• Beehive_large

    Guillermo del Toro’s love for movies is infectious, and you can feel it not only in the inspiration his work draws from classic films but also in his passionate advocacy for a wide range of cinema, including a number of titles in our collection. Last year was a busy one for the Mexican director, but while he was in the process of making the fantastical romance The Shape of Water—now nominated for thirteen Academy Awards—he took time out to join us for an episode of Adventures in Moviegoing. For this exclusive series on the Criterion Channel on FilmStruck, he talked with MythBusters’ Adam Savage about his journey as a cinephile and also served as a guest curator, bringing together films that have influenced his dazzlingly imaginative aesthetic. With The Shape of Water still in theaters, we’re sharing these heartfelt appreciations of eleven of his personal favorites.

    Jean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast (1946)

    “One of the most magical films ever made, one that truly is in love with the sublime, sophisticated, Freudian quality that a fairy tale really has.”

    Joel and Ethan Coen’s Blood Simple (1984)

    Blood Simple contains most, if not all, of the preoccupations the Coens will articulate throughout their career . . . It’s a perfect first movie.”

    Felipe Cazals’s Canoa: A Shameful Memory (1976)

    Canoa was part of the generation of films that changed Mexican cinema . . . The screenplay is one of the most brilliant ever written . . . Formally and thematically, it absolutely changes the game of what a Mexican movie was able to portray: it breaks with censorship, it breaks with formal rigidity and with what the state-funded cinema considered sanctionable.”

    Georges Franju’s Eyes Without a Face (1960)

    “[The main character is] like an undead Audrey Hepburn. It influenced me a lot with the contrast between beauty and brutality.”

    Carl Th. Dreyer’s Vampyr (1932)

    “The camera becomes a character in the film. It’s more than a witness, it’s an active participant in the narrative, and therefore it’s deeply cinematic.”

    Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)

    “There is a haphazard chaos that this version has that I find completely charming . . . You can feel that [Hitchcock] is bringing all the tools of the trade that he acquired in England for one great romp.”

    Jean Renoir’s La chienne (1931)

    “Renoir is, above anything else, a humanist, and he doesn’t judge anyone. There is an all-encompassing good will toward humanity in his films.”

    Luis Buñuel’s Viridiana (1961)

    Viridiana reconstructs Buñuel in many ways; it reencounters his identity as a Spanish filmmaker and allows him to regain European prestige, and later allows him to shoot movies everywhere in the world. But it comes at a point when, I believe, he needed it the most.”

    Masaki Kobayashi’s Kwaidan (1965)

    “It’s a fairy tale that is both incredibly scary and incredibly beautiful and talks about love and death with equal passion.”

    Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits (1981)

    “With Gilliam, you feel that Time Bandits is a story that must have been with us for centuries . . . There is an incredible humor, an incredible cruelty, and an insatiable desire for fun and creativity that embodies, for me, what a kids’ movie should be like.”

    Víctor Erice’s The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)

    The Spirit of the Beehive is a movie that transformed my life. Whatever I do in life, two shadows are cast upon my own: one is James Whale’s Frankenstein, and the other one is Víctor Erice’s The Spirit of the Beehive, and they are both one and the same. “

11 comments

  • By thevoid99
    February 12, 2018
    04:52 PM

    I could watch Guillermo just talk about films. I hope Crimson Peak and The Shape of Water come to Criterion soon as I love those films. I also love the Hellboy movies though they're Marvel films though I wouldn't mind seeing a Criterion/Marvel partnership.
    Reply
  • By Moviefan777
    February 12, 2018
    05:38 PM

    Guillermo has an impeccable taste in film as he refuses to prefer one style over the other; in his eyes, both fantasy and reality are intertwined to create beautiful yet emotional poetry. I agree with thevoid99 as I too want the criminally underrated Crimson Peak and the truly masterfulThe Shape of Water to be enshrined within The Criterion Collection where it can stand alongside pure cinematic classics. Viva Guillermo and all dreamers who refuse to be limited by draconian systems!
    Reply
  • By HUSKY
    February 12, 2018
    05:49 PM

    Viridiana and The Spirit of the Beehive on Blu please!
    Reply
  • By Sean Ramsdell
    February 12, 2018
    06:22 PM

    No mention of Watership Down?
    Reply
  • By deckard
    February 12, 2018
    06:45 PM

    This is an incredible list Guillermo has put together. And every time I see a still from Spirit of the Beehive I just want to cry. I can not image how beautiful this film is going to look once Criterion gifts it to us. Hint hint, nudge nudge, wink wink Criterion. Soon? Soonish? By end of Year?
    Reply
  • By Davey32
    February 13, 2018
    11:32 AM

    Del Toro is just an absolute treasure! He speaks so eloquently and passionately about Cinema. You can tell that he is in love with movies, and has amazing taste in them. Not only is he one of our greatest living filmmakers, he is definitely one of our greatest living cinephiles! Long live Guillermo!
    Reply
  • By Michael Sears
    February 13, 2018
    04:26 PM

    I admire this director the most. The films he has made and the ones he draws on such as those here. I can see why he would want to venture into classic noir with the remake of 1947's Nightmare Alley. Cannot wait to see what his vision will bring to this classic tale.
    Reply