Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 22nd 2015 Contents Director Alejandro Inarritu says
the only way to communicate the
struggle between a celebrity and
his ego in Birdman was through
long, uninterrupted shots that move
at the pace of life.
Those sweeping takes---the subject
of much discussion this Oscar sea-
son---are intended to mimic the way
people see the world, he says: "We
open our eyes and go with a
Steadicam all day, and we can t
"When we get up, there are no
edits," the filmmaker said. "The only
time our perspective is edited or cut
is when we tell stories---fiction---or
experience a memory from our lives.
But in reality, our lives are---absolute-
ly, all the time---only linear. They
move in only one direction."
Inarritu felt he had to capture that
sense of movement and bring view-
ers inside the characters perspectives
to express such a personal, internal
notion as ego. His creative story-
telling and aesthetic, where the
whole film appears to be one con-
tinuous shot with no edits, led to
nine Academy Awards nominations
last Thursday, including best director
and best picture---a heady experience
for even the most in-check ego.
Birdman stars best actor con-
tender Michael Keaton as Rig-
gan Thompson, a once-
popular action star
trying to prove his
Emma Stone is
Norton his cocky
Both Stone and
Norton earned supporting actor nods
for their roles.
Emmanuel Lubezki, nominated
for his thrilling cinematography, car-
ries viewers through the action: up
stairs, down hallways and through
windows. He called the photography
"an experiment that thankfully
turned out well."
So how d they do it? Inarritu won t
say exactly. "I would prefer to have
the rabbit in the hat," he said, but
added the approach inspired the
actors and made him "more
honest" as a filmmaker.
What we do know is those fluid,
single-camera shots required pacing
and tone---elements that would typ-
ically be manipulated in post-pro-
duction---to be thoroughly addressed
ahead of time. Instead of multiple
takes, there were multiple rehearsals.
"I needed a meticulous
exploration of every
word, every step, every
look of actors to
define where that
camera will be
and where it will
(the cast) together with much more
time to explore dramatic objectives
and to understand what the char-
acters wanted, needed and how they
will get it."
The long rehearsal period allowed
the actors to "own" their characters
and their words, he said. Once
shooting began, it was like "an end-
less spaghetti that cannot be cut."
The 51-year-old Mexico-born
director s past credits include more
serious-toned fare such as 21 Grams,
Amores Perros and the Oscar-nom-
inated Babel, but he was moved to
explore the human condition of ego
through a comedic lens. Inarritu tries
to resist allowing industry recogni-
tion to make him feel like a winner
or loser, but is grateful for the sup-
port and hopes it brings more view-
ers to Birdman.
"The moment you present some-
thing and create catharsis in the peo-
ple, you have done something that
has an effect emotionally, and that s
artistic already, no matter if the peo-
ple consider it good or not," (AP)
Inarritu's Birdman explores ego, art on and off-screen
Thursday, January 22, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
When Gabriela Isler wakes up on Sunday, it will
mark the 441st and final time that she will begin
a day while wearing the title of Miss Universe.
Then, as she put it, she becomes "just Gabby"
Isler s reign is in its final days, with the next woman
to wear the crown to be selected on January 25 in
Miami. The classic tiara---the one that slipped off
her head on the night she was crowned---soon will
be gently placed atop someone else and after touring
the world almost nonstop, Isler is ready to see what
the next chapter brings.
"Before all this, I was just a simple girl, no makeup,
no hair, no heels, just a normal girl finishing my edu-
cation," Isler said in an interview with The Associated
"This just changed my life. This made me feel
confidently beautiful...Now I m happy with myself
every day. I learned to be happy. I grew up in every
way, as a daughter, as a sister, as a girlfriend, as a
friend. It transformed my life."
The 5-foot-10 Venezuelan carries her country s
flag with intense pride, even as her nation continues
to battle over economy and politics. Being an example
for women in her country was a top priority during
her time as Miss Universe, and once it ends Isler
plans to step up her efforts by combating a massive
problem with teen pregnancy in her homeland.
"During my reign, I discovered myself," Isler
said. "I want to continue doing a lot of things
related to humanitarian efforts, so one of my
new chapters will be maybe becoming a
spokesperson for different organisations, but
my first one is my baby---starting my own
foundation in Venezuela that can help create
awareness and bring education and fam-
ily values to young girls and young
els of inflation
and shortages of
basic goods are part of
the norm in Venezuela,
where beauty pageants are big
business and a source of nation-
"With all that s happening in Venezuela, to have
a chance to be a good-news person for my country
I feel so satisfied," Isler said. "I did as much as I
can---not just to represent the Miss Universe organ-
isation but also my country."
There is symmetry to her reign ending South Flori-
da, which has a massive Latin population and is the
place that Isler says will be her second home.
The Miss Universe pageant itself will be at Florida
International University in Miami, but many of the
preliminary events leading up to the big night will
be in the nearby suburb of Doral, Florida---which has
an enormous Venezuelan population.
"I was dreaming to give my crown in Venezuela,"
Isler said. "But to have this opportunity to end this
reign and close a chapter in my life around the
Venezuelan community, this Latin environment, this
Latin energy, I couldn t ask for a better place."
When asked if one day stood out among all others
during her reign, Isler didn t hesitate. She quickly
chose September 3, the day she went to the Vatican,
heard Pope Francis speak about the role of women
in the church and received a blessing from the pon-
"I was not able to sleep the day before because
I was so excited," Isler said. "I couldn t believe it was
real. I was like, Really, I m going to meet the Pope?
I went to the Vatican and I couldn t stop crying and
I could cry again. It was a dream...I was in tears. I
didn t know I was awake...That day I realised,
this was real."
Isler expects to shed tears on pageant night,
not because her time as Miss Universe will be
over but out of both fear and excitement for
whatever will happen next.
"I can t wait to wake up and just enjoy
the day," Isler said. "Have a breakfast in
bed and just have the opportunity to
have the first offi-
cial day where I can
make my own deci-
sions and start my
She won t sit idle for long.
Her first meeting is already
scheduled---for January 26. (AP)
Miss Universe reflects
as her reign winds down
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