Consider this brunch: ‘Bardo’ as personal and cast as it was for Inarritu
Few films released in 2022 make a bolder visual statement than Bardo (or False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths). Alejandro González Iñárritu’s sprawling film, about an acclaimed documentary filmmaker who returns to his Mexican hometown to accept an award, has captivated audiences with its uncompromisingly surreal imagery since it premiered at the Venice International Film Festival in September.
It begins with a newborn baby begging to be reinserted into his mother’s womb and only gets crazier from there as Iñárritu tries to find meaning in life and art while searching for meaning in in a world that seems empty.
To discuss how such a unique artistic vision can be brought to life, film stars Daniel Giménez Cacho and Ximena Lamadrid, production designer Eugenio Caballero, and lead sound editor and sound designer Martín Hernandez joined IndieWire’s Eric Kohn for a panel at Consider This FYC Brunch by IndieWire.
“The film is more of a sound album for the viewer,” Hernandez said. “Alejandro is a very sound-driven director. He’s as much about the sound as he is about the image.” But as much as Bardo is a sensual immersion — and a long dance scene at a soon-to-be-demolished club called The California is pretty much the definition of a sensual immersion — it is also a personal one. Iñárritu has spoken about how he identifies with his film’s main character, Silverio Gama (Giménez Cacho): Gama is a journalist returning to Mexico after years abroad, similar to how Iñárritu found international success by making films outside of Mexico made “Birdman” and “The Revenant”.
During the casting, Giménez Cacho said, “Alejandro and I drank a lot of mezcal for four or five hours. He wanted me to know about his life because this film is about his life so much. What you see in this film is my life. Of all the characters I’ve played, she’s the closest to my life. This is a unique journey – 26 weeks of shooting. Of course, the pandemic was in the middle, so we had to stop twice. And because of the pandemic, I was also isolated – I wasn’t living at home with my family, which was great.”
For newcomer Lamadrid, the film also mirrored her life. “My character is Mexican, but she grew up far from LA her whole life,” she said. “I feel a lot like the character because I had only been living in Mexico for a year at the time. I’m Mexican but have lived in Dubai since I was a child.”
Lamadrid believes that truth comes in many forms. “I think there’s truth in ‘Star Wars.’ There is truth in Marvel. And there’s truth in smaller, personal films like this one.
For the production designer Caballero, “this concept of being out of place, of being out of place” was important to him. No, he doesn’t belong in Mexico. And that is then reflected in the stage design: there is a dwelling in the desert, in a moment there is water everywhere. The sets needed to convey Silverio’s complexity, contradictions and sophistication.”
“Bardo” is directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, who is working from a screenplay he co-wrote with Nicolás Giacobone. The main roles are played by Daniel Giménez-Cacho, Griselda Siciliani, Ximena Lamadrid, Luis Couturier, Íker Sánchez Solano and Luz Jiménez. The film was shot on film by Uncut Gems and The Lost City of Z cinematographer Darius Khondji.
https://www.indiewire.com/2022/11/consider-this-brunch-bardo-personal-for-cast-inarritu-1234783623/ Consider this brunch: ‘Bardo’ as personal and cast as it was for Inarritu