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An intimate look into one of the most imaginative minds of this century, Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities reproduces the notes, the drawings, the untold creatures, and ideas of things to come that fill del Toro's fabled illustrated notebooks This book will be a visual treasure trove for del Toro fans, as readers get a look at reproductions of his actual journal An intimate look into one of the most imaginative minds of this century, Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities reproduces the notes, the drawings, the untold creatures, and ideas of things to come that fill del Toro's fabled illustrated notebooks This book will be a visual treasure trove for del Toro fans, as readers get a look at reproductions of his actual journal pages, filled with his handwriting, illustrations, notes in Spanish and English, as well as new annotations that add context and clarity. Sketches, notes, and inspirations for del Toro's movies Cronos, Blade 2, Hellboy, Hellboy 2, Pan's Labyrinth, and even his upcoming 2013 movie Pacific Rim will be included. Co-author Marc Scott Zicree has his own following in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy world, with his Magic Time series and The Twilight Zone Companion remaining favorites among sf/f fans. This book includes diary entries and illustrations for the following del Toro movies, both green lit and not: Cronos At the Mountains of Madness (as yet unmade) The Count of Monte Cristo Mephisto's Bridge Mimic The Devil's Backbone Don't be Afraid of the Dark Blade 2 Hellboy Pan's Labryrinth Hellboy 2 Pacific Rim


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An intimate look into one of the most imaginative minds of this century, Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities reproduces the notes, the drawings, the untold creatures, and ideas of things to come that fill del Toro's fabled illustrated notebooks This book will be a visual treasure trove for del Toro fans, as readers get a look at reproductions of his actual journal An intimate look into one of the most imaginative minds of this century, Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities reproduces the notes, the drawings, the untold creatures, and ideas of things to come that fill del Toro's fabled illustrated notebooks This book will be a visual treasure trove for del Toro fans, as readers get a look at reproductions of his actual journal pages, filled with his handwriting, illustrations, notes in Spanish and English, as well as new annotations that add context and clarity. Sketches, notes, and inspirations for del Toro's movies Cronos, Blade 2, Hellboy, Hellboy 2, Pan's Labyrinth, and even his upcoming 2013 movie Pacific Rim will be included. Co-author Marc Scott Zicree has his own following in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy world, with his Magic Time series and The Twilight Zone Companion remaining favorites among sf/f fans. This book includes diary entries and illustrations for the following del Toro movies, both green lit and not: Cronos At the Mountains of Madness (as yet unmade) The Count of Monte Cristo Mephisto's Bridge Mimic The Devil's Backbone Don't be Afraid of the Dark Blade 2 Hellboy Pan's Labryrinth Hellboy 2 Pacific Rim

30 review for Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: Limited Edition

