For the past three years, director Guillermo del Toro has been combing through his personal archives of notes, drawings and collection of strange effects to create a one-of-a-kind look into the imaginative filmmaker’s world.
The result is the gorgeous, 260-page “Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions.” When we spoke with del Toro about whittling down 400 pages of notes, he shared a little more insight into two specific images from the book, which hits shelves October 29.
“Fear At the Foot of the Bed”
“I had a thing as a child called ’lucid dreaming.’ I would wake up in the middle of the night, dreaming that I was in the room that I was asleep in. It looked normal, but I would see things. The image of something at the foot of my bed or from behind the armoire kept repeating until the point where I saw this faun-like creature coming behind the armoire in my grandmother’s house. That was a big inspiration for the faun in ’Pan’s Labyrinth.’ It really is a primal image for me because this creature is smiling, which makes it even creepier, and it has no face, which is something that I find particularly scary. It sends me right back to those childhood fears.”
“The Left Hand of Darkness”
“I was approached by Roman Coppola back in the early ’90s to co-write with Kit Carson a Western version of ’The Count of Monte Cristo.’ I started thinking about how interesting it would be to look into the soulless, mechanical aspects of revenge. I thought the perfect representation of that would be a mechanical hand that fuses with a gun, a sort of steam punk Western universe. I worked on it for about a decade, and in 1997, 1998 when my father was kidnapped, one of the things I did obsessively was rewrite that screenplay to stay sane. It fell into all of the feelings of anger and revenge fantasies that come from being in the middle of a kidnapping. It is to this day one of the projects I would love to do. Legendary came very close to financing that. They were torn between financing that or ’Crimson Peak.’ I still have a lot of hope for that to happen.”