In a departure from its typical financial model, Netflix has agreed to screen Oscar-winning filmmaker Alejandro González Iárritu’s latest film, Bardo, in theaters in the United States and Mexico before releasing it online.
The three-hour epic ‘Bardo’ (False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths), which had its world debut on Thursday at the Venice Film Festival, follows the recollections and concerns of a Mexican journalist as he reflects on his life path.
It is Iárritu’s first film since 2015’s Oscar-winning drama, ‘The Revenant,’ for which he received the Academy Award for best director. Additionally, this is his debut film on Netflix.
Iárritu told reporters, “I am thankful to Netflix because they gave me entire support and freedom and allowed me to broadcast this picture in Mexico and the United States for seven weeks.”
“This is a first, which I greatly appreciate,” he said, adding that he believed his Spanish-language film would benefit from being viewed on a large screen.
Netflix announced that ‘Bardo’ would premiere in Mexico on October 27 and in select U.S. theatres on November 4, before its streaming debut on December 16.
Iárritu stated that he had no intention of going ‘against the current tide’ of internet film releases, saying that as a film student, he had viewed several cinematic masterpieces on video.
“A movie is a movie. It is merely a means,” he remarked, adding that current streaming was an “amazing technology” that provided people on-demand access to great works of art.
The premieres of ‘Blonde,’ ‘Athena,’ and ‘White Noise,’ which kicked off the festival on Wednesday, demonstrate Netflix’s significant commitment to film.
Daniel Giménez portrays a documentary filmmaker who briefly returns to Mexico before returning to his adopted home in the United States, where he is scheduled to accept a prestigious prize.
Iárritu currently resides in the United States, just like the protagonist, but he stated that the film was not autobiographical.
“It’s an emotional biography that’s not attempting to be factual,” said the director, who won three Oscars for directing, co-writing, and co-producing ‘Birdman’, which was also nominated for best picture.
As it addresses identity, history, migration, family, and loss, ‘Bardo’ frequently conflates dreams and reality.
“Alejandro told me, ‘Don’t conceive of this as a reasonable thing with developed characters and dramatic arcs… don’t study it, don’t read it,'” Giménez remarked, recalling the film’s unconventional preparation.