How Carlos Reygadas Plans for the Unexpected

Inside Criterion / Sneak Peeks — Mar 27, 2019


From the beginning of his career, Mexican filmmaker Carlos Reygadas has strived to find a balance between careful planning and the spontaneity of the moment. For our edition of his feature debut, Japón, an existential tale that follows the spiritual awakening of a man who travels to an isolated village to commit suicide, the director shared with us some of the storyboards he used to guide the project. These sketches, collected and annotated in the booklet of our edition, show just how meticulously he maps out his visuals and the camera movements that bring them to life. But as Reygadas notes in a new conversation with filmmaker Amat Escalante, also featured in our release, what might seem like a rigid process actually frees him to embrace the beauty of the natural world in all its unpredictability. Watch the above clip from the interview to see comparisons of Reygadas’s storyboards and the final results on-screen, and to hear him talk about his intimate connection to the locations he chose for the film.