  1. 5 out of 5

    Paquita Maria Sanchez

    I've officially prepared my wish for if I'm ever dying and have (get?) to make a Make a Wish wish. In fact, since the internet is forever, I'll just lay it all out: D.N.R., pull that plug, cremation and scattering, no Jesus at my funeral, and everybody of consenting age has to do whippits at the service including both of my grandmothers. And somebody better karaoke The Final Countdown and/or Rose Tint My World. If anybody insists on a tombstone then fuck it, just Mad Lib it. Before I go, though, I've officially prepared my wish for if I'm ever dying and have (get?) to make a Make a Wish wish. In fact, since the internet is forever, I'll just lay it all out: D.N.R., pull that plug, cremation and scattering, no Jesus at my funeral, and everybody of consenting age has to do whippits at the service including both of my grandmothers. And somebody better karaoke The Final Countdown and/or Rose Tint My World. If anybody insists on a tombstone then fuck it, just Mad Lib it. Before I go, though, take me to this man's crazy curiohouse. It is my one dying wish after all those other wishes, especially since this book only shows just enough of the house to make you yearn and salivate. Tease. This collection is basically a "Guillermo del Toro's brain" collage, discussing his films, the elaborate, gorgeous notebooks he has kept throughout his career, and his mansion of a wunderkammer, or dream house, or memory room, or cabinet of curiosities. Basically, the latter is a carefully arranged and maintained, sprawling museum of mementos from sci-fi, horror, camp, and fantasy films, comics, and his own film sets and effects production work, along with a million other creepy little oddities of every glorious stripe. Props, sculptures, paintings, antique books, preserved specimens, toys, costumes, vintage Disneyland set pieces, masks, miniatures, all divided up into themed rooms. That he just, ya know, hangs out in when he needs a little inspiration or whatever. Like you do. (I only really envy rich people when they actually spend their money on cool shit that makes them happy and productive and inspired, instead of on, like, blow and Kangol hats and American college students to torture, or whatever it is rich people typically buy. Truffles, I think.) Moving on, the bulk of the book consists of different artists' reflections on their experiences knowing and working with del Toro, inter-spliced with interviews with a man who is, goddammit, sure charming and intelligent and hilarious and humble and sorta hypnotizing for a rich dude. In the middle of a couple of his rants, he would slip into these wonderful little live-action book reviews about Lovecraft or Machen or Borges, all insightful stuff. Just a cool, weird dude. The best part, though, is getting to view his notebooks over the years, which are way too beautiful for me to cheap up by posting a couple of pictures from my shitty phone. I always loved the diary slash sketchbook style that a lot of artists embrace, almost more than the final work since it's all just so raw and tender and perfectly imperfect. Then again, I'm a sloppy, lo-fi type who prefers the ghost to the printer's proof, the contact sheet to the framed and matted print, splotches, stains, shitty recordings, broken people. So of course, seeing his little sketches and scratches and scrawls was a visual delight for me. If you like any or all of that sort of stuff, check this out, even if you haven't seen all of his movies. I certainly haven't, though Pan's Labyrinth is definitely my favorite, no, The Best Adult Fairytale Film ever made, and this is a fact and that is all, have a nice day. One note on Pan's Labyrinth: In this book, the director claims he thought it was unfair for that film to get an R-rating. Of course, we could go into a whole censor police diatribe here, but if we are sticking strictly with those assholes and their decency scales, lemme tell ya: I thought that was a children's movie right up until the point where Captain Vidal starts beating some dude's face in with the butt of a pistol (for what feels like, jeez, a long time), and I could barely look at it. Me. 25-ish years old at the time, gore-loving me. In some magical alternate universe where that scene doesn't exceed the MPAA's PG-13 parameters, I'm sure the movie pool as a whole is way, way cooler than here, and I want to go there to live forever and ever. Right after I go to Guillermo del Toro's house.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Cabinet of Curiosities: “A cabinet of curiosities was an encyclopedic collection in Renaissance Europe of types of objects whose categorial boundaries were yet to be defined.” (Wikipedia) When I was young, I used to read (with great envy) of Forrest Ackerman and his yearly tradition of opening his house/museum (the ‘Ackermansion’) to visitors at Halloween, to show items from movies such as Dracula, King Kong, Frankenstein, War of the Worlds and the like. I hoped that one day I would visit myself, Cabinet of Curiosities: “A cabinet of curiosities was an encyclopedic collection in Renaissance Europe of types of objects whose categorial boundaries were yet to be defined.” (Wikipedia) When I was young, I used to read (with great envy) of Forrest Ackerman and his yearly tradition of opening his house/museum (the ‘Ackermansion’) to visitors at Halloween, to show items from movies such as Dracula, King Kong, Frankenstein, War of the Worlds and the like. I hoped that one day I would visit myself, even though I live in the UK. (Alas, it has never happened.) However, I was fascinated by the pictures of all the items and the rooms. There was such a variety, things hidden away in every corner. I would spend hours looking over the pictures. The reason for raising this here is that this book reminds me very much of that mansion. Coincidentally, one of those visitors to the Ackermansion was a young Guillermo del Toro. To the young del Toro it was a revelation and an inspiration. He admits here that it was something that gave him the inspiration that led to his future career. Now, as co-author of the Strain series of novels, director of the Hellboy movies, Oscar-winning film Pan’s Labyrinth and, most recently, Pacific Rim, it seems his dreams have been realised. Throughout all of these, Guillermo’s visual flair has shown his lifelong love of science fiction, fantasy, horror and film, and he has a great knowledge of the genre. Guillermo’s reputation for making detailed notes, maps and sketches of his project ideas are now very well known. Guillermo del Toro: Cabinet of Curiosities is (as the Wikipedia definition above may suggest) a miscellany of pictures of Guillermo’s notebooks, storyboards, director’s notes, art designs from one of his houses. Note that: one of his houses. Guillermo has a home, named Bleak House (after Charles Dickens’ novel), which is both his workshop and source of inspiration, stuffed to overflowing with books, posters and artwork. Bleak House is Guillermo’s version of the Ackermansion. “Catholics go to church, Jews go to temple, I come here.” he says at one point. The book is divided into three sections – his Bleak House collections, his movies and a final part on Unfinished Projects. Poring over the 300+ illustrations, there is much to delight. Each turn of the page shows the reader something new, something delightfully ghoulish, often jawdropping. In the Bleak House collection section we have in one room a statue of legendary Jack Pierce putting on Boris Karloff’s Frankenstein makeup whilst Karloff is drinking tea; in del Toro’s library we have a life-size statue of HP Lovecraft reading a book. A huge bust of Frankenstein's monster overlooks the lobby. Throughout there are automatons, creepy artwork, models, severed hands and heads galore. There’s even a room (the Rain Room) with a window that can give the impression of it raining at night 24 hours a day, no doubt to inspire those ideas. “As a kid I dreamed of having a house with secret passages and a room where it rained 24 hours a day.” says del Toro. The Notebooks section of the book looks at each of his major films chronologically, from Cronos to Pacific Rim. Not only are pictures of pages from his notebooks there (with translations from the Spanish where appropriate) but photographs, maps and models. The most tantalising section is the final one, where Guillermo’s unrealised projects are shown (although not The Hobbit, for as Guillermo says “I kept a lot of notes, but I was very paranoid of them being lost because that was a supersecret project….if I reveal anything that’s stayed in the movies, it’s legally very, very binding.” p.239). There are lots of comments here about things that never came to fruition, from Mephisto’s Bridge, to The List of Seven and The Left Hand of Darkness (not the Ursula K. LeGuin novel, but a version of Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo) and the best known aborted example other than The Hobbit, HP Lovecraft’s At The Mountains of Madness , a film Guillermo says he’s been trying to do for almost twenty years. I was very surprised that at one point Guillermo and Tom Cruise were considering a film of the 1960’s UK TV series The Champions. Based on hours of interviews, Marc Scott Zicree, (author of one of my most used reference books, The Twilight Zone Companion) does a sterling job of interviewing Guillermo throughout, about his work and his ideas, showing us the inspirations and the love of fantasy that Guillermo clearly has. It also gives the reader an insight into the man’s hyperactive imagination. To add to this, Guillermo himself suggests four mainstays of Horror that have inspired him and some musings on Symbolist Art. If that wasn’t enough, the book is peppered with essays from friends and work colleagues about Guillermo or his work. There is an introduction to the book from James Cameron (Avatar, Aliens) who Guillermo worked with on the aborted HP Lovecraft movie At the Mountains of Madness. Tom Cruise, once slated as one of the film’s lead characters, also writes an Afterword and talks of the imagination of Guillermo. Much of this is echoed by others. Cornelia Funke explains del Toro’s ability to use the skills of storytelling and myth in his work. Mike Mignola talks of their collaborations on Blade II and the Hellboy movies, Ron Perlman tells of how del Toro persuaded him to take on a part in Spanish (in Cronos), which led to bigger things and resurrected his career. John Landis writes of the Ackermansion and Bleak House. Alfonso Cuaron writes of their first meeting and their work on Pan’s Labyrinth. Neil Gaiman of their first meeting too, in Austin, Texas. In summary, Cabinet of Curiosities is a delightful cornucopia of a book, lovingly produced, that will be appreciated by any fan of Guillermo’s work, or indeed of the genre. Not only does it give you an insight into the thoughts of a genre-loving director, there is enough imagery in there to inspire any budding writer or director. (Or book reviewer!) Recommended. Mark Yon, September 2013

