 9including the powerful story) -but the art is what first caught my eye. Thanks Sthefany

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  6. Kate Lamar:
    3. One thing that I found interesting was that he would never watch the movie that he made. When he got finished with the final of the product, he would move on to the next one. I think when he finishes one product, he can see what is new out in the world that he can go and create. When you look back and see all the things that you have done, you want to strive for new and exciting types of films.
    6. With “Gravity” and “Children of Men”, it is amazing movies that show what people can do with technology now a days. Alfonso states, “with the cinematography, there is real naturalism, there are no mistakes, it is all created”. If you see the behind the scenes, you can see all the different types of technology that they put with the actors, to show that the movie is in real life when it goes to theaters. When a lot of the stories that dealt with technology parts, “it wasn’t about the technology, but to tell a story, and develop the technology, because it was the only way that we could tell the story”. With all of the technology, you can see how you are going to include and to make the movie. I think when somebody creates a story, that is using so much technology, then it shows other filmmakers what is being done out there, and they are going to want to go, and strive for the same, and try more.
    7. He wrote a project in English, when it should have been in Spanish, and that is what changed when he decided to mix Mexican and American films. He would go back and forth to Mexico and America to do different movies at each place.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can understand why someone would want to walk away from a project when it’s finished. I’ve done that as well with numerous video and film projects (and writings I’ve done), but there are times I find myself resisting them … and I’m definitely more critical when I go back and what (or read) them later. – Thanks Kate

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  7. Where do you feel that Alfonson Cuaron’s style, approach and moral themes connect the most with previous filmmakers we’ve explored? Why?

    After reading the article, I feel as if Alfonson Cuaron’s moral themes he portrays in his work connect the previous filmmakers we have student because some of his themes he uses are themes of hope and faith. He shows a break in faith to show what is actually possible of coming from the break of faith. A quote that Cuaron mentioned that stood out to me was “When you strip hope from people, it leaves a void, and that void needs to be filled. And very likely, that void is going to be filled by an ideology… Hope and faith are so connected. Now, when ideology connects with faith, the ideology becomes an item of faith, not a point of discussion.” He takes this in his filmmaking and uses this by stripping hope from his characters and filling that with faith, which connects with an ideology or morality in general. The other filmmakers we have studied, even going back to our first assignment, Alfred Hitchcock. He uses themes of morality constantly in his films. In the rope, he discusses the injustice of killing a man and being an outsider. Looking at the stylistic ways of Tim Burton could also be compared to Cuaron and his style because of the darkness element Cuaron brings. He just has a different way of shooting that includes almost making the audience feel uncomfortable like Burton. Also, a huge thing that makes him alike Woody Allen is the fact that once the movie is out in theaters he won’t watch the finish project because he is already interested in the next challenge.

    Based on the interviews and article on Alfonson Cuaron, what do you think inspires him towards creating film as art? Why?

    His childhood is what seems to inspire him towards creating these artistic films. His mother was a huge influence in him and his passion he had for art. I think this is interesting because usually it seems as if the parents sometimes do not support these famous filmmakers and that’s what makes them so successful. Cuaron had full support from his mother to follow his dream in filmmaking. I think with Cuaron growing up in Mexico City, it paved a huge way for the way he artistically shoots his films. In the article is says that he was actually expelled from the National Autonomous University of Mexico for submitting a project in English rather than Spanish. This leads me to believe that he was one that thought outside of the box and was more interested in finding his own new style rather than having a different style.
    I also thought in the article is was extremely interesting that as a child, Alfonson was so into the space program and he ended up creating an award winning film of 2013, Gravity.

    What impressed you or intrigued you about Steven price and his approach to composing?

    What impressed me most about Steven Price was his background discussed in the interview. He said he was so intrigued in pop music and was in love with the Beatles. I think this is interesting because the music he merges with Cuaron seems to be darker pieces to simulate what is happening in the films. Also when asked how he makes his work collaborative with the directors I thought it was interesting how he talked about Cuaron and how into his music Cuaron is. He said the more time spent with the director and having an understanding of the film helps with being on the same level as the director. He also mentioned how the directors he has worked with have been extremely helpful and open in this process which I found interesting.

    -Kacy O’Connor

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    1. Wow -Exploring Tim Burton, Woody Allen, Hitchcock, and Cuaron all in one post -well done. I’m always blown away by film composers and their connections to the directors (Price and Cuaron surely found ways to speak to each other through music and sound). Nice thoughts KC.

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  8. 3. What interests me the most about his filmmaking is he focuses on hope and hopelessness. I feel like someone usually focuses on one or the other but he enjoys both. I also like how he throws the audience into a situation so it makes the audience feel as though they are in the film.

    7. The fact that he went to college for film and got kicked out was pretty amazing. He was expelled for making a film in English and in Spanish, which I don’t see the harm in that. Personally I think that takes a lot of talent to be able to make a film on both languages.

    10. Harry Potter 3 is a perfect explain of this because he took the movie science and changed it to a dark theme. He made the art of the movie change for the rest of the Potters. Even though he wasn’t the director anymore, the other directors kept the dark theme. Instead of going back to the way Chris Columbus directed them, they kept them somewhat dark.

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    1. The two sides of the same coin – looking and hope and hopelessness and light and dark can be difficult to master in film through stories and character -but he found ways to succeed at it. Thanks Taylor

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  9. Alfonson Cuaron has created films for children and strictly adult audiences, and has been successful with both. Based on the readings and interviews, why is that true? Explain

    I think when you are passionate and love something so much, the work becomes easy and you are more successful in that area. Alfonson makes his work personal to him. he relates to everthing he does and is able to tell a story because of it. “Great Expectations” is an example of why he is so good at what he does. He was able to relate to the film becasuse of his love for the novel

    What fascinated you about Alfonson Cuaron and his international success? Why?

    What is so great about his success is that he is able to go back and forth between two cultures and still have award winning films. I have watched many hispanic films and they are so different from American films. So the fact that he is able to make films appealing to not only a different audience but different cultures is pretty cool to me.

    Where do you feel that Alfonson Cuaron’s style, approach and moral themes connect the most with previous filmmakers we’ve explored? Why?

    Before reading or watching anything about Alfonson, I read the trademarks and the first thing that came to my mind was Alfred Hitchcock. The themes of hope and hoplessness and how the characters are thrown into life threatenting situations reminds me of the film I watched that was made by Alfred Hitchcock, “Family Plot”. Also the what they have in common is their use of musical sound. They both incorperate sound where sometimes you do know where one ends and the next begins. I remember watching “Family Plot” and feeling super anxious just by the music.

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    1. Tyra – Good connection with Hitchcock with the themes and music/sound. Good job. I also agree that finding “passion for what you love” can make all the difference in the world. Nice thoughts – NTMII

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