14.03.2023 / 01:31
How Robert Rodriguez Transformed His SXSW Premiere on Oscars Night Into a Homegrown Celebration of Cinema (EXCLUSIVE)
Robert Rodriguez didn’t want to screen his new movie for the first time on the same night as the Oscars. It just worked out that way. It all started when, in mid-February, the 54-year-old filmmaker realized he was rapidly approaching the 30th anniversary of the theatrical release of his first feature film, the neo-Western “El Mariachi.” “It fucking snuck up on me,” Rodriguez tells Variety on Sunday afternoon, sitting on a hotel rooftop bar overlooking the ever-changing Austin skyline. Rodriguez famously shot “El Mariachi” on a $7,000 budget, and its success helped to catalyze the independent film revolution of the 1990s and reinforce Rodriguez’s conviction to continue his DIY, homegrown approach to filmmaking. Almost all of Rodriguez’s films have been made at least in part out of his Austin-based Troublemaker Studios, from his R-rated action films like 1998’s “The Faculty,” 2005’s “Sin City” and 2010’s “Machete” to his family movies franchises “Spy Kids” and “Sharkboy and Lavagirl.” Even 2019’s “Alita: Battle Angel,” the James Cameron-produced action epic with visual effects work by Weta Digital, was shot at Troublemaker.