The films of Alfonso Cuarón make for a fascinating compilation. A black-and-white period film about his childhood sits alongside a Harry Potter sequel; a London-set dystopia was followed by a one woman journey’s into outer space. All eight of the Mexican director’s feature films may feel like they each belong to a different sensibility but they, in fact, add up to a career-length’s examination of the power of empathy. Whether adapting Charles Dickens or JK Rowling, Cuarón has continually pushed himself to make images and themes echo and reverberate into one another. As his latest, Roma, garners more and more Best Film accolades, the Film Society of Lincoln Center is screening a career retrospective in New York City.
The five-day event will be showing every single one of the director’s films. That means you’ll be able to see Roma in 70mm (the first time New Yorkers will get a chance to see such a print); Gravity in 3D (as it was meant to be experienced, for maximum anxiety-inducing frights); and play Cuarón completist with some of his lesser known works.
That includes his debut feature Sólo con tu pareja. Released in 1991, and marking the first collaboration between the director and now three-time Oscar-winning cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, the film is a screwball sex comedy about a writer dealing with writers block the only way he knows how: by sleeping with every woman he can. Starring an oft-naked Daniel Giménez Cacho (Bad Education, Zama), the comedy takes a twist when one of his lovers—a nurse with access to his medical records—decides it’s payback time.
And while there’s nothing stopping you from seeking out the Clive Owen-starrer Children of Men or Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (arguably the best film of the series) on the big screen, make time to check out two of Cuarón’s other book-to-film adaptations: 1995’s A Little Princess and 1998’s Great Expectations, both of which were early brushes with Hollywood that demand to be revisited in light of his later work.
But perhaps the ticket you’ll want to be buying ASAP is the one for the screening of Cuarón’s other sultry Mexican-set film, Y tu mamá también. The breakout hit that all but introduced Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna to the world—as reckless, horny teenagers on a road trip with a slightly older woman in tow—will be shown alongside a pre-screening conversation with the director. Anyone eager to hear more about the making of that film or Cuarón’s eclectic career will surely want to have a front row seat at the Walter Reade Theater in New York’s Upper West Side neighborhood.
Complete Cuarón runs January 4-8, 2019.