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kaśyap

    Guillermo del Toro is a very visual storyteller. His films are all a visual treat where every frame seems to be exquisitely crafted and they depend very little on dialogue. This interesting book offers some insight into his creative process, his ideas, and his inspirations. It starts with tour of his "Bleak House" where he houses all his artistic and literary collections and which he also uses as his studio. There are interviews that provide an insight into Guillermo's views on the medium of fil Guillermo del Toro is a very visual storyteller. His films are all a visual treat where every frame seems to be exquisitely crafted and they depend very little on dialogue. This interesting book offers some insight into his creative process, his ideas, and his inspirations. It starts with tour of his "Bleak House" where he houses all his artistic and literary collections and which he also uses as his studio. There are interviews that provide an insight into Guillermo's views on the medium of films and his artistic and literary inspirations. There is a chapter each dealing with each of his films and also his unfinished projects which are very fascinating as they contain many original sketches and writings from his personal notebooks dealing with the design process, his colour choices and how the final designs evolved. I especially loved the ones on Hellboy movies and Pan's Labyrinth. I am surprised by how much attention Guillermo pays to the smallest of details in his designs.

  4. 4 out of 5

    El

    Back off while I do some serious fan-girl-ing. I've been in love with del Toro's mind since I saw The Devil's Backbone in 2001. Since then I've tried to see most of his movies as they've come out, though I have missed a few (like Blade II, because I haven't seen the first one yet, and I do want to be fair about it) and Pacific Rim because I've heard awful things about it (which in turn makes me awful because my brother worked on that movie too). But I've enjoyed taking my time, leisurely, to get Back off while I do some serious fan-girl-ing. I've been in love with del Toro's mind since I saw The Devil's Backbone in 2001. Since then I've tried to see most of his movies as they've come out, though I have missed a few (like Blade II, because I haven't seen the first one yet, and I do want to be fair about it) and Pacific Rim because I've heard awful things about it (which in turn makes me awful because my brother worked on that movie too). But I've enjoyed taking my time, leisurely, to get to know del Toro's work over the years. It allows me a chance to savor everything he does. I just saw Cronos this year and thought it was great, especially considering it was such an early work of his. It shows so much promise (and features a young and adorable Ron Perlman!). When I heard about this book, however, I knew I had to get my paws on it. It's a collection of excerpts from his work notebooks, all of his sketches, ideas, thoughts, questions, and dreams for movies he's currently working on and ones he hopes to accomplish in the future. Interspersed throughout the book are what I've come to call "love letters" to del Toro, brief interludes written by various directors, actors, producers, authors, and other people who have worked with del Toro in some capacity over the years. I'm trying to ignore the fact that the Forward was written by James Cameron (snooze, "I will never let you go, Jack!", just die already, Jack) and the Afterword was written by Tom Cruise. I'm not a fan of either of them, but they both play significant parts in del Toro's career, so whatever. But other love letters here were written by people I do respect, like Ron Perlman, whose open letter to del Toro is one of the sweetest things I've ever read. ♥ The beginning of the book is actually pretty fascinating in and of itself. It's a tour of sorts through Bleak House, del Toro's second home and studio. It's exploding with all of his artistic and literary collections. As much as I want to pore over his notebooks, I also want to physically walk through his various rooms and talk to him about every piece of artifact he has in each one. Everything there has a story, some of which are detailed here in the book, but I want more, dammit. I'm insatiable. This book probably won't be of much interest to someone who doesn't care about del Toro, doesn't care about movies, doesn't care about notebooks, or doesn't care about collections or the creative process or artistic endeavors or anything - to which I say you sound incredibly boring. But my point is, this is a very specific book for a very specific sort of reader and movie-fan. It's large and smells very clean and the pages are thick. The interview between del Toro and Marc Scott Zicree that make up the main body of the book is fascinating and gives us an idea of what makes del Toro the man and the director tick. It will, even to a serious fan, at times feel tedious. Are we still talking about Hellboy?? There's marginalia galore. There's a lot to look at. For a coffee table-style book, this isn't one you can just flip through and truly walk away feeling like you know anything about it. It's a combination of seeing his doodles and reading his words that make this such a great collection. My only complaint is while there are some photographs from the 2010 Don't Be Afraid of the Dark in this collection, that is not one of the movies that was discussed in its own chapter. That was a disappointment for me because I actually didn't think that movie was all bad, and I would have liked to have known del Toro's process for that one. A lot of time is spent, understandably, on the Hellboy franchise and Blade II, with a little less time and focus on some of his other films. Still, I did appreciate the bit at the end that involved talk of his unfinished works, all of which I hope one day see the light day of day. (Although, really, let's do Lovecraft without Tom Cruise, mmmkay?) More than once this collection made me think of Jodorowsky's Dune, a fantastic documentary about a movie that never came to be. I see a lot of similarities in del Toro's thought processes in this book and would expect he and Jodorowsky have quite a bit in common. Though probably no one is as crazy or as vulgar as Jodorowsky. And del Toro seems to really research his projects, whereas Jodorowsky never even read the damn book of which he was trying to make a movie. WHUT. But the idea of spiritual warriors and finding all the right team members for a project? Both are dead on with that one.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Clarissa

