The film which announced the rebirth of Mexican cinema in 2000, Amores Perros was adored not just by cinephiles but also those who “don’t do subtitles”. The reasons are many and continue to make it a film worth seeing, or seeing again. Shot on film which has been deliberately processed in the “wrong” chemical to produce distorted colours and bleached out highlights, it’s got a look which suddenly was everywhere – from hip adverts to films by old-schoolers such as Steven Spielberg (see 2005’s terrorist thriller Munich, for example). The multi-stranded plot which zips backwards and forwards from a pivotal moment – in this case a car crash – is now a Hollywood default for any film which doesn’t have enough plot or character. Not something you could accuse Amores Perros of. It’s about dogs – fighting dogs – hitmen, crazy love, Latin excess, fertile women, warring brothers, men with fussily trimmed beards. In fact debut director Alejandro González Iñárritu plunders Brazilian soap opera and pumps the cliches (a nod to Tarantino here) to pulp fiction proportions. And let’s not forget that the movie delivered to the world its first big Hispanic star of the new millennium – Gael Garcia Bernal.
© Steve Morrissey 2006