“Birdman” director Alejandro G. Inarritu found out that his film had been nominated for seven Golden Globe Awards while preparing to go to the set of his next movie, “The Revenant,” in the mountains of Calgary, Canada — and the news, he said, was welcome given the environment in which he finds himself these days.
“This film has brought me joy and warmth and heat,” he told TheWrap as he and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki drove to the set. “And it’s very cold here, so I’m thankful for the warmth.”
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When he was making “Birdman,” though, awards were the last thing on the mind of the director whose previous films included “Amores Perros,” “Babel” and “Biutiful.” Instead, he was trying to figure out how he could fashion a film about self-destructive actor Riggan Thompson (Michael Keaton) in a way that it would appear to be one long, unbroken shot.
“In the moment, I didn’t even know if a movie would come from it,” he said. “When I was putting it together, I was trying to look for precedent, and there were not a lot for this kind of filmmaking. I was scared, because I didn’t know if I could find the internal rhythms of the film to make it work.
“And the fact that it came out good and hasn’t just been seen by my mom and my aunt is a miracle.”
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His new movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy, and is now partway through a shoot that he expects will continue until April. And will he be using any of the lessons he learned on “Birdman?”
“It definitely will not be one long take, or I would commit suicide as Riggan Thompson tried to do [in ‘Birdman’],” he said. “But I don’t think I can see cinema in the same way anymore, so something in ‘Revenant’ will come from ‘Birdman.'”
He paused. “I can’t tell you what, but something.”
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As he spoke, Inarritu had yet to speak to his cast members Michael Keaton, Edward Norton and Emma Stone, all of whom had also been nominated. And he knew time was running out to do so.
“We’re shooting in the very high mountains where there’s no signal, so I’ll be completely out of reach all day,” he said. “Before we get there, I at least want to send an email to everybody.”