    This book was fascinating. It is filled with images of Guillermo del Toro’s notebooks and of the Bleak House, along with interviews with del Toro and kind words from those he’s worked with. I thoroughly enjoyed the sneak peek into the mind of one of my favorite directors. 4.5 Stars

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bill Lynas

    Writer-director Guillermo del Toro opens his Cabinet of Curiosities & gives us some insight into his life & work. I like some of del Toro's films, but I am not a big fan of his to be honest. However, a friend of mine lent me this book & I really quite enjoyed it. Pan's Labyrinth & Hellboy (the original-not the poor sequels) are my favourite del Toro films, but even ones I find dull like Cronos are a visual treat. One amazing thing in this book are the photographs of Guillermo del Toro's house & t Writer-director Guillermo del Toro opens his Cabinet of Curiosities & gives us some insight into his life & work. I like some of del Toro's films, but I am not a big fan of his to be honest. However, a friend of mine lent me this book & I really quite enjoyed it. Pan's Labyrinth & Hellboy (the original-not the poor sequels) are my favourite del Toro films, but even ones I find dull like Cronos are a visual treat. One amazing thing in this book are the photographs of Guillermo del Toro's house & these make the book worth getting on their own. It's a place full of film memorabilia & some truly incredible life size statues. This book would appeal to any big fans of del Toro, or even a little fan like myself & is full of excellent photographs, drawings & an informative text. For a book about del Toro it certainly isn't a load of bull.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Baker

    If you are a fan of Shattered Ravings, then you know already that I love Special Features. Watching the Making Of and other featurettes lets me get into the minds of the directors and other creative forces behind these productions and see where their inspirations come from. This is one of my favorite things. So when I learned one of my idols, Guillermo del Toro, had put out a book that featured some of his private notebooks, I knew I had to check it out. And I’m so thankful I got the opportunity If you are a fan of Shattered Ravings, then you know already that I love Special Features. Watching the Making Of and other featurettes lets me get into the minds of the directors and other creative forces behind these productions and see where their inspirations come from. This is one of my favorite things. So when I learned one of my idols, Guillermo del Toro, had put out a book that featured some of his private notebooks, I knew I had to check it out. And I’m so thankful I got the opportunity to do so. This huge book is the Holy Grail of a genius filmmaker and lets us peek into one of the most imaginative minds of the new century. When this book came in the mail, I was almost stunned by its size. I knew it was a big book, but wow...I didn’t know it was this big. And that is certainly not a complaint, either. There’s a wealth of knowledge crammed into this tome and it is something every fan of cinema should own. CABINET OF CURIOSITIES is not just a collection of sketches or notes about del Toro’s films; it is something far better. This is a glimpse into a master’s mind, a small sliver of the place where PACIFIC RIM, PAN’S LABYRINTH, and CRONOS came from. And it is amazing. While reading through this book, I felt like Alice as she ventured through Wonderland: I didn’t know what to expect around the next bend or corner, but I knew it would be extraordinary. In addition to reading excerpts from his journals about each film he’s made, we also get to explore his house and see what inspires his muse. Then, towards the end of the book, we get to see a bit of his Unfinished Projects collection, where he houses up and coming titles that have yet to be completed. I don’t want to say too much more about this book, because you simply have to read through it to understand why I’m gushing about it. CABINET OF CURIOSITIES is an awesome book, and every aspiring filmmaker and/or writer should own a copy of it. Not only do we get an inside look at del Toro’s brain, but we get a behind the scenes glance at where he makes his magic as well. If you’re a fan of cinema or simply good storytelling, snatch this one up today. You won’t be disappointed.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    I honestly didn't think I could be more of a Guillermo del Toro fan than I already was. But this compulsively readable and gorgeously designed book ended up enhancing my appreciation for his particular kind of genius many times over. Unlike the Wes Anderson book, which came out around the same time and is also very pretty to look at, this volume gives real insight into an artist's ideas, ambitions, methods, and sensibilities. The result isn't just the best film book of 2013, but the finest of it I honestly didn't think I could be more of a Guillermo del Toro fan than I already was. But this compulsively readable and gorgeously designed book ended up enhancing my appreciation for his particular kind of genius many times over. Unlike the Wes Anderson book, which came out around the same time and is also very pretty to look at, this volume gives real insight into an artist's ideas, ambitions, methods, and sensibilities. The result isn't just the best film book of 2013, but the finest of its kind in many years.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Erik

