- Category: Interviews
- Created: Thursday, 24 December 2015 11:53
- Published: Thursday, 24 December 2015 12:09
- Written by Ethan Falk
Reigning Oscar winner for best director, Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Birdman) is at it again with probably his most tantalizing and ambitious picture yet in THE REVENANT.
The film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy, ranks as probably his most arduous as the production took about nine months to shoot in the most grueling of weather conditions. What seems to be causing the most buzz around Hollywood though was his use of only natural light; shooting limited hours each day waiting for the so-called “magic hour” to roll film.
Inspired by true events, THE REVENANT is an immersive and visceral cinematic experience capturing one man's epic adventure (DiCaprio) of survival and the extraordinary power of the human spirit
At a recent sit down with the director, Iñárritu told Cinemovie he doesn’t quite understand why everyone thinks it’s so groundbreaking that he shot without artificial light.
“I’m very shocked people were so surprised and overreacting about the fact I shot on a real location with real light. What the Fu*ck is wrong with that? It’s like if I asked the people, “Did you eat real food?” Yes, real food. “Not genetically modified…REALLY!?” It was about people in real locations, and what’s better than the sun, then a shitty film light with no complexity at all.”
Iñárritu was motivated to create a truly experimental film in hopes of transporting audiences into the environment onscreen. It was a herculean task as the cast and crew battled the extremities of shooting in 40 below zero temperatures in the mountains of Calgary. Prior to THE REVENANT, all of Iñárritu’s films had been shot in urban landscapes, so the forest was uncharted territory for him. According to the Oscar winner, having to wear the director and producer’s hat for this film was no walk in the park especially when having to endure the hardships of the weather.
“I was not directing from my trailer, warm with a coffee. Actually, when they (the actors) arrived it had already been nine hours on the set because I had to prepare the whole thing. The director is the first to arrive on the set and the last one to eat.”
Iñárritu believes it’s his duty as a filmmaker is to bring back the physical, intellectual, and emotional experiences you can only embrace by seeing the film on the big screen. He explained that with the emergence of franchise films like The Avengers, the middle class of cinema is starting to disappear and people these days are more likely to stream the quieter movies at home on their iPads. This propelled him to make a visceral and compelling film bound to captivate audiences.
“I conceived and designed THE REVENANT to be one of those adventure films that they will feel the cold. They will feel the breeze of the wind. They will become the heroes and they will be hungry. They will die. They will be warm and feel the fear. It’s a physical experience. Cinema in its fullest form.”
Braving the harsh elements has paid off for Alejandro G. Iñárritu, his cast and production team with THE REVENANT being named one of the best films of 2015 along with multiple nominations for Leonardo DiCaprio and best director for the Mexican filmmaker.
THE REVENANT opens in select theaters Christmas Day and expands into more theaters on January 6, 2016.