...my secret weak spot will always be visually breathtaking pictures with fantasy elements that have a kind of twist at the end or they end on a note you do not expect.
I consider myself an avid movie watcher. I like to give chance to movies from all kinds of genres, but my secret weak spot will always be visually breathtaking pictures with fantasy elements that have a kind of twist at the end or they end on a note you do not expect. Only a couple of directors satisfy these criteria, so it is no wonder I absolutely love the works of Guillermo del Toro.
Del Toro was born in Guadalajara, Mexico on October 9th, 1964 into a strict Catholic household. His first steps into cinematography started at around eight years of age, when del Toro used his father's Super 8 camera to make short movies with toys and other objects. This awakened his love for movie making and he had most of his education in this field at the Centro de Investigación y Estudios Cinematográficos, in Guadalajara. To further his competences in the field, del Toro later studied special effects and make-up with [Look at me; I'm an idiot] Smith, a world renowned special effects artist. He then later spent 10 years as a special-effects make-up designer in Necropia, a company del Toro founded.
Del Toro made his feature length debut as a director with Cronos in 1993, a movie that took home a lot of movie making awards, most notably ARIEL (Mexican Academy for Film award). The movie tells a story of a shopkeeper that begins to undergo a transformation to a vampire after discovering a gilded device. This movie marked del Toro's first collaboration with Ron Perlman, a prolific actor that appeared in several del Toro's movies in the future.
The Mexican director made further success with 1997's Mimic, starring Josh Brolin about giant bugs that attack New York City. However, it seems that del Toro did not particularly care for Hollywood's attempts to confine his work, so he turned to Spanish history, which brought The Devil's Backbone and later, Pan's Labyrinth, a critically acclaimed movie that remains my (and many others) favorite del Toro movie to date.
Later, del Toro ventured into the world of comic books, when he directed a vampire-centric movie Blade II, starring Wesley Snipes as a vampire hunting hybrid. This foray continued with Hellboy in 2004 and its sequel Hellboy II: The Golden Army in 2008, where Ron Pearlman is once against cast in del Toro's movies as a brawny, demonic hunter of everything paranormal that plagues the world.
One of del Toro's biggest successes is Pan's Labyrinth (2006), which tells a story of a young girl who is forced to live with a fascist stepfather, who retreats into the magical, fantastical world full of dangerous as well as kind, creatures. The movie was one of the top-grossing foreign movies in USA, receiving six Oscar nominations and winning three (Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography and Best Makeup).
He departed from the style in 2013 when he directed action packed Pacific Rim, where giant robots piloted by humans face off against monsters from the deep, but later returned to gothic imagery in 2015 with Crimson Peak, a movie about a house that has memory.
Besides being a magnificent director, del Toro also has a number of production credits to his name, most notably The Strain, Mama, Rise of the Guardians, The Orphanage and Splice. As a fun fact, del Toro was also the first choice to direct The Hobbit, but after two years departed the production in 2012. It would be incredibly interesting to see how he envisioned Middle Earth in comparison to Peter Jackson. He was also set to direct Harry Potter and Prisoner of Azkaban, but declined to work on Hellboy.
As any director, del Toro has special touches, or trademarks, that appear and influence his movies, even if he is not a director. I have seen so many movies where the plot, imagery or little details just screamed del Toro to me, but when I checked it over, to my surprise he was only involved as a producer or writer. Some of these are ample use of amber color, sets in underground areas, autopsies over non-human creatures, portals into different worlds, use of grotesque monster characters but presenting them as visually stunning or sympathetic as well as having main protagonists being influenced by father figures.
If you have not watched any of del Toro's movies, I heartily recommend them, especially Pan's Labyrinth, Pacific Rim and Crimson Peak. You will not be disappointed. His newest movie, The Shape of Water, comes out on December 8th.
https://www.biography.com/people/guille ... toro-92115
https://www.madman.com.au/actions/direc ... ethod=view
https://www.fandango.com/people/guiller ... /biography
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