And Other Obsessions - Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities

ByGuillermo del Toro

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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
kuehleborn spengler
honestly, I bought this book on a whim--while I liked the drawings from the sketchbooks, this volume came across too Forest J Ackerman for my taste and less conceptional--however, if fan stuff is your cup of tea and you want to peek at the things peeking back at you in his house then get it--as an artist, I would have been more excited to have been treated to production from start to finish--I get that, to many, he is a god and he well deserves that accolade but I was looking more for the artist's journey down the rabbit hole and not Robin Leach behind the scenes style writing--but again, if you are a fan--this is the manuscript for you.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
aaron clair
Interesting? Yes. But if you are thinking, as I was, that this is written by GDT you are sadly mistaken. BIts and pieces are but most are old interviews or pieces written by other authors.
I thought it was going to be a intimate look into the mind of GDT. I thought it would be filled with articles written by him about his movies and productions. IT IS NOT.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
This book is horrible. Del Toro isn't much of an artist. His quirkiness is interesting and his imagination is bonkers, but the book didn't give us enough of his sketches and drawings (or those he inspired) to make this book worth buying. There's a lot of heavy handed embarrassing graphic design in here, too. Not recommended.
The Shape of Water (Inspector Montalbano, Book 1) :: The Shape of Water :: Harry Potter a l'ecole des sorciers (French edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone) :: From the Creative Team Behind the Celebrated Movie Series :: Track Animals―and Other Forgotten Skills (Natural Navigation)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
dimas riyo kusumo
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.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
marcilia the plot bunny
Cabinet of Curiosities is a look at the personal notebooks and collections of famed Director and writer, Guillermo del Toro. It is an amazing and eye-popping look into the many elements and personal belongings of del Toro that will make any genre fan envious. Inspired by the famous Ackermansion of Forrest Ackerman, del Toro built his “Bleak House” to store a lifetime collection of books, collectibles, movie memorabilia, and oddities including many custom built pieces.

Stepping into the foyer of the home you are greeted by an enormous bust of Boris Karloff as the Frankenstein’s monster that hangs from the upstairs railing. Standing guard in the center is a full-sized statue of the demon Sammael from Hellboy. Paintings line the walls including notable works by famed Famous Monsters of Filmland cover artist, Basil Gogos. Stepping into the library you’ll come face to face with an amazing life-sized figure of H.P. Lovecraft, standing and holding a book of ancient lore that del Toro had commissioned special. The library features a vast array of books including works from Arthur Machen and M.R. James. His house also features a Haunted Mansion room based upon the Disneyland attraction. There’s also the Steampunk room, The Screening Room for watching films, and the Comic book room which houses del Toro’s vast collection as well as original art by Mike Mignola, Mike Kaluta, and Gahan Wilson.

Cabinet of Curiosities features a book-length interview with del Toro covering various topics such as his artistic inspirations, films, storytelling, collection, Blade II, Hellboy, Hellboy II, and Pacific Rim. The book is also stuffed with hundreds of del Toro’s sketches, illustrations, notes, and photographs. There are also essays and tributes provided by such luminaries as Ron Perlman, Mike Mignola, Neil Gaiman, and John Landis. It concludes with a look at several of del Toro’s unfinished or upcoming projects like Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness, The List of Seven, and Mephisto’s Bridge. The book is a gorgeous look into one of the most imaginative minds we have in film today.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tammy pooser
(Originally reviewed on my Goodreads page)
Welcome to the world of Guillermo del Toro! Lengthy processes and observations made throughout a multitude of notebooks, which showcase this director's creativity and intelligence. Like our local House on The Rock or the several named celebrity houses out there, he surrounds himself with his many inspirations in his talked about Bleak House (Dickens' reference is not lost on me). He discusses his favorite artists and authors. Many being of the Symbolist Art Movement and classic horror genres. Several I even have to look into now. His notes intertwine at times, and some finish in abbreviations, and while others switch to talking in terms of color settings and camera angles. It's keeping it almost meticulously da Vinci code-like in deciphering it all. Except for the kitty grinding device in Hellboy II. Even as affectionate cat owner, I find that hilariously gross. It makes you want to go back and figure it out as to what past (or future) movies he is working on here. I like that aspect. Then how he describes the previous choices he's made, or talking about unfinished projects he'd love to do someday. Many elements transcend their original ideas and pop up anew in other films. He seems to even want to do more fairy tales like The Wind in The Willows, and even Beauty and the Beast from his notes. But his stories have more twists and turns to it than one can expect. I have a feeling his beastly prince would stay a beast at least in physical appearance. Sadly I don't think the upcoming, 2017 movie is that one. Darn it Disney, get with it! What I have read is he's even got pre-production on Crimson Peak in here. His references make me assume that while this is a Gothic Romance (Jane Eyre referenced) the heroine is less helpless damsel than expected. I have a strange feeling like Jane Eyre she may return to face her past (and fears) and accept them as they are. That is a mere stipulation on my part. I usually see the possibilities that a heroine can fight her battles, or have someone do it for her (a knight character), or embrace them and all their darkness. Sometimes the darkness is the way to go. It will be interesting to see his future work!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Creativity is a process - it sounds boring, but it is true. A great book or film doesn't simply appear out of thin air - and on occasion the general public is given a window into a great creative mind, and in turn, their process. Steven King's great book, ON WRITING, is one such example.

