Of Pan’s Labyrinth, Guillermo del Toro has said that this is the film where it’s as if his ‘balls dropped’. And I can see what he means. It is easily his most accomplished film so far.
It is both beautiful and brutal, mesmerizing from the opening shot to the closing one. I found myself in tears more than once–sometimes because of the beauty, sometimes because of the brutality.
The Captain is certainly the scariest monster he has ever created. And he’s human. That’s what makes him scary, I suppose… He makes the bugs and beasties of Mimic and Hellboy look like mere pushovers.
Plus, I got to meet GDT.
He kinda threw me for a loop, though… I had been discussing going to this screening with other folks at a discussion board that is part of a great fan-built website, and had described what I’d be wearing (my BPRD t-shirt) to another fan who was planning to go to it, too, so that we could recognize each other. GDT, himself, frequents our board and is really great about answering our questions and keeping us up-to-date on what he’s working on and how it’s going, making (and taking) recommendations of books, movies, art, etc. That man is wonderful with his fans. He treats us more like friends than fans, really. Anyhow, it seems GDT had been monitoring the discussion thread about the Toronto screening because when I introduced myself to him as “a regular at Parker’s discussion board”, he said “I know!”. Which rendered me rather non-plussed, as you might guess. I figured it out later… and I guess my BPRD t-shirt gave me away. 😉 (Incidentally, yeah, I met the other boarder, too. He was really nice!)
I also got to meet Ron Perlman. The man born to play my hero, HB.
And I even got an opportunity to tell David Cronenberg (another one of my favourite filmmakers, who was also in the audience and hadda huge smile on his face when the house lights came up after the screening) that I enjoyed the Warhol show he curated at the AGO. Whatta fuggin day, eh?
Oh, and I got in to see the last of the four films I was hoping for this weekend, too: The Killer Within.
But enuf of this for now. I’m in that internet cafe downtown and I wanna get back to my hotel in The Beach. And I haven’t had a single thing to eat all day, so I gotta do that too. (Yes, that is my stomach you hear rumbling.)
→ originally published 2006-09-10