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My Creative Hero: Alejandro González Iñárritu


Stink Films' director Eliot Rausch shares the influence of his friend and hero, Alejandro Iñárritu

My Creative Hero: Alejandro González Iñárritu

A native Angeleno, Eliot began his career as editor and documentarian, highlighting the human experiences of overlooked and misunderstood antiheroes. After winning the first Vimeo Film Festival, Time Magazine honoured his film, 'Last Minutes with Oden', as one of the most important moments of the year. Eliot has carried his intellectual curiosity and visual acumen into collaborations with Guinness, Apple, Samsung, Nike, Volvo, LA28, The Red Cross, and alike. His work has been honoured at Cannes Lion and Clio Festival. Find Your Understanding,” a film created for Expedia, was awarded 'Most Tear-Jerking Viral Ad of the Year' by Ad Age and one of TED’s 10 Best Ads of the Year. Alongside Alejandro González Iñárritu, Eliot directed 'A World Unseen,' a complimentary piece to the Oscar Best Picture winner ‘The Revenant.

LBB> Who would you say is your creative hero? 

Eliot> The illustrious Alejandro González Iñárritu. 

LBB> How long has he been important to you and what are your first memories of meeting him or coming across his work?

Eliot> I was 19 years old chopping up director reels for an agency producer in the tape vault of Ogilvy and Mather when a single 3/4 inch tape dub which included Alejandro’s BMW commercial flipped my entire world on its head. The emotional intensity of that short film had me in tears. I didn’t meet him for another ten years when my phone rang and to my surprise it was Alejandro. He had seen my work, specifically, a short film I did about a working class Pool Guy, and was compelled to reach out to share some kind words.

LBB> If it’s someone you personally know, how did you get to know him and how has your relationship evolved over the years? If you don’t know him, how did you go about finding to learn more about him and his work?

Eliot> I understood the questions Alejandro was asking in his early films; 21 grams, Amores Perros, Babel. I felt seen by the emotional intensity and vulnerability of his characters. His films gave me permission to examine my own life the same way and it was his worldview as an artist that gave me the perspective I would take on as a documentarian. We began to speak over the phone at first, a little email banter thereafter, and then finally he pulled me in to create a feature documentary that coincided his launch for the Revenant. It was transcendent to say the least -- to be so close to a hero; documenting, dialoguing, understanding his process from start to finish. 

LBB> Why is he such an inspiration to you? 

Eliot> While the work together may have been transactional, Alejandro keeps in touch as a peer; often offering a friendly ear, holding open the questions I continue to ask, and challenging me to deeper existential and spiritual truths in my own work. 

LBB> How does he influence you in your approach to your creative work? 

Eliot> Alejandro’s work is veracious, emotionally intense, and unapologetic. It is the aim of my lifetime to be that naked and unafraid with my own creative expression. 

LBB> What piece or pieces of his work do you keep coming back to and why?

Eliot> Biutiful, it is a heavy and morose film, but it is also one of the most aesthetically exquisite and personal films of Alejandro’s. Every time I watch Biutiful I am reminded of the inscrutable nature of providence and the purifying and healing nature of the many salutary experiences I have had in my own life. 

Image credit: DGA


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Stink Films, Tue, 31 Jan 2023 10:39:33 GMT