    "Cabinet of Curiosities is a veritable smorgasbord of content for del Toro fans; intimate looks at his collections, his personal notebooks, and his process all are here for consumption as a truly unique artist opens himself to those who enjoy his work. I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t really a sign off by del Toro at the end, except for the lovely acknowledgement of those who helped make the book a reality, but I suppose that this is because he is by no means done creating. Since th "Cabinet of Curiosities is a veritable smorgasbord of content for del Toro fans; intimate looks at his collections, his personal notebooks, and his process all are here for consumption as a truly unique artist opens himself to those who enjoy his work. I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t really a sign off by del Toro at the end, except for the lovely acknowledgement of those who helped make the book a reality, but I suppose that this is because he is by no means done creating. Since the publication of the book, del Toro has made two television shows (The Strain, based on the trilogy of novels he wrote with author Chuck Hogan, and the Netflix series Trollhunters) and directed the feature films Crimson Peak (2015) and The Shape of Water (2017), the latter of which has garnered accolades galore. Though his style is distinct, there is an universal appeal to his stories, with their themes of loss, time, and innocence, that allows his work to transcend any genre and reach into the true heart of humanity." - https://thepastduereview.com/2018/02/...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    This book is a remarkable glimpse into the singular and visionary world of Guillermo del Toro, truly a creative renaissance man. Each page is filled with marvel upon marvel, from a jaw-dropping photo tour of his house/art gallery/funhouse named Bleak House to pages from his meticulous notebooks of art and writings from all his past films (and tantalizingly unmade ones). The bulk of the text is an extensive interview with del Toro on all aspects of his creative works and inspirations, which is al This book is a remarkable glimpse into the singular and visionary world of Guillermo del Toro, truly a creative renaissance man. Each page is filled with marvel upon marvel, from a jaw-dropping photo tour of his house/art gallery/funhouse named Bleak House to pages from his meticulous notebooks of art and writings from all his past films (and tantalizingly unmade ones). The bulk of the text is an extensive interview with del Toro on all aspects of his creative works and inspirations, which is also peppered with glowing testimonials from the likes of other creative luminaries such as James Cameron, Alfonso Cuaron, Adam Savage, Neil Gaiman, Ron Perlman, and others. I haven't even read the whole thing since there's so much to digest, but this is a 5 star book through and through. Even if you're not a fan, you should borrow this from your local library, flip through the pages, and let your mind be sucked into his world.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Guillermo del Toro's my favorite director mainly due to the 'Hellboy' films, 'Pan's Labyrinth', the 42 steps beyond incredible 'Pacific Rim' and his total persistence in not letting his dream of filming "At the Mountains of Madness" die. (Not to mention the countless films he's produced, executively-produced or co-written.) Well, 'Cabinet of Curiosities' only adds to my man-crush of del Toro. Peeking into his notebooks is entertaining to no end with all of the drawings which populate his notes an Guillermo del Toro's my favorite director mainly due to the 'Hellboy' films, 'Pan's Labyrinth', the 42 steps beyond incredible 'Pacific Rim' and his total persistence in not letting his dream of filming "At the Mountains of Madness" die. (Not to mention the countless films he's produced, executively-produced or co-written.) Well, 'Cabinet of Curiosities' only adds to my man-crush of del Toro. Peeking into his notebooks is entertaining to no end with all of the drawings which populate his notes and help him ultimately flesh his movie ideas into shape. The look inside Bleak House, basically his creative control center, where he houses room upon room of fantasy and horror memorabilia is almost sensory overload for a geek like me. A fascinating look into one of the most creative guys to roll through Hollywood in ages.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Frank

    This is a look at the director's notebooks in which he plots and sketches his projects, as well as his second home that he works out of and uses to store his insane collection of fantasy/monster/movie paraphernalia. It's a fascinating peek into an immensely creative mind. That said, Pacific Rim really should have been better. This is a look at the director's notebooks in which he plots and sketches his projects, as well as his second home that he works out of and uses to store his insane collection of fantasy/monster/movie paraphernalia. It's a fascinating peek into an immensely creative mind. That said, Pacific Rim really should have been better.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jim Dooley

