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Which film-makers influenced you, and in which cinematic tradition would you place your film? Guillermo and I were very taken with the collaboration between Paul Auster and Wayne Wang in Smoke and Blue in the Face. In Amores perros we had a similar starting point to the latter: characters from different walks of life whom chance brings together. This is the only conscious influence I can think of. I suppose subconsciously many other film-makers may have influenced me; I have very eclectic taste. The directors who have surprised me most in recent years are Lars von Trier and Wong Kar-Wai, who have inspired me by experi-

menting formally and inventing new ways of narrative. I don't think Amores perros belongs to any particular cinematic trend. In general it could be placed in the category of 'nonwestern cinema' - certainly it has nothing to do with either Hollywood or what's being made in Europe. I think western cinema has been in a state of crisis over the last 10 years. It's been unable to find a way of renewing itself in terms of structure, form and narrative. It's stagnated. http://old.bfi.org.uk/sightandsound/ feature/78

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