Like King, Guillermo Del Toro has thrown open the shade on how his creations - PAN'S LABYRINTH, HELLBOY, PACIFIC RIM and others - came about. On the surface, the Harper Collins book, CABINET OF CURIOSITIES is a supplemental companion to Del Toro's films, a treasure for any fan yearning to delve into his sketches, notes and designs. The pages are chockfull of his artwork, personal collections and drawings.

CABINETS has a value far and above a true fan's indulgence, however. This is an inspiring view into the creative process. Look closely and you will see a blueprint for a great artist's creative method - a method grounded in the ravenous pursuit of inspiration and the diligent documentation of images and ideas.

Through the first part of the book, we learn about Guillermo's sources of inspiration, either through personal accounts (his article on the painters that inspire him is of particular note) or through a photographic tour of Bleak House- his personal oasis and museum to the things he loves and treasures. CABINETS walks us through each room in the house where we learn about all aspects of his interests - from art to literature to make-up to cinema.

Next we see the pages of Guillermo's private leather-bound notebooks, categorized by film, starting with Cronos and ending with a peek into old ideas that have yet to be realized. Each reflect the value of recording ideas and continuing to grow themes from work to work. Guillermo is fond of "cannibalizing" his own ideas- he reworks themes and images that he likes into many of his works - such as gears, insects and asymmetrical headgear . This allows him to keep improving on his own unique ideas and also gives his work, I think, a common DNA imprint

In the end, CABINET OF CURIOSITIES becomes something much more fascinating than a record of ideas and sketches - indeed a book like this in someone else's hands could turn into a self - indulgent romp. Instead, this book resonates with values shared with Del Toro himself, a generous man who not only takes great joy in sharing his experiences as a filmmaker, but also takes a keen interest in helping young artists find their way, be they writers, artists, filmmakers, or sculptors. Del Toro's methods are applicable to all, and more than that, they are tangible and real, thanks to this book.

Any person with an itch to be creative will be inspired to pick up a notebook and a pencil and follow Guillermo's lead.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This is a stunning look into what is usually kept private, secret and forbidden. This is an infinitely fascinating journey - better then any single movie ever could be. It's the kind of book you can read 20 times and find something new. What a joy!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
amy discenza
Worth the money if you are interested in how creative minds think and explore ideas. Guillermo Del Toro's movies have always fascinated me and lately I want to understand more of the design/create process. This book does that.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Given the amazing quality of del Toro's visuals in his films I was excited to see the sketches and other imagery that went into creating them. I was let down, though, because the artwork is very rudimentary. If you're a fan of GDT's filmmaking process this is still of interest, but it's not the collection of interesting visual art I was hoping for.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
This one is my mistake. I thought this book was about a cabinet of curiosity, which I'm interested in (in the historical sense). I thought Guillermo Del Toro was a 17th century collector who had large cabinets of curiosity and that this book was about them. Little did I know he's a modern day director of horror films like Hell Boy. I should have Googled him before I considered ordering this but the cover and the subject of Cabinets of Curiosity was too much for me. I leapt before I looked. Anyway, if you're a big fan of his films this book might be of interest to you. Otherwise forget it.
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