David and I went to the Academy last night to see Guillermo del Toro. It was the first in a series of events presented by The Getty in collaboration of the new Academy Museum. We've been saying for years that while we love seeing films (especially in 35mm), we really enjoy seeing the creators talk about their work and process. I am hoping that this is only the beginning of more events like these.
Guillermo del Toro is one of my most favorite artists. He creates entire worlds that are unlike anything you've ever seen or dreamt of and then welcomes you in. Last night he spoke of his Grandmother who would buy him horror comics one minute and then cry when he'd draw monsters. Then they'd read the Bible together and he laughed and said how the Bible was more graphic than the comics he was reading. He talked about Bleak House and even showed photos of the house and his stacks (and stacks) of books. It amused me greatly to see that he has two houses devoted to his collection and (just like the rest of us) he's running out of room.
One of the (many) things that he said last night was that you can't just focus on one thing. You should be open to more than just one form of art (film, books, music, paintings, etc...) Not being open narrows not only your perspective but also your ability to truly see, translate and create ideas.
"Your mind assimilates everything and you make your own way to express yourself. I am someone who is always hungry for coming up with images. For me, creating worlds is instinctive and I get to talk about them as if they were their own."
He said that his three favorite films that he made are Devil's Backbone, Pan's Labyrinth and Crimson Peak.
He also spoke about how when he was little, he slept on a mattress at the foot of his Grandmother's bed. He would try to convince her to put in a secret door at the base of the stairs. He'd share his plans (and tell her it would be inexpensive and useful as thieves would never find them) as he'd drifted off to sleep.
I'll try to add more to this post when I can. I'm still processing the evening. I'm also still dreaming of an invitation to tour Bleak House.
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Guillermo del Toro - Welcome to Bleak House
Here's an article (with lots of photos) from yesterday about Bleak House.
Show the Monster