"I never expected to be here," Inarritu said, accepting the award. He continued, much to the horror of his son in the audience, "When you go to bed with your wife to make love you don't think let's go make the perfect kids."
With its previous wins at the Producers Guild and Screen Actors Guild Awards, "Birdman" now becomes the prohibitive favorite to win the Oscar for best picture.
"The more I make films, the less I know," Inarritu said, accepting his medallion. "And the less I know, the more I like them."
Backstage, he revealed he was wearing a shirt that once belonged to author Raymond Carver, whose short story, "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love," figures prominently in the movie. And his tie came from legendary movie director Billy Wilder.
"I'm just a humble guy wearing those masters and that's beautiful," Inarritu said.
On the television side, women swept the evening. Jill Soloway, who just received her DGA card three weeks ago, won the comedy series directing honors for Amazon Prime's "Transparent."
"Thank you DGA for this great welcome gift," Soloway said, later saluting the evening's host, Jane Lynch, for bringing her to the DGA Awards years ago. "Women who help other women ... we just pull each other up," Soloway said.
Each of the five feature film nominees received medallions presented by friends and colleagues. Michael Mann presented Inarritu.
"I'm so glad you nominated him," Murray said, "because it means I no longer have to defend him." Then, after a gun fight clip from "Grand Budapest Hotel" showed, Murray returned, deadpanning: "He's one of the greatest action directors we've got."
Eastwood received a standing ovation when he accepted his medallion.
"I love doing movies … even when they paid off my pension too early," said Eastwood, who has been a DGA member for 46 years. "I thought they were trying to tell me something."