Iñarritu’s cinema, introduction to Babel

Cinematic principles

Cinema, like every other art, is communication. Everything that comes through moving image (or not), with or without sound, is pure communication. Whether you want it or not, whether the artist deny t or not, everything that shows communicates something. The art touch is in controlling what it’s being communicated. So, “Babel” chooses eventually the hardest theme to be worked out by any artistic medium: that of the non-communication. Everything that Iñarritu pretends is to show the absence of communication, and its effects, to put us in a dark hole together with his characters, with whom we all identify a little bit. I believe this picture to be as contemporary as contemporary can be. And i’ll explain: Portuguese director João Botelho once said that the temptation of telling a story is the original sin of cinema, the idea that a film is worth by the succession of facts, narrative, climax and conclusion. Contemporary cinema (as other arts), in its will to move along, is, as a consequence, in a certain state of crisis, trying to get redefined and move forward. Somehow like the world in Babel. Complex, fascinating, but somehow unruled. Iñarritu rejects the story for the story, the linear narrative as a pretext for “hanging” some images. He moves away from “fact”, working on the image (and what image, the photography is fantastic) and on the context, as a medium to communicate. He wasn’t for sure the first to try it, but he’s one of the best doing it, in a mainstream context and consistently. In the same way he is contemporary in the self-referential way in which he approaches the art of film-making itself. This one, like “Amores perros” or “21 grams” is itself a research on the narrative building and cinema. So, a film about other films and, therefore, a film about cinema.

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