Watch all of Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu’s Films in Just 3 Minutes

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With nine nominations, Alejandro González Iñárritu may be the toast of this year’s Academy Awards, but he’s far from a newcomer to the world of international accolades. As one of Mexico’s so-called “Three Amigos”, some of you may remember when he kicked open the door for Mexican cinema (and brought the world Gael García Bernal) with 2000’s Amores Perros. From there, his status as an international art house mainstay was almost written in stone with 2003’s 21 Grams and 2006’s Babel — both penned by Iñárritu’s ex-creative soulmate, Guillermo Arriaga. But while the duo’s trademark intersecting storylines and gritty, handheld realist aesthetic became more and more predictable, many felt their spiritual/philosophical subject matter was growing increasingly bombastic and pretentious. When Iñárritu finally struck out on his own with 2010’s Biutiful, universal acclaim had given away to sharp divisions amongst the international critic class.

Whether or not you agree with their assessments, having Iñárritu’s career as a contextual backdrop to his latest feature, Birdman, opens up new layers of meaning to the story of an actor trying to shed his big budget, pop culture past by creating a work of some intellectual transcendence. Along the way, Birdman must face the gulf between being true to himself and proving his value to others (mostly, critics).

How much this can be seen as a reflection of Iñárritu’s own career trajectory is something only he will ever truly know, but in a radical shift from his previous work, Birdman’s plotline is overflowing with humor and energy as well as ideas, not to mention flying superheroes. Indeed, it seems the TV director turned arthouse auteur may in fact be making a statement about finding his voice again after getting a little caught up in the whole “intellectual transcendence” bit. Add to this the fact that Michael Keaton stars as a washed up actor haunted by his superhero past (which is basically the bio of Michael Keaton) and Birdman amounts to nothing short of a post-modern meta-headtrip.

To get an idea of how far Iñárritu has come in these 15 years — and how much has actually stayed the same — a video editor by the name of Steven Thomas has spliced the entirety of Iñárritu’s filmography into a 3 minute supercut. Of course, this is no replacement for actually seeing the films, but at least we can appreciate some of Iñárritu’s unique stylistic touches and get all nostalgic about his Oscar wins along the way.