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Additional resources for Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
In this section, we look closely at the strategies employed to represent chronological and filmic time in the first two films: the importance of simultaneity in Amores perros and the apparent temporal confusion in 21 Grams. These films show that The Films of Alejandro González Iñárritu | 23 time affects the characters and how spectators make sense of the stories in crucial ways and convey particular approaches to contemporary cultural phenomena, while at the same time zeroing in on Iñárritu’s main fascination: the beauty of interpersonal relationships, the wonders of physical contact between human beings, and the power and fragility of human happiness.
This fortuitous and apparently irrelevant event immediately invokes the invisible presence of Octavio and reminds us that, even if his episode is over, his story is still Figure 4. Enhancing simultaneity: El Chivo crosses paths with Ramiro and Susana in Amores perros. The Films of Alejandro González Iñárritu | 31 very much alive. At this moment, in a different part of the city, Octavio is probably ransacking Susana’s bedroom in search of the money he won with the dogfights. Through this inconsequential encounter, the film reactivates the internal point of view on Octavio’s story and, at the same time, puts it into perspective within an urban context through el Chivo’s eyes.
This interest in random connections can be traced back to an early example, Grand Hotel, with its crisscrossing of an ensemble of life-weary characters in the lobby and the corridors of its art-deco hotel. Yet, in the last decade of the twentieth century, filmic representations of contingency and the circuitous nature of human interaction acquired special relevance as a series of social and scientific discourses started to kindle the collective imagination in characteristic and unprecedented ways.