Last night, for the first time in the Academy Awards 90-year history*, a creature feature won Best Picture. Now we know that all the normal critics keep trying to rename and redefine what it is, but us monster kids know that it is a monster movie. Sure, it’s not the first horror movie to win, which would be Silence of the Lambs, but that movie featured human monsters. Yes, there is a monster in The Shape of Water, but he’s the one wearing the tailored suit, not the fish suit. Never in a million years would I ever think that a film like this could even have a chance to win Best Picture. And the creator of this “fairy tale for trouble times”, Guillermo del Toro, also took home the Oscar for Best Director. I am speechless.
So…I’m sure we’ve all heard the Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water got 13 Oscar nominations, in just about every category, except for a couple. But we’ll get to that in a minute.
First of all, I’m thrilled and so happy for del Toro and the rest of the creators of this film to see them get the recognition they so richly deserve. I mean, to have this film beat out Universal’s The Mummy in nominations is just incredible! Oh wait…I don’t remember seeing that title anywhere. Maybe I’m thinking the Razzies. I wonder if the heads of Universal are re-thinking their decisions. Maybe they’ll realize that they need to let creative filmmakers do what they do best and leave them alone to do it!
The Shape of Water
Released by Decca Records, 2017
26 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 77 min.
Music Composed and Conducted by Alexandre Desplat, featuring Renée Fleming
Years ago, the only way a soundtrack could grab my attention, I mean really get a hold of it, was that it had to be creepy sounding. Something like Carpenter’s Halloween theme, or pretty much any of John Harrison’s Creepshow. Or maybe something a little more masculine like Basil Poledouris’ amazing score for Conan the Barbarian. But a score for a drama or even a love story? Seriously? Oh how things have changed. When you really love cinema, every part of it can entrance you, from the way the film looks to the sounds that emit from the speakers. And when you come across a film by a brilliant and master craftsman like Guillermo del Toro, you realize how perfect things can be.
As a collector of movie themed books, nothing brings me back to my childhood than when you find a book that is not only dedicated to a single title, but one that covers it with so much detail that you literally can just fall right into the film as you’re slowly turning the pages, reading all about the making of the particular title while looking at the wonderful images therein. It’s really magical. Of course, it’s great when you can find one of these books on a movie that you absolutely adore. Or maybe it’s about a particular filmmaker. Or even better, a series of books on this same guy, who has continued to create some of the most beautiful cinematic features over the years. Of course, I’m talking about Guillermo del Toro and the amazing books that have been coming out over the last few years.
Over the last five years, there have been at least a half dozen titles that have come out, either from Harper Design and/or Insight Editions, all looking very similar to each other, but are just filled to the brim with tons of information. The first volume was called Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions, and was released by Harper Design in October of 2013. This book was a walk into the creative mind of del Toro and what a wonderful stroll it is to take. It covers the filmmakers early life, gives us a tour of Bleak House, as well as going through some of his movies. Filling the pages are images where your mind can be inspired, from the mind-blowing photos of his collection in Bleak House, to the illustrations and original sketches from the different films, all coming from his notebooks while he was developing these movies. This large hardcover was a bit pricy with the original retail at $60, but it really is a must for fans of his work. Here’s a video he made explaining what this book is all about. Better to hear it right from him, right?
Doug Jones became known for his roles where his face was usually completely hidden underneath a ton of makeup. But his talent rose through all of that latex and rubber, creating some incredible characters over the years. We had a chance to talk to him at the HorrorHound Weekend show back in Aug. of 2008, in Jones’ hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana. Out of all the celebs that I’ve met over the years, Jones is one of a kind, and one that you’ll never forget once you meet him.
Guillermo del Toro – Cabinet of Curiosities
By Guillermo del Toro & Marc Scott Zicree
Published by Harper Design, 2013. 264 pages.