The three amigos

The transnational filmmaking of Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro González Iñárritu, and Alfonso Cuarón

By Deborah Shaw

The three amigos


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9759-1
  • Pages: 284
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £17.99
  • Published Date: March 2015
  • BIC Category: Film and Media, Film production: technical & background skills, Individual film directors, film-makers, PERFORMING ARTS / Individual Director, PERFORMING ARTS / Film & Video / Direction & Production, Spain, The arts / Individual film directors, film-makers
  • Series: Spanish and Latin-American Filmmakers


Now available in paperback, this is the first academic book dedicated to the filmmaking of the three-best known Mexican-born directors, Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro González Iñárritu and Alfonso Cuarón.

Deborah Shaw examines the career trajectories of the directors and presents a detailed analysis of their most significant films with a focus on both the texts and the production contexts in which they were made. These include studies on del Toro's Cronos/Chronos, El laberinto del fauno/Pan's Labyrinth, and Hellboy II: The Golden Army; Iñárritu's Amores Perros, 21 Grams and Babel; and Cuarón's Sólo con tu pareja/Love in the Time of Hysteria, Y tu mamá también, and Children of Men.

The Three Amigos will be of interest to all those who study Hispanic and Spanish cinema in particular, and world and contemporary cinema in general.


Shaw concisely and efficiently utilizes a number of theoretical fields in her discussion, including careful scrutiny of the marketing, profits and the attendant creative freedoms and constraints these suppose, in addition to carrying out close textual analysis of key stylistic and technical characteristics of the films. This is an important book that convincingly argues that these three amigos, who are the most successful filmmakers of Mexican origin in financial and international terms, are exemplars of transnational filmmaking and demonstrates the multiple ways in which their 'films have caused critics to rethink classificatory borders' (225).


Guillermo del Toro: the Alchemist
1. Cronos: Introducing Guillermo del Toro
2. Generating an Authorial Presence with Hellboy II: The Golden Army
3. El Laberinto del Fauno: Breaking Through the Barriers of Filmmaking
Alejandro González Iñárritu: Independent Filmmaker
4. Change to Crashing into the International Film Market with Amores Perros
5. 21 Grams: An American Independent Film made by Mexicans
6. Babel and the Global Hollywood Gaze
Alfonso Cuarón: A Study of Auteurism in Flux
7.1 Sólo Con tu Pareja: Bringing the Middle Classes Back to Mexican Cinemas
7.2 Less than Great Expectations: Working within the Hollywood System
8. Cuarón Finds his Own Path: Y Tu Mamá También
9. Children of Men: the Limits of Radicalism
Appendix: Discussion thread on about del Toro and Mignola and the Hellboy films.


Deborah Shaw is Reader in Film Studies at the University of Portsmouth

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