Monday, July 7, 2008

I knew there was something I liked about that guy.

Here are some excerpts from a feature on the Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy director entitled “Inside the Mind of Guillermo del Toro” in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly (#1001, July 11):

1. “Del Toro’s favorite superhero is a misunderstood mound of sentient muck named Swamp Thing.”

2. “Comic book creator Jack Kirby was del Toro’s biggest influence for his Hellboy movies. ‘Kirby’s monsters were incredibly powerful and incredibly silly – creatures with massive teeth wandering the streets popping cars in their mouths like popcorn,’ he says.”

3. “‘All movies should be designed like animation, where the style is the substance,’ del Toro says. He’s been inspired by certain cartoons from Chuck Jones, such as the Bugs Bunny opus What’s Opera Doc?, and by Eyvind Earle, the color stylist on Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.”

4. “One of his favorite authors is Charles Dickens.”

5. “Del Toro loves . . . [Terry Gilliam’s] Brazil.”

6. “I saw them [James Whale’s Frankenstein movies] at a very early age, and thoroughly identified with Boris Karloff’s performance as Frankenstein’s creature. Karloff embodies the most essential, existential quality of being human – a creature expelled from a womb of darkness and silence by an uncaring creator and thrust upon a world of fire, rain, and hatred.”

7. “I was weird as a kid. What can I say?”

Here are some facts about me:

1. Alan Moore’s run on Swamp Thing (v. 2, #20-64) is one of my two favorite comic book runs of all time.

2. Like all sensible comic-book-reading humans, I think Jack Kirby is awesome.

3. I love Chuck Jones. I own all five volumes of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection. Also, I believe that Eyvind Earle’s work is the best thing about Sleeping Beauty.

4. I read A Christmas Carol every year. Really.

5. Brazil is, officially, my 7th-favorite movie of all time.

6. Frankenstein is one of three so-called “horror” movies I really love. Until I recently moved out, I had a Frankenstein poster hanging in my apartment. Also, I always called Karloff’s character “The Creature” or “The Monster”, as opposed to “Frankenstein”.

7. I, too, was weird as a kid.

The only conclusion I can draw is that I am Guillermo del Toro.

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