Alejandro González Iñárritu was born in Mexico City on August 15, 1963 to Hector González Gama and Luz María Iñárritu. Though raised in middle class neighborhood in downtown Mexico City their family was shaken when his successful father, a banker, declared bankruptcy, forcing them into lesser circumstances. His father, however, reinvented himself by becoming a fruit and
Alejandro González Iñárritu
Alejandro González Iñárritu was born in Mexico City on August 15, 1963 to Hector González Gama and Luz María Iñárritu. Though raised in middle class neighborhood in downtown Mexico City their family was shaken when his successful father, a banker, declared bankruptcy, forcing them into lesser circumstances. His father, however, reinvented himself by becoming a fruit and vegetable vendor to restaurants which provided the family with stability and a steady income. Some favorite film memories for the future director included Prietenii (1971) (aka "Friends"), Jesus Christ Superstar (1973) and 'Milos Forman''s Hair (1979). His literary influences included many of the Latin novelists such as 'Julio Cortázar (I)' and 'Jorge Luis Borges', enjoying the non-linear narrative and the magic realism sometimes used.
In 1984, while studying communications at Universidad Iberoamericana, Iñárritu became a radio host at a rock-and-roll station, WFM, putting on a three-hour talk show which included sketches and commentary, not only of music, but of politics and pop culture as well. In 1988 he became the director of the station.
Claiming he has always been a frustrated musician, with a better ear than an eye, he simultaneously composed soundtracks for six Mexican feature films, including Garra de tigre (1989).
But the dramatic urge persisted and he studied theater for three years including time with the Polish film director Ludwik Margules.
In the nineties he created the production company Zeta Films with Raul Olvera. This involved Iñárritu in even more creative aspects of entertainment, including writing, editing, and directing and he created 30, 60 and 90-second spots for TV, as well as TV pilots. Iñárritu wrote, produced and directed a half-length feature in 1995, Detrás del dinero, which follows the fate of a one hundred dollar bill, that aired on national TV.
He met 'Guillermo Arriaga (I)' in 1996 and the collaborated to weave together several disparate story lines into the film, Amores perros (2000). It was a critical and commercial success, introduced 'Gael García Bernal' to the world and, along with the arrival of the works of 'Guillermo del Toro' and 'Alfonso Cuarón', created a Renaissance in Mexican film, an industry that had been proclaimed dead by some, just a few years earlier.
Iñárritu and Arriaga worked together twice more. First on 21 Grams (2003) (which was described as the weight lost upon death, with the implication that it's the weight of the soul) starring 'Melissa Leo (I)', 'Benicio Del Toro', 'Naomi Watts' and 'Sean Penn (I)'. Del Toro and Watts received Academy Award nominations for their performances.
Their next project was the international film, Babel (2006), comprising four stories set in Morocco, Mexico, the United States, and Japan, in four different time frames. The film starred 'Brad Pitt' and 'Cate Blanchett' and, much like Amores Perros, introduced some new actors such as 'Adriana Barraza' and 'Rinko Kikuchi' to audiences. Babel earned Iñárritu the Best Director Prize (Prix de la mise en scène) at the 2006 Cannes film festival, won Best Motion Picture: Drama at the Golden Gloves, and received seven nominations at the 79th annual Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director and winning for Best Original Score (which went to composer 'Gustavo Santaolalla').
The creation of Babel, a film about the need for reconciliation and communication, ironically lead to the dissolution of the collaboration between Ariagga and Iñárritu. Even before Cannes Arriaga had started a personal campaign stating that screenwriters and directors should share credit as the auteur in the film industry. So bad was the blood between the two that Arriaga was dis-invited to the Cannes 2006 premiere of the film. Almost a year later, as the accolades continued to stack up and authorship continued to be contested, a letter was published in February 2007 in a Mexican magazine called Chilango. It was signed by Iñárritu, actors Gael Garcia Bernal and Adriana Barraza, and compose Santaolalla, wherein the signatory parties criticized Arriaga for having an "unjustified obsession with claiming credit for the entire film," and not recognizing that "filmmaking is an art of profound collaboration."
Iñárritu himself has added to the efforts of several compilations and multi-segment/multi-themed efforts including: . creating the fifth short (Powder Keg (2001)) in the BMW The Hire series along with 'Ang Lee', 'Kar Wai Wong', 'Guy Ritchie' and 'John Frankenheimer'. . directing a segment of the independent feature 11'09''01 - September 11 (2002), a collective movie about the influence of the events of 9-11 on the world, along with 'Wim Wenders', 'Ken Loach', 'Mira Nair', 'Amos Gitai' and 'Sean Penn (I)'. His short included the phone calls of people from the collapsing World Trade Center buildings. . directing the short film, ANNA, part of the 60th anniversary of the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, inside Chacun son cinéma ou Ce petit coup au coeur quand la lumière s'éteint et que le film commence (2007), a series of shorts by 33 world-renown film directors such as Roman Polanski, Abbas Kiarostami, the Coen brothers, Theo Angelopoulos, David Cronenberg, the Dardenne brothers, Manoel de Oliveria, Hou Hsiao Hsien, Aki Kaurismaki, Takeshi Kitano, David Lynch, Nanni Moretti, Gus Van Sant, Lars Von Trier, Wim Wenders, and Zhang Yimou. . directing Write the Future, a football-themed commercial for Nike ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which featured famous footballers Didier Drogba, Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott, Franck Ribéry, Ronaldinho, Cristiano Ronaldo, Fabio Cannavaro, Andrés Iniesta, Gerard Piqué, Cesc Fàbregas, Landon Donovan, Tim Howard, tennis player Roger Federer, basketball player Kobe Bryant, the famous cartoon character Homer Simpson, and long-time González Iñárritu collaborator Gael García Bernal, among several others.
In 2008, he produced the feature film Rudo y Cursi (2008), a comedy-drama directed by 'Carlos Cuarón' (brother of the director Alfonso Cuarón) in which Gael García Bernal and 'Diego Luna (I)' play brothers who are professional soccer players and fierce, though loving, rivals. The film was a commercial success in Mexico.
In 2010 Iñárritu's film Biutiful (2010) starring 'Javier Bardem' (qvL, won Bardem the award for Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival, which also started an avalanche of other nominations throughout the year including a Goya win and an Academy Best Actor nod. Biutiful was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year as well.
He now lives in Los Angeles with his wife María Eladia Hagerman de González and their two children María Eladia and Eliseo