- Title: MEXICO: "Babel" screenwriter and actress discuss reaction to Oscar nominations
- Date: 31st January 2007
- Summary: MEXICO CITY, MEXICO (JANUARY 23, 2007) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ARRIAGA SAYING: "I think that Mexico - I've said it before - is a country with a very powerful culture, a very ponderous culture that is capable of including the culture of other countries within it - including of course - the culture of the United States."
- Embargoed: 15th February 2007 12:00
- Location: Mexico
- Country: Mexico
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement
- Reuters ID: LVAD3F4ZASQS71BIWTJ4FK2JTF4Q
- Story Text: Mexican filmmakers have burst onto the Hollywood scene like never before, winning more than a dozen Oscar nominations on Tuesday (January 23) for movies like "Babel" and "Pan's Labyrinth."
Leading with seven nominations is "Babel," director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's epic take on cultural differences and communications barriers which recently won a Golden Globe award for best drama.
Following Tuesday's nominations, "Babel" screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga discussed the film from Mexico.
"We have already won awards in Cannes, we have already won awards in Venice. Now we are nominated for the Golden Globes, we have Oscar nominations, we have a presence in the important festivals such as Sundance, we have important documentarians and young important filmmakers such as Encke or Reygadas - what is going to be said in that respect? That we are not doing a good job? I think that this is the moment for the Mexican government to make production an incentive," he said.
Arriaga also discussed a rumoured rift between him and director Inarritu.
"A movie like Babel needs blood. You don't think it's written easily, do you? It needs commitment to the work and that obviously creates tensions. Add to this two people who are deeply territorial, no? Then clashes are inevitable and the relationship is worn away - and now we're not working on a project together. I am very proud of what we have done. I think that few creative pairs have worked as well in the history of cinema and now it is working well in three films," he said.
Meanwhile in Miami, Adriana Barraza celebrated her Oscar nomination for her "Babel" role as Amelia, a nanny whose longing to attend her son's wedding leads her to take her two young charges with her to Mexico.
"I felt [when I heard I was nominated] like a crazy person. I jumped, I cried, I shouted - and I shouted loudly. I think the neighbours who were nearby thought someone was being killed. I just jumped up and [makes noise like a scream]. It's like how someone shouts when their team has scored a goal. That's how I felt. And after, I cried and I cried and I continued crying for awhile. And then I started walking and told myself - 'I've been nominated for an Oscar.' And then I got a lump in my throat," she said.
Close behind "Babel" is director Guillermo del Toro's dark fairytale, "Pan's Labyrinth," nominated for six awards, including best foreign film and best original script. Del Toro will compete for best screenplay with fellow Mexican Guillermo Arriaga who wrote the script for "Babel."
The nominations list is a record for Mexico, which tends to be under-represented at the Oscars despite acclaimed films in recent years. The winners will be announced on Feb. 25.
Barraza said the wide berth of nominations is important for Latin American film.
"It [the Oscar nominations] are very significant. It's like a display case where it can be seen that there are many people who are very talented - not only in Mexico, but in 'Hispano-America'. In these Oscar nominations there were many people who were Hispanic-American. So then, the truth is that for me it proves that there is not a way to hide us. There are a tonne of us - we know it, we want it. And this is like a display case for us," she said.
No Mexican has ever won an Academy Award, except Anthony Quinn, who was born in Mexico but spent almost all his life north of the border.
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