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In Mexico, an outer-space moment for 'Gravity's' Alfonso Cuaron

October 18, 2013|By Tracy Wilkinson
  • Alfonso Cuaron, director of "Gravity," participates with his son, Jonas, at a news conference in Mexico City.
Alfonso Cuaron, director of "Gravity," participates with… (Sashenka Gutierrez / EPA )

MEXICO CITY -- "Gravity" director Alfonso Cuaron says he had gotten blasé about filmmaking when his son Jonas revived him.

"Jonas injected an energy into the movie that I had lost," Cuaron told the Mexico daily Reforma. "I had become distant from a certain enjoyment of the film experience and the entertainment."

Cuaron is in his native Mexico this week promoting the film, which opens here Friday. He has been joined by Jonas, who co-wrote the screenplay with his father.

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That energy is a good thing, many fans would say. "Gravity" broke records as it soared to be the top-grossing film in the U.S. in its first couple of weeks, marking the strongest October opening ever.

Jonas, in the same interview, explained his contribution along generational lines -- he says he had to remind his father of the need for fast-paced action to hold the attention of today's younger moviegoers.

"I think what worked was the combination of his years of experience with the essence of my generation ... the short attention span," Jonas Cuaron said.

Father and son had earlier discussed those themes in an interview with The Times' Calendar section.

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For the elder Cuaron, one notable moment of his Mexico tour may have come during a news conference Thursday.

A reporter asked him to describe "the technical and even human difficulties" of filming in space.

Cuaron initially looked slightly confused, scratched his head, then decided to play it straight. Well, he said, you start with three Soyuz missions, he began. Then he deadpanned. "I got dizzy in the training, but not once we were up there."

[You can watch a video of the moment here. Other reporters begin to laugh at their colleague, whose face -- probably in a million shades of red -- we can't see.]


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