When Alfonso Cuarón and Emmanuel Lubezki (known affectionately by his friends as Chivo) were teenagers growing up in Mexico City, they'd occasionally bump into each other at parties and cineclubs. They developed a mutual respect and later on — when they attended the same film school, the Centro Universitario de Estudios Cinematográficos (CUEC) — the two became close friends. As young kids who hung out and talked about the music they loved, what the future held for them — collaborating on a pair of TV shows, six feature films, and winning Oscars for the space odyssey Gravity — was completely unimaginable. This is especially the case since the pair didn't even finish their studies at CUEC. The details are fuzzy, but depending on who you ask the two were either "asked to leave" or left of their own accord after making the short Vengeance Is Mine. Back in 1983, their choice to shoot the film in English created a stir with their teachers and school's administration. As a result, Chivo and Cuarón never officially graduated.
The rebellious duo went on to shake up the industry with their creative pursuits both inside of Mexico and in Hollywood. It's a not-quite-rags, but definitely to-riches story that's worthy of a movie itself. Albeit not likely the kind of film that writer-director Cuarón would pen or that Chivo, the record holder of the most consecutive cinematography Oscars ever, would want to lens. But at a recent event during the Tribeca Film Festival, we got something even better. Alfonso Cuarón and Emmanuel Lubezki came together at the SVA Theater to chat about their friendship, their careers, and to recount hilarious anecdotes from their more than three decades of filmmaking collaborations. After their talk ended, we caught up with Cuarón in the greenroom to dive even more deeply into his thoughts on his personal and professional relationship with Chivo. Hit play on the video up top to see our interview with Alfonso and read the highlights from his Tribeca Talks conversation with Chivo on REMEZCLA.