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GUILLERMO DEL TORO

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Del Toro on Feo Amante's Horror Thriller
"THAT SITE IS F*CKING AMAZING! IT'S THE GUY WITH THE BALD HEAD, RIGHT?"
- Guillermo del Toro
Nick Braccia
Nicholas Braccia
GUILLERMO DEL TORO INTERVIEW

 

Under the Microscope: The Feo Amante Interviews Monica J. O'Rourke Interview and Report by
Monica J. O'Rourke
Guillermo Del Toro
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GUILLERMO DEL TORO: THIS IS MINE - 2001

'When I die I'll come back and let you know if there's something there.'
- Guillermo del Toro

Feo Amante's Under the Microscope:
An interview with

Guillermo del Toro
by Monica J. O'Rourke

Last week in Manhattan I attended an advance screening of the new Guillermo Del Toro film, THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE. Having no advance knowledge of the film, and without a press release or even an article in hand, I went into the theater blind - no expectations. The title itself seemed to indicate that this was going to be some low-budget, indie-film experimentation, and I have to admit I was less than happy walking into the theater.

Ah, but when will I learn? The title of the film is a reference to spina bifida, a genetic disease* that cripples children before they can even get their start in life. The title is not indicative of some Grade-B Ed Wood fiasco but is a profoundly insightful title worthy of such a great film. Paralleling spina bifida with the disease

GdT
At home in the theater, relaxing against the back of a seat, mic in hand, Del Toro shared with the crowd a riveting tale from his childhood, the inspiration behind his riveting movie The Devil's Backbone (El Espinazo del Diablo).

A charismatic, soft-spoken man, Del Toro greeted fans and colleagues alike with the same genuine enthusiasm, anticipating audience response to his film like a child eagerly awaiting Christmas.

"This is a movie that I wanted to do for sixteen years before it came to be," Del Toro told us. "I wanted it to be my first film before CRONOS-" (a well-received 1993 retelling of the Vampire mythos, about an aging antique dealer who is stabbed by a mysterious object that creates a craving for blood) "-which will show you how completely deluded I am in life, thinking that I was going to get a ghost story with a war as a background for my first film.

"Also, it's a movie that is extremely autobiographical for me - not because I was part of the Spanish Civil War, which I was not - but because most everything that the kids live or experience in the movie were things that I saw as a child, and that includes hearing a ghost at the age of eleven, my one and only brush with the supernatural.

Cronos movie image
"I had inherited the room of my late uncle, who was one of my best friends in childhood, and he and I used to talk about horror, he took me to all the horror movies, all the great ones. He gave me a few of my first literary anthologies of horror.

"And one day he said to me, 'When I die I'll come back and let you know if there's something there.' And at the time, that sounded really good." And I inherited the room after he passed away, and three years later, after he'd died, I was in the room and I started hearing a really, very sad human sigh, like a foot away from my head. One part of me really didn't get scared. I turned off the TV to investigate all the possibilities - was I breathing through my ears? Was the window open? Etcetera etcetera . . . and after I go through the room this voice becomes more and more irritated, and I recognized the timbre of the voice as my uncle and I ran away, never to return to that room.

"What struck me more about that voice, more than anything, was the sadness, and that's what I wanted to do, I wanted a ghost story at the bottom of a war that is all about sadness, and loss."

And this is exactly what he accomplishes. The Devil's Backbone succeeds on all levels, a riveting story about survival, with enough visual imagery to satisfy the artsy crowd, scary and haunting enough to satisfy genre lovers.

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PAGE 2: Guillermo explains why BACKBONE is so personal.

 

This interview copyright 2001 E.C.McMullen Jr.

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*Spina Bifida is not a genetic disorder as the exact causes are still a mystery. What we do know is Spina Bifida is congenital disorder, and so far might be caused by genetic, nutrition, or environmental factors (it could be any one by itself, or a combination of any two or all three. We don't know).

As of now, there is no genetic marker for determining whether or not your baby will have Spina Bifida. For women wishing to have a baby, doctors who prescribed Folic acid supplements of 400 mcg a day have decreased the incidence of Spina Bifida by 70%, in women who are predisposed to give birth to babies with Spina Bifida.

Spina Bifida Fact Sheet
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GUILLERMO DEL TORO






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