Yes, we all love Gael García Bernal. Few contemporary actors have been able to leverage their talent into a career of such unwavering quality, and head up one of Latin America’s most important production companies along the way. To boot, he’s a tireless champion of diverse social causes and has used his brand to support acts of cinematic activism like the upcoming omnibus feature El aula vacía (The Empty Classroom), or his recent contribution to the Sundance Institute’s Short Film Challenge. Plus, those eyes…
But in addition to being an actor-producer-activist-heartthrob, there’s one hyphen that generally gets played down in the story of Gael: that of director. Of course, we all know he’s made a few short films over the years, but we’ve adopted a sort of collective amnesia with regards his 2007 directorial debut, Déficit. Mostly because it wasn’t that good. Yet at the risk of becoming a Mexican James Franco, Remezcla’s boyfriend has announced that he will be taking another crack at feature directing with his upcoming project, Chicuarotes.
Continuing with themes of class anxiety that seem to preoccupy both García Bernal and his BFF Diego Luna, Chicuarotes will follow a group of Mexican teens living near the Lago de Xochimilco in Mexico City who are hell-bent on improving their economic station. Other than this sketchy synopsis, production details are scarce, but Bernal did suggest that shooting would begin next year.
When making the announcement at the Doha Film Institute’s recent Qumra event, Bernal had the humility to admit that Déficit was a failed experiment, but insisted that his failure nevertheless fueled a “strong sense of vengeance.” We can only assume this vengeance is not of the Kill Bill sort, but rather a desire to get back in the saddle and give it another go. The five short films he’s shot in the meantime have undoubtedly given Gael García Bernal, the Director an increased sense of confidence behind the camera, but we’ll have to wait until Chicuarotes hits the big screen to know for sure if this is truly his calling.
What is for sure is that directing ain’t easy. And as Quentin Tarantino himself has taught us with his thirty acting credits: sometimes directors should just stick to directing, and actors to acting. Either way, we’re rootin’ for you Gael.