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The Mexico-U.S. Border Through the Lens of a Screenwriter

Guillermo Arriaga officially arrived on the international cinema scene in 2000 with the release of "Amores Perros." The Mexico City native was working in television and had already made a name for himself as a novelist and college professor when his trilogy of film collaborations with director Alejandro González Iñárritu debuted to critical acclaim. Arriaga"s literary roots, boldly complex narrative structures, and willingness to explore issues and ideas that tap into our deepest fears helped raise the bar for Hollywood films.

"Amores Perros" catapulted Arriaga and Iñárritu to international success with an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film and established a working relationship between the writer and director that would play out for two more feature films: "21 Grams" (2004) and "Babel" (2006). "Babel" received seven Golden Globe nominations, including Best Motion Picture and Best Screenplay, and was nominated for several Academy Awards.

Arriaga"s next work was the screenplay for Tommy Lee Jones" "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada" (2005), a story of justice and redemption set in the dusty, lawless deserts along the U.S.-Mexico border. The script was honored with the Best Screenplay Award at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2007, the film adaptation of his book "El Búfalo de la Noche" (The Night Buffalo), directed by Jorge Hernández Aldana, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

In 2008, Arriaga added film director to his accomplishments with "The Burning Plain," which premiered at the Venice and Toronto film festivals.

Speaker Erika de la Garza

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Thu, Nov. 12, 2009
3 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
(GMT-0500) America/Chicago


Rice University's Baker Institute