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Guillermo del Toro’s Gothic Favorites


Director Guillermo del Toro isn’t shy about the wealth of influences that have shaped his dark and fantastical cinematic worlds. In a piece published earlier this month in the Guardian, the acclaimed Mexican filmmaker cited a range of inspirations for his latest romantic-horror film, Crimson Peak—from David Lean’s 1946 adaption of Great Expectations and the Coen brothers' No Country for Old Men to the hit Netflix streaming series House of Cards to Estonian composer Arvo Pärt’s 1978 instrumental work “Spiegel im Spiegel.”

And now, for the online magazine Rookie, del Toro has dug deeper into his affinity for the gothic literature and art that ignited his desire to make the new film. Speaking about one of his favorite novels, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, del Toro explained that “the book contains one of my favorite scenes in the history of literature, and one that I quote almost verbatim in Crimson Peak: The ‘cord of communion’ speech from Rochester to Jane.” He's also a big fan of Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw, which presents the terrifying notion that “the true ghosts are in our minds.” For more of the filmmaker’s thoughts on Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Dickens, and Emily Brontë, head to Rookie for the full article.

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