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Guillermo del Toro: "The excitement is the new punk"

The filmmaker inaugurates the Sitges festival with the shape of the water, his peculiar political fable that won the Venice Mostra

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Guillermo del Toro:
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It is said that law is same for everyone. And, that day, citizen Guillermo del Toro was driving too fast. In application of rules, a policeman stopped him and wanted to see his documents. That's where differences started.

— your license is Mexican.

Of course, I'm Mexican.

"So, what are you doing in Beverly Hills?"

-I'm going to see a producer.

"With this car?"

The filmmaker laughs at his "not-so-prestigious" vehicle, but issue is extremely serious: "Of course you experience racism as a foreigner in America." And he brings anor test: After winning an Oscar for Pan's Labyrinth, director of photography Guillermo Navarro wanted to find an agent. Among or replies, he apparently received: "Why would he want a Mexican?" "I already have a gardener."

Against all this, bull offers a remedy on screen: form of water, strange political fable that won Mostra of Venice and inaugurates today Sitges Festival, awaiting its premiere in January. "We live in a strange world, where hatred and cynicism are considered intelligent speeches and if you talk about feelings you sound like an idiot." Emotion is antidote, it's new punk. So I wanted a film in love with Love and cinema, my most hopeful work, ' adds director (Guadalajara, 1964), to a group of journalists.

Politicians of fear

What scares far of so many monsters on screen? "The politicians we have!" We are at a unique time, because we have never lived beyond agreements that keep us toger. Civilization depends on imaginary rules, but we respect m to function. "Now many have disappeared," says Guillermo del Toro. And he adds: "A civil war in a country is never cured, wher it is Spain or America, as it is proving."

To narrate it, he imagined a fairy tale peculiarísimo. A cleaner lives a bland day by day, silent and refore ignored. Until, in facilities where he works, secret services enclose an aquatic creature. Between both marginalized comes a spell without words, made of chemistry and looks, where monster once becomes a hero. "I wanted a film that was politically obliquely, not head-on." And to see is supreme act of Love. If I see you, I guarantee existence. Ideology intends to deny it, to become one thing: a Jew, a Mexican, an outcast, he explains from bull. So much so that its protagonist, Sally Hawkins, recommended to soak up myths of silent cinema, of Buster Keaton with Charlie Chaplin, to fill paper with his eyes and his gestures.

He also reviewed his film archive. Although he did not seek monsters, but clues about how to "move camera" and " Dissolution of America": from re he recovered documentary The Salesman, on vendors of Bible door to door, and musicals like singing in Rain or an American in Paris. With that base, bull was placed in front of anor classic, Tale of Bella and beast, on hunt for a new path: It has been told in a perverse way, highlighting bestiality, or puritanical, where y dance, sing, he becomes a prince and maybe one day lie down. "I was interested in a history of natural love, which also had sex, but it was not central point."

The result has delighted in Venice — where interview was held — but bull swears that he was already satisfied before. "If you risk a lot and work comes out as you expected, re is an automatic reward, beyond public." "This is a countercurrent film, which looks and feels just as I wanted," he explains. It seems that filmmaker and fable have taken a lot of affection, after six years that have passed toger.

In 2011, Del Toro conceived idea: a story set in Cold War that showed today's contradictions. And tomorrow, because at same director did not know that a xenophobic would occupy White House but before that "something serious was coming". The following year he began to elaborate form of water, and in 2013 he paid from his pocket to sculptors and designers who made protagonist creature and atmospheres real. Anor 12 months and finally, Mexican came with an almost complete product to studios of Fox in search of financing. The same method he applied with Faun's Labyrinth, his most applauded work. and same result: he obtained a yes so round that only one of his desires remained.

So shape of water is not seen in black and white, as imagined, but in colors (dark). But rest is very much like original germ. "It is very difficult to steer." You try to control hundreds of vectors that intersect and move film away from you: The sound, wind, an actor ... Coppola said it's juggling tracks of a train approaching. "I see it as building a sand castle in midst of a storm," he explains. Yet he has lifted m from all styles and sizes, from little Cronos to gigantic Pacific Rim, from overflowing Hellboy to haunting Devil's backbone. "I'm an outsider, too commercial for artist mode and too artistic for commercial mode," he smiles. And consider a "miracle" that he could do movies he wanted.

Anor thing, yes, is what comes next. "You can shoot a film thinking about something and sell it differently." The Scarlet Summit was filmed as Gothic romance and commercialized as a work of terror. Marketing is most frustrating of cinema, re must be four directors around world who can condition it. "You give an opinion, but you don't command it."


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