    I want to set a background for my review with a personal story: Back in October 1999, I was one of many attendees to the Austin Screenwriter’s Conference and Film Festival. One of the sessions that made my “must attend” list was on writing suspense. Four guests were on the panel. I was aware of Guillermo del Toro having seen “Cronos” and “Mimic.” However, to be completely honest, I was there to see Joseph Stefano. As the session progressed, I became fascinated by del Toro. Indeed, well over two- I want to set a background for my review with a personal story: Back in October 1999, I was one of many attendees to the Austin Screenwriter’s Conference and Film Festival. One of the sessions that made my “must attend” list was on writing suspense. Four guests were on the panel. I was aware of Guillermo del Toro having seen “Cronos” and “Mimic.” However, to be completely honest, I was there to see Joseph Stefano. As the session progressed, I became fascinated by del Toro. Indeed, well over two-thirds of my notes were from his comments. When the Q & A time arrived, I just had to ask him about MIMIC ... specifically, putting children in danger. Del Toro smiled as he explained his rationale, causing me to blurt out, “Yes, but you killed them!” After the briefest pause, del Toro let out a hearty laugh. You see, it was an industry taboo to kill children in movies. Yet, Guillermo del Toro did it in his film, and he was completely unapologetic if it was not done for sensationalism and if it strengthened the story. I wrote down in big block letters in my notebook, DEFY CONVENTION. The next morning, I saw del Toro checking out of the hotel. I waited until he was done and then sincerely thanked him for his observations and perspectives at the seminar session. I was pleased to see that he recognized me, yet far more pleased when he smiled, shook my hand and said, “You get it.” My head was bouncing off of the ceiling for the remainder of the conference ... and I had a new “Favorite Director.” I mention this not to name-drop or brag, but to give you a sense of the man I encountered. I wasn’t “anybody.” He was one of two Official Guests I encountered who didn’t recognize status as a reason to talk with someone. (The other was the actress, Karen Black. I rode an elevator with her!) We were two people who loved film, and that was reason enough to talk. I’ve never forgotten his generosity. In the book, GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S CABINET OF CURIOSITIES, I learned that he had even more examples of the lesson he taught me at the conference: The importance of being Authentic. Yes, there’s much to enjoy here as a background to his films and his creative process. However, what really struck me was how he determines to live his life based on who he is and what is important to him ... rather than jumping at the beckonings of the power brokers in the film industry. (At one point, he turns down highly lucrative offers to direct one of the “X-Men” and “Men In Black” movies in order to finish “Pan’s Labyrinth” ... and he was heavily in debt.) This is not to say that he will not listen to others or will refuse to compromise. It’s just that he is particularly attuned to his connection to his Art, and to deny it is to deny himself. In the book, the Reader is invited to Bleak House, a huge collection of artifacts and mementos that offer personal inspiration and reference material. Even only looking at the photographs brought strong emotional connections to mind of films and stories that I loved. Bleak House becomes a physical entryway into the mind of Guillermo del Toro ... not too unlike a literal version of “Being John Malkovich.” Then, there are the excerpts from the notebooks. Inside them, the Reader sees sketches, random thoughts, production ideas, and fascinating tidbits that are consulted during the creation process of formal productions. Honestly, I was lost a number of times because del Toro will have thoughts about multiple projects at once. So, comments about “Hellboy” may also have ideas for “Pan’s Labyrinth” folded in among them. Even so, it was intriguing to see how stray considerations solidified into a fully realized project. As of this writing, I believe I have seen all of Guillermo del Toro’s filmed works since “Cronos” with the exception of the television mini-series and book, “The Strain.” Only two have left me cold and indifferent ... and wouldn’t you know that they are his favorites, the “Hellboy” movies. At some point, I should go back and look at them again. And that is a major point. Del Toro mentions his belief that no matter how many times a person watches a movie, the same film is never seen twice. That has certainly been the case in my life. It is not merely becoming aware of something I had missed before. It is also that I am not exactly the same person each time. (I remember loathing Bertolucci’s “The Dreamers” the first time I saw it. Now, it is one of my favorite films.) If we let them, movies can be a fluid Art that helps us define who we are. I am grateful to have read this book. Recently, I’ve been facing some challenges in which the number of compromises I’d been making had me feeling that I was being unfaithful to myself. GUILLERMO DEL TORO’S CABINET OF CURIOSITIES reminded me of that important lesson learned years ago in Austin ... be Authentic.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Irene

    Top 10 Fav Del Toro films in order: Pan's Labyrinth The Devil's Backbone The Orphanage Julia's Eyes Mama Don't Be Afraid of the Dark Hellboy Crimson Peak Blade II The Shape of Water Top 10 Fav Del Toro films in order: Pan's Labyrinth The Devil's Backbone The Orphanage Julia's Eyes Mama Don't Be Afraid of the Dark Hellboy Crimson Peak Blade II The Shape of Water

  15. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    If you're a del Toro fan, this is like giving a junkie a lick from the spoon - but considering this is the next best thing to jacking directly into his brain to get a look at the workings of his mind, it's better than nothing... although I'd personally would've liked to see more from AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS, but I guess it's not officially dead yet... If you're a del Toro fan, this is like giving a junkie a lick from the spoon - but considering this is the next best thing to jacking directly into his brain to get a look at the workings of his mind, it's better than nothing... although I'd personally would've liked to see more from AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS, but I guess it's not officially dead yet...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Fernando Suarezserna

