|I apologize for the craptastic photo taken on my craptastic phone but he moves so much as he talks that it's hard to capture a good still shot of the man with my crappy camera phone|
It's no secret that my family and I are huge Guillermo del Toro fans. We look forward to seeing him (with what seems like lately to be every year except this one) at San Diego Comic Con (and WonderCon.) We've seen all of his movies. We've hunted down films that he's recommended (eg Arcane Sorcerer). I absolutely adore the man and love listening to him talk. He appreciates his fans as he's extremely passionate about what he does and his love of fantasy, horror, sci-fi and the surreal shows.
Yesterday for David's birthday and we got tickets to see a free L.A. Times Hero Complex screening of Pacific Rim, my number one must see movie this year. I've been waiting for it to come out since it was announced. The thought of seeing giant robots (jaegers) battle giant monsters (kaiju) made the kid in me come out. We arrived in Long Beach a little after three and made our way to the theatre. They wouldn't let us line up until five so we went off in search of dinner within a few steps from the venue. We snarfed down our food and headed back out to an already formed line of fifty people. We usually see their screenings in Burbank and I appreciated how the Long Beach venue handled it by coming out and repeatedly telling folks what was going on. Classy.
When we were told we could keep our cell phones as soon as we got our bands and vouchers for popcorn and soda, I squealed! Photos! Yay! I was also able to take videos when I realized that my craptastic phone camera wasn't the best thing, I quickly switched to video. I hope to post the videos soon.
7:30 couldn't come fast enough. Seeing Pacific Rim was the equivalent of being an 8 year old with her nose pressed against the TV screen watching "Creature Double Feature" on Channel 56. I loved every frigging minute of it (even when the camera moved too fast. My one big complaint about the movie: slow down and let us relish the world you invited us into.) Del Toro told us afterwards that every frame, every shot was approved by him and that he spent a helluva lot of time and money on each shot. I wish that chaos cinema wasn't the norm these days. While I really enjoyed the film and tried hard to relish the moment, it was often hard to do when everything is moving so goddamn fast that you can't see what's even happening (thanks Michael Bay for fucking up film!) I still would recommend the movie. How can you not love giant robots battling giant monsters?! The kid in me still gets excited just thinking about it! Any film dedicated to Ray Harryhausen and Ishiro Honda will be worth watching! (Stay through the credits!)
The Q and A was fun (I love that Del Toro appreciates his fans as he is a nerd boy himself.) I'll try to get the videos I took uploaded when I can. I love what he says about his films that he wants strong female characters because he wants his daughters to realize that they "don't have to fall in love with every fucker they see." The women in his films hold their own against the men and I love him for that. He also spoke about how there are no borders in his films. As a Mexican his passport is always scrutinized when he crosses back into the States. He spoke about how "when you look down from space, there are no borders. You only see Earth. Every line we see on a map is manmade." Del Toro told the moderator that instead of five questions, he'd "take ten and then because I'm an asshole, I have to get the hell out of there and get some sleep." Hardly the words of an asshole. He looked every fan who asked him a question in the eye even as they were walking away from the microphone back to their seat.
The kicker? He scooted out of there but so did we. All my days of being a fan girl and stalking musicians paid off. As we exited the theater, I was looking left and right. I saw a small group of people and a big black SUV. I ran like hell seeing del Toro in the passenger seat about to close the door. A bodyguard put his arm out to block me. I had the Crimson Typhoon action figure in my hand (we had just received all three figures in the mail just before we left for the screening and just in time for David's birthday.) I yelled, "Guillermo! It's my husband's birthday will you please sign this?" He said, "Sure, sweetheart." and beckoned me over. I asked if his Bleak House book was coming out and he said October (been waiting three damn years for it. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE a tour of bleak house (especially since I never made it to the Ackermansion always having to work the day it was open to the public) if any of my friends have connections.... ;) ) Del Toro looked at the action figure and said, "This is really cool. Isn't it?" I thanked him immensely and walked over to David with a big grin on my face. Guillermo Del Toro was just as he appears to be onstage and in interviews: a true gentleman. It was a helluva night!
Thanks to LA Times Hero Complex for another great evening!
David has two photo quotes from Del Toro here and here.
If you haven't seen it, there's a GREAT book out called Pacific Rim: Man, Machines and Monsters. There's a lot of pre-production stuff in there including Del Toro's sketches (YUM. I would love, love, love a book of his journals.)