Real accident inspired '21 Grams'

Jan. 19, 2004 at 4:09 PM
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NEW YORK, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- The man who wrote acclaimed films "21 Grams" and "Amores Perros" said they influenced by his own experience in a real-life car crash.

Guillermo Arriaga was nominated Monday for an Orange British Academy Film Award for his "21 Grams" screenplay. The tale of how three strangers' worlds collide after a tragic auto accident also earned BAFTA nods for actors Benicio Del Toro, Sean Penn and Naomi Watts.

Arriaga told reporters recently he was once a passenger in a car traveling in a mountainous region when the driver lost control of the car and it rolled down an embankment.

"I woke up with my head smashed against a rock," he recalled, adding that his nose had to be completely reconstructed after the crash. "It was a very traumatic experience for me. ... I realized that car accidents look like a vengeance of nature because we try to be the great divine (being). It's like car accidents are technology against (nature)."

Car accidents are pivotal scenes in "21 Grams," "Amores Perros" and "Upon Open Sky," the third part of Arriaga's auto accident trilogy, which he hopes to some day film himself. The other two films were helmed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.

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