writing time at sundance

. . . what the editors at BadTV would like to know about Mr. Arriaga (writer of Babel and Amores Perroes).

1. How many students are there in film schools in Mexico? Is there a production culture within Mexico,
or is it a case of the young and talented kids going abroad to study elsewhere and then returning to Mexico
to make a film? For instance, the movie Japon.

2. How much is the Mexican cinema influenced by the Casa de Cultura. Any visitor to Mexico is impressed by
the pride in local artists in even the smallest town, and could it be that movies come from this sort of
encouragement of all visual arts?

3. Duck Season, Japon, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Amores Perroes. These movies reflect a national identity.
When is it likely that movies will be more regional? That a movie comes from Oaxaca or Chiapas, or even
more distinctly, from the Istmo, or still more narrowly, from the muxes in Juchitan?

4. If Mr. Arriaga had to rewrite a classic American movie from fifty years ago, which would he choose to
rewrite and why?

5. Does Mr. Arriaga have fifty screenplays under his bed, or is he writing them one at a time? What is the
ideal situation in which to write? And when do the best ideas pop into his head?

6. What cinema does Mr. Arriaga find himself attracted to when he goes to the video store? Belgian, Japanese,
the new Southeast Asian, Taiwan, Australian?

7. The architect Frank Gehry (who built the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao) was planning on being an airplane
pilot when he was 23 years old. What did Mr. Arriaga think he would do as an adult career when he was 17?
And when he was 23?

8. Why are American movies (estadounidenses y mexicano) so violent?

9. Why hasn't somebody made a movie about Octavio Paz in India?

10. Has Mr. Arriaga been to Zipolite?

11. Mr. Arriaga played a small role in the movie The Three Burials of Melquies Estrada. If he had a role to
play in a small budget movie, would he rather be the impotent lover or the murderer suffering from loss of

12. Why did I laugh when Barry Pepper got bitten by a snake in the cave?