    Del Toro was already my favorite director before reading this book, so I may be biased. But this is one of the most important books I've read as a writer. Besides having a look over the creative process of Del Toro's masterpieces that go from Cronos to Pacific Rim, we have great interventions of other people who have worked or been influenced by Del Toro, such as James Cameron, Neil Gaiman, Tom Cruise, Ron Perlman and Mike Mignola. For me, the most important part of the book was the first one, whe Del Toro was already my favorite director before reading this book, so I may be biased. But this is one of the most important books I've read as a writer. Besides having a look over the creative process of Del Toro's masterpieces that go from Cronos to Pacific Rim, we have great interventions of other people who have worked or been influenced by Del Toro, such as James Cameron, Neil Gaiman, Tom Cruise, Ron Perlman and Mike Mignola. For me, the most important part of the book was the first one, when Del Toro talks about color-coding his stories from the very beginning, and when he talks extensively about his greatest influences such as painters and classic writers. The book is, for the most part, a very intimate interview that almost makes you feel you're beside Del Toro who's speaking you as a friend. If you're into GDT, filmmaking, or even storytelling in general, this is a must-read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Steph

    This is a hefty book, a collection of interviews, essays, musings, and reproductions of del Toro's notebooks, and it's a wonderful peek into his creative process. This is a hefty book, a collection of interviews, essays, musings, and reproductions of del Toro's notebooks, and it's a wonderful peek into his creative process.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Stewart Tame

    A wonderful look into the mind of a talented director. There are sections devoted to each of his movies up through Pacific Rim, as well as glimpses of projects that have yet to be produced like The List of Seven and At the Mountains of Madness. There's also a section devoted to Bleak House, which doubles as a workspace and a museum displaying his collection of movie memorabilia and art. Reminiscent of Forrest J. Ackerman's legendary Ackermansion, it's just beautiful to behold. Reading this book A wonderful look into the mind of a talented director. There are sections devoted to each of his movies up through Pacific Rim, as well as glimpses of projects that have yet to be produced like The List of Seven and At the Mountains of Madness. There's also a section devoted to Bleak House, which doubles as a workspace and a museum displaying his collection of movie memorabilia and art. Reminiscent of Forrest J. Ackerman's legendary Ackermansion, it's just beautiful to behold. Reading this book made me want to go back and watch all of his movies again.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    As if Guillermo del Toro wasn't already my favourite director; as if I didn't already love him more than most people in this world. An absolutely stunning insight into the limitless imagination and surreal brain of one of the most interesting and creative artists of all time -- a must-read for anyone who wants to understand GDT better or wants to appreciate his work on a more visceral level. Just bloody wonderful. As if Guillermo del Toro wasn't already my favourite director; as if I didn't already love him more than most people in this world. An absolutely stunning insight into the limitless imagination and surreal brain of one of the most interesting and creative artists of all time -- a must-read for anyone who wants to understand GDT better or wants to appreciate his work on a more visceral level. Just bloody wonderful.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bella Swann

    If you are a fan of Guillermo del Toro's body of work, this book is a must-have. It is visually stunning, gives you insight into the man as well as his artistic vision, and even a glimpse of some of his unfinished projects. He is one of my favourite directors across all genres and this book is amazing. If you are a fan of Guillermo del Toro's body of work, this book is a must-have. It is visually stunning, gives you insight into the man as well as his artistic vision, and even a glimpse of some of his unfinished projects. He is one of my favourite directors across all genres and this book is amazing.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alisa Kester

    Really, really gorgeous book, packed with photographs, sketches, and actual pages from del Toro's fantastic notebooks. I wish there had been more photographs from Bleak House, because I just want to live there. Really, really gorgeous book, packed with photographs, sketches, and actual pages from del Toro's fantastic notebooks. I wish there had been more photographs from Bleak House, because I just want to live there.

  22. 5 out of 5

    J K

    amazing. inspiring. he has a life size H P Lovecraft statue in his house - which is actually the least amazing piece if artwork, he's incredible and I'll keep returning to this book to reassure myself of magic and creativity and love of monsters. anything is possible if it can be imagined. love it. amazing. inspiring. he has a life size H P Lovecraft statue in his house - which is actually the least amazing piece if artwork, he's incredible and I'll keep returning to this book to reassure myself of magic and creativity and love of monsters. anything is possible if it can be imagined. love it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    GlobalSinner

    An awesome insight into the workings of one of the most creative minds in the business. It goes beyond just talking about his work and shows how much hard work and dedication goes into the creation of some of cinema's most beautiful moments. An awesome insight into the workings of one of the most creative minds in the business. It goes beyond just talking about his work and shows how much hard work and dedication goes into the creation of some of cinema's most beautiful moments.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Stefan Fergus

    A must-read for anyone who loves Del Toro's movies and the bizarre, horrific, beguiling aesthetic he creates. A must-read for anyone who loves Del Toro's movies and the bizarre, horrific, beguiling aesthetic he creates.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stefan

    Guillermo del Toro is my favourite creative mind. This book takes you on a trip through his movies, thoughts, ideas and other obsessions.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Gabbi Zurlo

    Can I give this 278734784 stars?

  27. 4 out of 5

    Joseph R.

