Alejandro Gonzalez Inarittu, after dropping out of school at the age of 16, took up employment as a seaman in a cargo ship to fund his continental trips as well as to finance his university education.
His first foray in the music and entertainment industry was as a DJ, initially working in the top shot nightclubs of Mexico City. In 1984, he was selected as a deejay in Mexico City’s FM radio station WFM. He excelled in mixing playlists of different genres that were lapped up by listeners.
Besides hosting programs as a DJ, Alejandro pioneered the trend of weaving riveting narratives around the playlists in order to keep the listeners hooked. His unique style of broadcasting was later on emulated by several radio broadcasters and DJs.
He also worked for a while with Latin America’s biggest and best known mass media conglomerate, Televisa, and earned acclaim by becoming the youngest producer to work for the firm since its inception. Starting from 1987 till 1989, he composed the musical score for six long-form Mexican films.
While working as a music producer, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarittu came in association with Guillermo Arriaga, a celebrated Mexican author and screenwriter. Alejandro began corresponding with Arriaga on a consistent basis, and their collaborative efforts led to the scripting of Alejandro’s debut full-length film, ‘Amores Perres’ that was released in 2000.
’Amores Perres’ was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2000, picking up the ‘Critics Weeks Grand Prize’ and was also nominated for an Academy Award for ‘Best Foreign Language Film’.
Spurred on by the success of his directorial venture, he went on to direct two avant-garde short flicks, ‘Powder Keg’ and ‘Mexico’ in 2001 and 2002 respectively. ‘Powder Keg’ was an ad film dedicated to the German carmaker ‘BMW’ while ‘Mexico’ reflected on the terrorists attacks in USA on September 11, 2001.
Alejandro again teamed up with Arriaga to direct ’21 Grams’, his second feature film and first English-language film which premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2003. The film had a star-studded cast, including Naomi Watts and Sean Penn who received Academy Award nominations, and the Puerto Rican actor, Benicio Del Toro.
Alejandro once again joined forces with Arriage for his thirs feature film, ‘Babel’ entailing four connected stories with settings in Japan, USA, Mexico, and Morocco. The movie which saw renowned Hollywood actors, Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett sharing screen space with amateurs, was screened at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.
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He was honored with the ‘Best Director Award’ for ‘Babel’ at the Cannes Film Festival. The film also earned seven Academy Award nominations, including ‘Best Direction’ and ‘Best Picture’ in 2007 and received the ‘Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture’ in that year.
Alejandro’s receiving the ‘Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing’ was a first for any Mexican director. He ended his collaboration with Arriaga after partnering with him for developing the scripts of three feature films.
2010 turned out to be a remarkably prospective year for Alejandro as the film, ‘Biutiful’ scripted in Spanish, produced and directed by him, was proposed for Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Academy Awards. The award nominations were in the categories of ‘Best Foreign Language Film’, ‘Best Film Not in the English Language’ and ‘Best Actor’.
The Spanish actor, Javier Bardem who is best known for portraying Anton Chigurh, a psychopathic assassin in ‘No Country for Old Men’ was the protagonist in ‘Biutiful’. Javier shared the Best Actor award for his part in ‘Biutiful’ at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival with Elio Germano, an Italian actor.
2014 witnessed Alejandro Gonzales directing one of the most successful movies of his career, ‘Birdman’ casting Hollywood luminaries Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, and Michael Keaton. ‘Birdman’ received a total of 9 Academy Award nominations, and won the ‘Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay’ in 2014.
‘Birdman’ which was recommended for 9 Academy Awards, eventually garnered four, in the categories of ‘Best Original Screenplay’, ‘Best Cinematography’, ‘Best Picture’, and ‘Best Director’.
In 2015, he directed ‘The Revenant’ which also earned worldwide fame and glory for him. The movie was an adaptation of the eponymous novel authored by Michael Punke. The film set in Alaska circa 1823 is based on true events and pivots around fur trapper, Hugh Glass, portrayed by Leonardo Di Caprio.
’The Revenant’ which falls under the genre of ‘historical period-drama’ emphasizes how attempting to eke out a living in the harsh wilderness can take a toll on human relationships. The historical drama thriller went on to receive 12 Academy Awards, 4 Golden Globe, and 9 Critics’ Choice Movie Award nominations.
Out of the 12 Oscar Award nominations, ‘The Revenant’ ultimately bagged three—‘Best Director’, ‘Best Actor’ and ‘Best Cinematography’. The movie also won three out of 4 Golden Globe nominations, including awards for ‘Best Director’ and ‘Best Motion Picture-Drama’.
Alejandro is presently involved with a drama series, ‘The One Per Cent’ The script for the television series has been co-written by the quartet of Armando Bo, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr., and Gonzalez Inarittu.