Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Guillermo Del Toro Book Club

GDT is a voracious reader. Technically, he says he has about "10,000 favorites", but with a little research, I've found a few books that he personally recommends:

The King in the Golden Mask, by Marcel Schwob
In a March 2002 interview with, GDT mentioned this French writer's collection of short stories as his favorite book.

Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens
GDT: "As a kid, you have this notion that you are out of place and out of time. I think the character of Pip relates very intensely to Dickens and to me, too. The character of Mrs. Havisham is as close as Dickens gets to those Christopher Lee gothic horror films."
Source: New York Post

Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
GDT: "If I had to choose one movie that I'd love to see survive a burning, I'd run into the woods with the can containing 'Frankenstein.' The book is incredibly important, too. When I read it as an adolescent, I identified with the Creature. As I became a lapsed Catholic, I identified with the Creature's plea, 'Why am I here, if I didn't choose to be born?'
Source: New York Post

Pet Sematary, by Stephen King
GDT: "I think Stephen King can play the boogey man better than anyone else. Seldom has any writer tapped into the primal fear of death, absolute darkness and lack of soul to the point that it provokes almost spiritual horror."
Source: New York Post

Ficciones, by Jorge Luis Borges
GDT: "Incredibly poetic fantasy, philosophical ruminations in the form of literature . . . In many of Borges' short stories, he asks, Can an imaginary world be as real as the actual one? This book has been a seminal one for me."
Source: New York Post

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, by Carson McCuller
Charlie Rose asked Guillermo in July of 2009 if he would ever film a love story. Guillermo replied, "I would love to do Carson McCuller’s The Heart is a Lonely Hunter…I loved the old movie with Alan Arkin and Sandra Locke, but I think the book is so much more full of possibilities."

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Weighing in on the latest Hobbit rumors

This report came online today from Marketsaw

1. THE HOBBIT(s) will be in stereoscopic 3D.
2. THE HOBBIT will be shot in THREE movies - two Del Toro movies covering the book itself and a third bridge movie.
3. Peter Jackson will direct the bridge movie.
4. Smaug and the characters in THE HOBBIT will be darker than in the book.

My thoughts:

1. Maybe. I think GDT is hesitant because he doesn't want the spectacle to outweigh the story, which is so often the problem with 3D films. I do believe Jackson is in favor of it however.

2. I'm not buying it. For quite some time now, Guillermo has said there will be two movies that encompass the The Hobbit storyline. I don't find any reason for that to change, especially this late in the game. There will be some "supplemental content" - details on Gandalf's journey to find the Necromancer - but it will be interwoven into the Hobbit storyline. In other words, no bridge film.

3. Judging from interviews with PJ during the DISTRICT 9 publicity, I think he is prepared to step away from the lens and let Guillermo do his thing - and again, no bridge film.

4. Not really buying that either. GDT has always appreciated the "whimsy" of the book, and has vowed to keep that intact.

Monday, August 10, 2009

JULIA'S EYES and other things

I was very happy to see Guillermo will be producing another Spanish language thriller, JULIA'S EYES. He struck gold with THE ORPHANAGE, which was a wonderful and sad ghost story, so let's hope that it happens again. Bringing ORPHANAGE star Belen Rueda back again is a great omen.

I'm excited that I will be picking up my brand spanking new laptop today. For a computer geek such as myself, this is a big event! I finally will be stepping away from my desktop and going fully mobile about the house! This should allow me to send the occassional tweet while I watch the kids. It has been really tough lately to find the time to even do that.

Some of you may be wondering what happened this weekend with the Wizard World Convention in Chicago. I was very excited to attend and meet up with some fellow DTF'ers and get to see Doug Jones and Luke Goss. Sadly, my cousin passed away last week unexpectedly and I had to cancel my trip to attend the funeral. So what was supposed to be a highlight of my year turned into a lowlight. My cousin was only 22 years old and died in his sleep. As I write this, we still don't know why. Very, very sad - I was heart broken for his parents and sisters.

I think it part of the grieving process to meditate on death and what it means to die. I thought about it quite a bit this week. I recommend to readers here to revisit some of Guillermo's thoughts on death - they are quite interesting.