    This coffee-table tome gathers a sampling of various items created by Guillermo del Toro, or that inspired his creativity. He's the Mexican director of the first two Hellboy movies, Pan's Labyrinth, and the Oscar-winning The Shape of Water. The book title is a reference to the 19th century tendency for the rich and eccentric to gather curiosities to show off their wealth, culture, and personal experiences. Items could include things like animals from foreign lands, fine or mundane works of art f This coffee-table tome gathers a sampling of various items created by Guillermo del Toro, or that inspired his creativity. He's the Mexican director of the first two Hellboy movies, Pan's Labyrinth, and the Oscar-winning The Shape of Water. The book title is a reference to the 19th century tendency for the rich and eccentric to gather curiosities to show off their wealth, culture, and personal experiences. Items could include things like animals from foreign lands, fine or mundane works of art from other cultures, etc. Del Toro has collected many things through the years. He's also kept notebooks where he scribbles down ideas, sketches interesting items, and draws images he might use in his filmmaking. The book is divided into three sections. The first section is called Collections and is mostly a tour of Bleak House, the house he bought to store all the bric-a-brac he has gathered over his lifetime. In addition to personal creations, he has many books (the house has multiple libraries), collectibles, paintings and sculptures (including specially commissioned works), toys, and memorabilia from films and pop culture. He explains the significance of some of the items and shows a bit of his creative process. Some of the rooms are designed to inspire his creativity and he does work at the house too. The second section (which is by far the longest) goes through his notebooks as they reveal ideas and designs for his movies. The book was published in 2014, so the section ends with Pacific Rim and some mentions of the then in-progress Crimson Peak. After a brief thematic description of each film, subsequent pages show sketches and ideas for various creatures, mechanisms, and sets, along with some photos from the films showing the final result. Readers get a good glimpse of del Toro's creative process and some interesting trivia. The final section shows pages from unfinished projects, including ideas for At the Mountains of Madness, a project that was supposed to be produced by James Cameron and star Tom Cruise but financing fell through. The book does not contain anything from The Hobbit movies (a project that didn't get out of legal contentions in time for del Toro to direct) because of the secrecy around the movies. The book also contains a smattering of testimonials from friends and artistic collaborators (including Cameron and Cruise, along with Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, moviemaker Alfonso Cuaron, writer Neil Gaiman, and others). The testimonials show the respect and admiration these artists have for del Toro and his works. The book is more like a coffee-table book, meant to be thumbed through and admired piecemeal. I read it from cover to cover since I am a fairly avid del Toro fan and enjoyed it a lot. Recommended, highly for del Toro devotees.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cassandra Stevens

    Other than the interview just being really obvious and poor at interviewing. This book was beautiful and Guillermo just ran off from the poor questions and really filled them out with mass amounts of information which reflects the mans drive to make films. His works for me and timeless and I can enjoy them again and again. Wrote my dissertation on him, wish I had had this book to work with. Everything I wrote about and my thoughts and feelings he evoked within me he explains in parts of this boo Other than the interview just being really obvious and poor at interviewing. This book was beautiful and Guillermo just ran off from the poor questions and really filled them out with mass amounts of information which reflects the mans drive to make films. His works for me and timeless and I can enjoy them again and again. Wrote my dissertation on him, wish I had had this book to work with. Everything I wrote about and my thoughts and feelings he evoked within me he explains in parts of this book and it's nice to see my interpretations be similar and also differ in some ways, I would think he would of liked that to evoke differences in connotation at certain elements and times through his films. Creative man, if your a fan its worth a read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lucas Chance

    Good, but I wish it was more This beautiful is such an appreciation of Del Toro’s art, it I wish it went deeper into his processes and his influences. It’s a good cursory view, but i wish this was more of a memoir of creativity than an interesting summary. I especially loved the small part at the end about unrealized projects. I understand why the full scripts would not be released (he probs still wants to produce them), but again it feels more of a surface level view with a occasional glimpses t Good, but I wish it was more This beautiful is such an appreciation of Del Toro’s art, it I wish it went deeper into his processes and his influences. It’s a good cursory view, but i wish this was more of a memoir of creativity than an interesting summary. I especially loved the small part at the end about unrealized projects. I understand why the full scripts would not be released (he probs still wants to produce them), but again it feels more of a surface level view with a occasional glimpses than something really meaty and worthwhile. However, I am still very glad I read it and I love this man immensely

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tuur Verheyde

    Interesting book if you're a fan Guillermo's work and want to know more about him. This book is more in depth than At Home with Monsters, especially in its discussion of Guillermo's collections & notebooks, their significance, their meaning etc. and its exploration of Guillermo's creative process (film by film and in general), his setbacks, his creative philosophy and so forth. If you are a creative yourself and you enjoy Guillermo's mix of "highbrow" and "lowbrow" tropes, themes and imagery the Interesting book if you're a fan Guillermo's work and want to know more about him. This book is more in depth than At Home with Monsters, especially in its discussion of Guillermo's collections & notebooks, their significance, their meaning etc. and its exploration of Guillermo's creative process (film by film and in general), his setbacks, his creative philosophy and so forth. If you are a creative yourself and you enjoy Guillermo's mix of "highbrow" and "lowbrow" tropes, themes and imagery then I would recommend this book before At Home with Monsters. There's some real wisdom for creators found in this one.

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