April 30, 2014 5:15 AM EDT

Deciding to refrain from toasting his mother because “my Oedipus is rampant” and he still needs his eyes in order to direct movies, Alfonso Cuarón turned his praise to generations yet to come as he raised his glass at the TIME 100 Gala in New York Tuesday evening.

“Every single real inspiration I have in life has been one that has not betrayed the purity and the innocence of the 15-year-old that I once was,” he said “The one who dared to believe that the impossible can happen.”

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