By Mariana Osuna
So much can be said about the magic trio: Cuarón, Iñárritu and del Toro and in this mix it should always be included the cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubesky. All talented filmmakers, risk takers and unique styles and one more thing … all four of them are Mexican … like me.
I was born and raised in Mexico, moved to Canada 13 years ago to pursue a career in film, and the films of the “three amigos” were always inspiration for me to take a leap of faith and enter the world of cinema.
One of the first films I watched was A little Princess (1995) Directed by Alfonso Cuarón and with the brilliant touch of Emmanuel Lubesky (more on him later). I remember that’s when I fell in love with cinematography and directing. The green tones, the color grading, every single scene was like staring at one of my childhood books and I had to know more, made a mental note: follow this Cuarón guy.
And so I did.
I watched his films over and over again: Great Expectations (1998), Children of Men (2006), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Y Tu Mamá También (2001), Gravity (2013) and many, many more.
Somewhere along the way I came across The Devil’s Backbone (2001) and that’s how Guillermo del Toro entered in my life, that film was beautiful, a horror film, but beautiful and magical. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) up to this day holds a special place in my heart. My mom had come to visit me in Toronto and I had a 13-inch TV in my studio apartment, we ordered some pizza and devoured … the film. After that, it became a ritual with my mom: watch films, any film, especially Mexican films and spend hours discussing and learning and sharing takeaways and insights. I had the pleasure of meeting him in Toronto; my partner in crime and love T, stood for 8 hours outside the Art Gallery of Ontario to make sure we got to the meet and greet and to get our books signed by him. He offered us peanuts, actual peanuts as a snack. He was humble and encouraging and I was totally starstruck.
Del Toro became my “magical crush” his films have always had the power to transport the audience to all these fantastic places and making them a part of your everyday life. His films and his talent have always kept me in check and reminded me that embracing your weirdness, sharing it and turn them into art
Last, but not least…Alejandro González Iñárritu. I was in first year of University when I saw Amores Perros (2000). I was hooked. 21 Grams (2003), Babel (2006) – all three films made fall in love this time, with editing and storytelling.
Birdman (2014) was a game changer for me, from beginning to end I was mesmerized by it all. Biutiful (2010) and The Revenant (2015) – an emotional roller-coaster in every frame.
He is a brilliant director and his work keeps inspiring me to learn more and become better at what I do.
And I can’t finish this article without Emmanuel Lubesky, the Fourth Amigo. one of the most talented cinematographers of this Era. Every frame created by his unique vision is a work of art.
From their beginnings in Mexico at La Hora Marcada/The Appointed Time (1986) to Academy Award Winners. All “Three Amigos” have taken over the world of cinema and have received the highest honours for their work. They have changed Hollywood and the face of Mexican filmmakers around the globe.
In this time and age where walls are being built the work of this artists has become a bridge to unite viewers all over the world.
I’ve been away from Mexico for two years, and as I write this piece I’m making plans with my mom to go to the cinema and watch Roma (2018) on the big screen, just like old times.
Mariana Osuna Perez is an independent filmmaker based in Toronto, Canada.
Born and raised in Mexico, she majored in Media Studies and Communications.
Mariana moved to Canada in 2006 Her latest film “ONE” was semifinalist at the TVO (TV Ontario) short-doc contest, winner of the audience choice award in Tokyo Lift-Off Online Film Festival and is currently being screened in Europe and North America.
Mariana has devoted her career to give a voice to a wide range of people. From mental health initiatives, brain injury health alliances, to ex-convicts turning their life around to give back to their community.
Her films have been used as educational tools in North America by non for profit organizations.
In addition of working as a video producer/director with her production company Biulu, Mariana went back to her roots as a teacher and technical support at the Documentary Filmmaking Institute in Toronto where she works with award winning filmmakers to share their knowledge to the next generation of documentarians.